The Trail embraces eBird, a real-time, online checklist program that was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. It has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. The four county area represented within Trail boundaries has experienced a faster eBird adoption rate than the state of Michigan for comparison. We should be proud of that.
The eBird Birdtrax Sightings widget that is embedded on several of our pages has three tabs: sightings, rarities, or checklists. Sightings data reflects all sightings within a 50km radius from the center point of the Trail. Rarities information reflects all sightings that are uncommon for this time of year. In the sightings and rarities tabs, you may click the “+” on the left side to bring up a full-detail observation report. You may click on species and location names to bring up a list of locations at which a species was seen and a list of species for a single location, respectively. In the checklists tab, you may click on observer names to simplify the list to just checklists seen by that observer.
The Sleeping Bear Birding Trail aims to facilitate the collection of information through useful tools such as the Birdtrax widget, our smartphone compatible website for easy access in the field, and several other e-initiatives that are currently in development. We welcome all active birders to join in, help build our knowledge base and participate in citizen science on the ground. We can’t do it without you!