Online bird database reaches milestone

Aug. 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

ITHACA, N.Y., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A pioneering citizen-science program called eBird launched 10 years ago by Cornell University has recorded its 100-millionth bird observation, researchers said.

Late last week a 12-year-old boy near Vancouver, British Columbia, sighted an American Robin and submitted the 100 millionth observation to the online database, a Cornell release reported Wednesday.

Launched in 2002 by Cornell and the Audubon Society, eBird is an online application for birders worldwide to record their sightings and for scientists to collect a massive database of citizen-science observations about bird abundance and distribution, the release said.

Since its launch, more than 93,000 observers have submitted checklists to eBird with observations on about 9,500 of the planet's 10,157 species of birds, researchers said.

"Tens of thousands of observers have shown us that they have a desire to share their observations to see how their individual sightings fit into the bigger picture," Chris Wood, the eBird and Neotropical Birds project leader at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology said.

"With 100 million observations, we are just beginning to piece together this puzzle and are discovering some amazing new patterns about the natural world. We expect the pace of discovery to increase as we engage even more observers and share the data with more researchers around the world."

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