Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Data in Underbirded Areas

EBird is encouraging its users to add distribution data to its database by birding underbirded areas.
eBirders often email us and ask where they should go birding to make the biggest impact in regions with little data. It's perhaps little surprise that eBird checklist submissions are most dense in areas with large human populations, so getting away from those areas is a good first step for filling in the data gaps in eBird. But seeing these gaps can be really astonishing, and with the help of map wizard Paul Hurtado, we've come up with a neat way to visualize eBird data density at the county level. These maps are a visualization of the total number of eBird checklists submitted in each US county in the month of January across all years. Pull up your state map and see how your home county is faring. And better yet, find a county that's white, pink, or yellow, and go do as many eBird checklists as you can there this January!
They provide a map that shows each of the states in detail. The lighter-colored counties are the ones with the least amount of data. My state is very well covered with few real gaps. The lesser birded counties are one urban county (Essex) and two far-flung rural counties (Sussex and Salem).