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All About: My eBird

My eBird is your own personal eBird hub – a location where all of your personal data is displayed; where you can adjust your settings and preferences; and where you can easily access the rest of eBird. It can be accessed at the top of any any page on the eBird website. It gives you the ability to view and edit all of the observations that you have submitted, evaluate your listing totals for regions from the county level to worldwide, summarize your observations in various ways, and also edit your locations, among much more.  It is perhaps the second-best page on the whole site to get to know your way around (after Submit Observations), and we'll go through the different aspects of the My eBird page below.

Quick Links:


My Observations
Account Settings


When you first reach the My eBird page, you are presented with tables and large bold font telling you about your various list totals. These list totals are automatically kept in the eBird database, and are updated very frequently – within several seconds of submitting a checklist you should have up-to-date lists. Since each location that you submit data from is tied to specific location information such as county, state/province, and country, the lists are easily populated using this information. This is one of the many reasons why it is exceedingly important to plot your observations as precisely as possible – if you are near a political border and don't put the marker in the correct location – it could affect your lists. Of course, the most important reason for precisely plotting the location you went birding is to maximize the quality of the data you're submitting to eBird, but this is a valid secondary motivation for many people. Even if you aren't a person who cares about your lists, this resource is always here in case you're ever curious.

The listing part of My eBird is broken up into your "Life List", displayed at the top; "Your Stats", showing total species, total checklists, and ABA Area Total Ticks (applicable to North American eBirders); and Your Lists, the most varied and personalized section. We'll go through each of these individually. 

Your Life List
Front and center when you log in, this is the total number of species that you've ever reported to eBird! We hope that this number reflects your real-life life list, and if you have old sightings with no specific date that you have yet to submit to eBird, check out this article for information on how to do so. If you do have specific dates, times, and locations, then please submit the data in that more detailed format, but we understand that this isn't always the case. If you click on the physical number listed in your life list, 3411 in the case above, it will take you to a summary of all the species you've ever seen, listed by default in taxonomic order. Sometimes this can take a while to load, since it is looking up all the data you've ever submitted. Once on this page, clicking on any of the headers (Alphabetic/Taxonomic, Location, S/P, and Date) will sort by that field.

This life list summary has a lot of really cool things that you can do, providing a great place to go back and look at your past observations. If you click on any of the species names (shown as hyperlinks in blue), it will take you to a new page that shows you every record of that species that you have in eBird. This is an easy way to find all your sightings of one species. Also, if you click on either the Location name of where you birded, or the state/province that the bird was seen in, it will open a page showing your life list for that specific location or state/province. Clicking on any of the links in the far right Date column will take you to the checklist that the bird was recorded on. In the upper right corner there is the option to download your data – this will give you a spreadsheet of your life list to store offline if you want.

Your Stats
Just below your life list, there is the small summary of Your Stats, where there are just three lists being addressed, each of them giving you your lifetime, annual, and monthly totals for that specific list. The Total Species row starts off with your world life list, followed by total species seen worldwide this year and month. Total Checklists, the next row, counts the total number of checklists you have entered. It is a number that we encourage maximizing, and one that is only displayed here across My eBird. In general, breaking your day's birding up into multiple checklists is preferred to long distance day long checklists, see this article for details on how to make your eBirding most valuable. The final field, ABA Area Total Ticks, is determined by adding one's list for each state, province and territory within the ABA (American Birding Association) Area. For instance, if you have seen 25 species in Arizona, 100 in California and 150 in British Columbia your ABA Total Area Ticks would = 275.

Your Lists
This last listing category is also the most customized and detailed. There are four tabs in Your Lists: Major Regions; Country; State/Province; and County. The first tab, Major Regions, contains the same fields for everyone – your life, year, and month lists for every major region from the World to the Pacific Ocean. The other three tabs are all individualized for your account – they populate the lists of geographic regions based on where you have submitted lists. As a result of this, they can be very short or very long – all depending on whether you range widely in your birding or tend to stick local. All of the numbers in these lists are similar to the Life List number in that if you click on them, you will receive a summary of the list. Also like in the life list, clicking any of the values in the columns in this summary (e.g. Species, Location, S/P) will take you to a different list based on that selection.

Both the Country and County tabs have the same structure as the Major Regions one shown here, but the State/Province tab is slightly different. As you can see, the Life and Year lists are there, but there is no Month option. This is replaced by Total County Ticks, which functions similarly to the ABA Total Ticks mentioned earlier – the number consists of all of your county lists in that state/province, added together. It is possible to create a state or province month list for the current month, but not from this tab. If you go into either your Country or County tabs, find a location with a month list, open that month list and click the appropriate location name in the S/P (State/Province) column, it will generate a month list for that state or province for the current month.

My Observations

The right side of the My eBird page is primarily taken up with a list of links – almost all of which pertain to dealing with your observations in some way. From creating a summary of the checklists you've submitted, to editing those checklists, their associated locations, and much more – this is the one-stop-shop. To the right here you can see the same display as is shown on your My eBird – and we will go through each of these categories individually, since each one is a valuable and integral part of the eBird process.

Summarize My Observations
This is currently the best way to create a birding report in eBird – the best way to combine data from many checklists in one place without downloading the data from the website. Upon clicking the link, you will be taken to a new page that asks you to specify the details of the report that you want. This page (left) will form the basis of the report, allowing you to delineate the amount of time that your report will cover. As of right now, it is difficult to summarize your observations if the time period crosses either two months or two years – this is something that we are working on improving, and expect the ability to choose exact dates for this summary sooner rather than later. For now, if you want to cross over months/years, you may have to create two reports and combine them later in Excel. Once you've chosen your date parameters, it is time to go in and choose the locations! Hitting continue on the Select a Report and Date screen will cause you to proceed to the Select a Location menu.

This menu is the same with each of the three duration choices (week, month, year), the only difference in the "Report type" listed at the top. The list of locations here consists of every location you have a checklist submitted at in the duration specified. For example, if you chose a month report for November, 2014, the start date would be 1 Nov 2014 (month reports always start on the 1st), and the list would be of every location that you eBirded in the month of November. For a year report, it is every location for the entire year! You can select as many locations as you would like, from one to all. To choose multiple locations, follow the instructions on the form, the same instructions that can also be seen in the image of the Select a Location menu.

Once you've selected the location(s) that you want to summarize, you're good to go – a quick tap of the continue button and you have your report! The report might initially be confusing, but once broken down can be quite informative! This image to the right is a month report, as titled at the top. Below the "MONTH REPORT" label there are 5 tabs, with a new report always defaulting to High Count. These tabs control what shows in the report, in the area currently titled "Highest Count for a Species" in this image. We'll get into the different tabs more in a minute. For now, moving down the page, there are the Report Details – the date range that it covers, the number of species, checklists, and the locations that it covers. The Summary below this breaks the report down into smaller chunks than the entire package – into daily divisions for a Week Report; weekly divisions for a Month Report (as shown here); and monthly divisions for a Year Report. Each of those smaller divisions has the total number of species, individuals, and checklists for that section. Because of this, if all you care about in your weekly reports is how many species you saw that week, then you can just do a monthly report and get the total species for each week this way! 

The tabs at the top of the reports give you the option to dig much deeper into the data than just the number of species, individuals, and checklists. The default, as shown in the image above, is for the "High Count" – the highest number of that species reported in a single checklist among the checklists in your report. The image to the right shows just the summary and first few species of another Month Report. This is with the "Group Size" tab selected at the top, which shows the average number of that species seen when it was reported on a checklist. The number in the parentheses below the main number is the sample size – the number of checklists that were in fact reporting this species. By choosing the "Hide Sample Size" option visible on the right side of the report, you can hide those parenthetical numbers for a cleaner visualization if you don't need to see the sample size. The same report without sample sizes is to the right, the bottom image of the two.

The other tabs include Abundance; Frequency; and Species Totals – we have already covered the other two. Abundance is the average number of that species reported across ALL checklists. This is different from Group Size in that Group Size only averages among the checklists reporting the species at hand. Therefore Abundance will always be an equal or lesser value than Group Size. Frequency is the frequency that the species is reported – the number of checklists reporting that species, divided by the total number of checklists. Species Totals provides the total number of the species reported across all checklists in that period. Some of these might be confusingly similar, but they all provide subtly different and complimentary summaries of the data that you're including in your report.

For all report types, in the upper right hand corner of the page, there are two links: Printable version, which leads to a printer-friendly version of the report; and Download this report, which downloads the data that you just summarized onto your computer, allowing you to save it offline.

Manage My Checklists
This page is THE place from which to do anything involving your personal checklists – whether it be to edit, share, or in rare cases, delete checklists. Your checklists here are arranged by default with newest first, and are shown 25 to a page. Clicking any of the column headers (e.g. Date, Location, County, St/Prov) will sort by that column. Selecting the "Show All" option in the upper right of the page will give you every checklist you've ever submitted on one page – a long list depending on how many checklists you've submitted. Following the "View or edit" link will lead you to the checklist page itself; following the Share link will lead you to the checklist page with the sharing interface open; and Delete is self-explanatory – giving you the option to erase that checklist. WARNING: Once you erase a checklist from your personal account, it is gone forever. We do not keep copies of your data, and if you delete it, it is gone from the database. Please do this only with utmost caution and as infrequently as possible. For more information on the checklist editing process, here is a good place to start.

My Shared Checklists
This page is also accessible from the Manage My Checklists page discussed above, and is the way that you view and accept checklists that people you bird with share with you. Checklists that you have yet to accept are shown with an "Accept/Decline" option – if you hit accept it will be copied into your account, and decline will cause the request to vanish and the checklist to not be copied. Previously accepted checklists (such as the bottom 3 in the above image) are shown with just the View or Edit option – if you wanted to delete or share these lists you'll have to go to Manage My Checklists. Note: You can also delete or share them by opening the checklist with the "View or edit" link on this page and using the delete or share links in the checklists themselves. For more about sharing, see this overview of the process.

Manage My Locations
An exceedingly important page, this is where you edit and change every location from which you've ever submitted a checklist. Once you've submitted an eBird checklist for a location, that location will be shown in this list until removed, even if you delete the associated checklist. Shown at the top of the page are your total number of locations and total number of checklists, as well as a search box for your checklists, and a dropdown menu in the upper right that serves several purposes. Most of the columns are self-explanatory, with Location being the name of the location, and Country, State/Province, and County automatically generated based on where you plot the location. "In My Locs?" is the first column that can be affected by the dropdown menu in the upper right. In the image shown above, the menu has the option "Show in My Locations" selected. This is the default for any location that you plot, but can be changed. If you click the menu, you will see the other two options, shown here to the left: Hide in My Locations, and Suggest As Hotspots. If you select any of locations (select by clicking the checkbox to the left of the location name), and select Hide in My Locations, these locations will disappear from the "Choose from Your Locations" menu in the Submit Observations section of eBird – the menu shown here to the right. This allows you to "clean up" the list of locations here if you want, while still keeping your overall list of locations complete in Manage My Locations. Once you have selected Hide in My Locations, the value in the "In My Locs?" will change to No. Type is next, and this is one of the most important fields here, identifying the type of location – P for Personal Location, and S for Shared Location. Now we have the last two fields – number of checklists, and the Edit option. The number of checklists is just as it sounds – the raw number of checklists you've submitted from that location. The Edit option is what takes you to a page where you can rename, move, or merge your locations, as discussed below.

Editing your Locations – The primary reason for coming to this page is to rename, move, or merge your locations. How much of this you're able to do with any given location depends on what type of location it is. As mentioned above, we have two eBird location categories, listed under the "Type" column. The first is P, a Personal Location (these can be renamed, moved, or merged), and the second is S, a Shared Location (these can be renamed, but cannot be moved or merged). There is one exception to the rename/move/merge rules above. Most Shared locations are hotspots (which means that eBird hotspot editors can move or merge the location), but some are Personal Locations that you have shared with other users on a shared checklist. In these cases where it is a shared Personal Location that you created, you can move or merge these. You can rename, move, or merge a location by hitting the "Edit" link at the right edge of any location row.

Renaming your Locations – This is something that is doable by anyone for any location – and it does not change the official name of the location, merely how it shows up in your My Locations list. All you have to do to rename the location is enter the text for the new name in the available text box, replacing the old name. For Rajaji NP, a shared hotspot, the only option given is to Rename the location. You can tell that this is an official hotspot by the red coloration of the placemark next to the name. (NOTE: If you are a hotspot reviewer, changing the name of a location in Manage My Locations in your hotspot review region will officially change it – do not do this by mistake!).

Moving your Locations – The second location edit you can do, moving your location can only be performed on personal locations. The large blue placemark to the left of this location name shows you that this is a personal location, and therefore you are able to rename, move, or merge it if you want. By selecting the second radio button "Move", you get this prompt with the current coordinates, and a google map shown below the text that lets you re-plot the location as you choose. To choose a new location for the marker, you can use the "Zoom to:" box at the top of the screen to navigate to the area that you want, and then select the new location by clicking on the map. Once you hit the rectangular Move button (bottom right corner of the image above), the new location will take effect.

Merging your Locations – This option allows you to merge a personal location with a hotspot or with another personal location.  If you inadvertently created a personal location where a hotspot already exists (or a hotspot was created at a later date), merging your personal location with the hotspot is helpful for improving data quality. For example, many rare bird stakeouts or popular birding locations have many personal locations scattered over a small area, often with one hotspot already nearby. If all of these scattered personal locations were merged with the hotspot, it would provide a far better summary of the birds in the area to other eBirders. It is good to keep in mind that when you are merging a location, you are combining two locations in a way that cannot be undone. If you have personal locations that duplicate public hotspots, then we recommend that you merge these with the hotspot as frequently as possible, but just know that you can't undo this action. This action lets you merge a personal location with a nearby location, either shared or personal. The best use of this is to merge with public hotspots, as stated above. After selecting the Merge option in the Edit Location page, the red and blue markers for all other nearby locations will appear on the Google map. Clicking on another location marker on the map will select it and its name will be displayed. When you find the correct marker, you then click on the rectangular "Merge" button, which will add all of your checklist(s) from the location you are merging to the other location.

Suggest a location as Hotspot – You may have noticed on the Edit location page that there is also the option to suggest the personal location as a hotspot. Before suggesting a personal location as a hotspot, you should make sure that there is not already a hotspot for that location.  To suggest the personal location as a hotspot, click that button. The other way to suggest a location as a hotpsot, is accessed from the main Manage My Locations page, in the dropdown menu in the upper right. Using the checkboxes to the left of the personal location names, check one or more locations and choose Suggest As Hotspots from the dropdown menu, hit Submit, and the location suggestion(s) will be sent to the regional hotspot editor for consideration.

Import Data & Manage Imported Data
This page is very useful for eBirders that want to upload their checklists to eBird from another program in a spreadsheet format, or for anybody who keeps their lists in spreadsheets. There are several ways to format your data for import, and all of this is gone into in detail in this article. The link immediately below Import Data, Manage Imported Data, is a part of the same process, and also detailed in the same article linked in the previous sentence. 

Download My Data
​This is the page where you can download all of the data that you've submitted to eBird. The data are downloaded in a spreadsheet that you can store on your personal computer, allowing you to manually backup your eBird data whenever you choose. The file will come as a .zip file so that large amounts of data can be compressed and sent via the Internet.  You should be able to open these files using prepackaged software installed on your computer.  If you don't have the software it is available here. Once the folder is opened simply double-click on the file to see your data.  Use Microsoft Excel or some other software program to work with your data and save it on your home computer.

Manage My Alerts
This sends you to a page where you can view and subscribe/unsubscribe from alerts. This whole process can be read about in more detail here.  

Account Settings
This section is where you can change your contact info and email address, adjust your privacy and display settings, and manage your contacts for sharing checklists. Anything to do with privacy or personal details is accessed here, in the lower right corner of your My eBird.

Edit my profile
The first page in your Account Settings is "Edit my profile", where you fill out your personal information, which includes your name, contact information (email address, phone number), and your physical address. If you ever want to change the email address that is linked with your eBird account – this is the place. 

My eBird Preferences
The second page in Account Settings has primarily to do with personal privacy settings and language preferences. The first field is Public Name Display, which allows you to decide how the public sees your name: either as the name associated with your account, or as "Anonymous eBirder" to hide your identity. If you choose Anonymous eBirder, you will automatically be opted out of the Top 100 – we require a name to be attached to any account showing up in the Top 100.

The next, Data Privacy, is the main hub of personal privacy settings. Here you are able to hide your data from showing in various public outputs of eBird data. You can opt out of showing your data in the Recent Visits section of the Explore a Region page; having your sightings appear in eBird Alerts; and having your name and lists appear in the Top 100. The last item in this section has to do with your checklist comments. Your checklist comments are different than species comments that are associated with an individual species observation – these are associated with the checklist as a whole. Checklist comments are entered in Step 2 (date/effort) of data entry. Species comments apply only to the species and are always public.

Species Name Display gives you the option to choose the language that your bird species names are shown in, along with the option to show only Latin names, or both. There are currently 12 options for common name languages, along with many regional versions that allow for differences in the local names for birds worldwide. We would love to expand the number of languages that we offer this service in – and if you or anybody you know might like to help, please let us know

The final options here have to do with receiving emails – Checklist Sharing Notifications and eBird Updates eNewsletter. The checklist notification field consists of a simple checkbox, choosing whether or not you would like to receive an email whenever anybody shares a checklist with you. The eNewsletter field is where you can subscribe or unsubscribe to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology eBird eNewsletter. We would highly recommend that you subscribe to this, as it is our primary method of informing you about new and important eBird updates as they happen. 

Manage My Contacts
The final page in Account Settings and of My eBird is Manage My Contacts. This is where you can add, edit, rename, and delete other eBird users from your "contact list" that is used to share checklists. At the top of the page there is a field that lets you add a contact to your list by entering a username or email address. This new contact will be listed in your All Contacts list by default. However, you may notice that there is another section of the page above your All Contacts list – Friends.

Your eBird Friends are generally people that you know well, go eBirding with often, and tend to share lists with frequently. If anybody that you have designated as a friend shares a list with you, it will automatically be added to your account. If they are not listed as a friend, you have to go in manually and accept each checklist as it is shared with you. Because of this, it is great to have people listed as Friends so that you don't have to click each checklist as it is shared. It is important to note that you must have their username to be "Friends", that an email address will not work for this purpose. 

Your All Contacts list includes both your Friends and everyone else that you've ever shared a checklist with. If you have shared a checklist with their username, then the option to add them as a Friend shows up in the form of a checkbox. If you only have their email address, then, as you can see here, you cannot add them as a Friend. The Username column cannot be edited in your Contacts, but the Alias can. As you can see in this example, I have used *'s to draw certain accounts to the top. You can use this Alias field to give the contact whatever name you want, and it will only be shown that way in your account. To edit the Alias field, just click on the text that is the current Alias, and you will be able to freely edit. As you can see on the right end of each row, there is a large red Delete key – if you hit that, it will remove the contact from your list. 

If you've made it this far, then you know all there is to know about your My eBird page! We hope that this was helpful, that it answered all your questions, and that you're happily eBirding. If you have any addition questions, please don't hesitate to email us
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