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Creating a group eBird account

In general, eBird is used by single observers—people tracking their own personal lists, and contributing to our global knowledge of birds throughout their normal birding activities. However, sometimes there are groups or projects that want to use eBird beyond what is offered through an individual eBird account. Some common examples for these group accounts include birding clubs or groups; research projects; annual events; birding festivals; local record keepers; or even local friendly competitions.

Although there is no "group-specific" eBird account at this time, there is a way to create a normal eBird account and use it for group purposes. After reading this article, you should know how to do that. It is quite easy!

Setting up a group account

First off, create a new eBird account. You can do this by logging out of your normal eBird account, and clicking "Submit Observations" or "My eBird"—which will prompt you to log in or create a new account. We recommend choosing a username that is fairly short and simple, which will make sharing sightings easy. The group name should represent the fact that it is not a single person, along the lines of "Los Angeles eBird Research Project Data"; "Brooklyn Birding Club Data"; "Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Data"; or "Concord Birding Records Data."


After you've created this brand new account, the first thing that you're going to do is go to My Preferences, which can be accessed at the top right of almost every eBird page, or on the right side of the My eBird page. In your Preferences, you're going to change one thing: the Top 100 settings. All group accounts must be "opted out" of the Top 100. Having a group account (which by default contains information from multiple people) shown on the Top 100 is not fair to other individual accounts, and is not allowed. If you see a group account appearing in the Top 100, please email us to fix it. Now that the group won't appear in the Top 100, you're ready to get started!

Collecting data in a group account

Group accounts should be used in concert with individual eBird accounts. This means that in any data-collection situation, each person that is contributing to the group account should have their own eBird account. This serves two purposes: allowing people to keep track of their own personal records while also participating in the larger group, and also providing an individual person for eBird reviewers to get in touch with as part of the data quality process

After someone enters a sighting in their own account (either on the website or on eBird Mobile), they should then share the checklist with the group account. At this time, there is no way to share checklists from eBird Mobile—you'll have to log on to ebird.org, find the list in Manage My Checklists, and share from within your account there.

When you share a checklist, it links the two lists of birds in our system, but also allows you to edit each version without affecting the other one (except that photos uploaded will appear in both). This means that if you're on a birdwalk, you can keep track of the birds that EVERYONE sees, enter that checklist, and share it with the group account. After a group account administrator has accepted the checklist, you can remove the species that you didn't see, keeping your personal records accurate, while also capturing the full list of birds that were at that location. Taking note of the species not seen by all makes this process of reconciling the lists easy (e.g., “seen by Joe only” or “not seen by Nancy”.) More information on sharing checklists here

Summarizing sightings from a group account

The best part about all of this is that you can easily download all sightings from a group account. To download all sightings for your own personal use, just press the "Download my data" button in the lower right corner of your My eBird page. This will download a spreadsheet with all of the sightings, and you can do with them what you wish!
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