The eBird stats are in and we have surpassed all expectations for the year so far through May. Checklist count increased 85% over the same period last year with three out of four counties posting 100% increases! 250 birds have been seen or heard on the Trail so far in 2013, an increase of 13 total birds compared to 2012. That is just due to more eyes and ears in the field. For the same reason, Michigan Endangered, Threatened and species of Special Concern have all shown appreciable increases compared to last year. See subsequent blog posting for key stats.
As you know, one of the primary goals of the Trail is promote the widespread adoption of eBird in order to provide scientists and our local birding community with a more accurate and representative snapshot of avian patterns and distribution. We have a ways to go to achieve that goal but huge steps have been taken thus far in 2013.
Stay tuned to our Blog at https://sleepingbearbirdingtrail.org/category/news for maps depicting where we actually bird and where we need to concentrate more effort. The Tip of our peninsula is relatively remote and as such it does not get the coverage it deserves. In 2013/14, the Tip is going to get a lot of attention and we plan to focus our efforts on Leelanau State Park, Lighthouse West Natural Area, Kehl Lake Natural Area, and the N. Howell Rd. fields – all official eBird hotspots. Many of us have seen the Tip in all its glory in the spring, we all need to document that spectacular migration and provide the birding world with one more piece of the puzzle.