This note is from Diana Doyle, Founder of Birding Aboard:
Times and circumstances change, and so it has for Birding Aboard…
It’s time to close out the Birding Aboard project. I’m no longer on a boat so I’m not connected enough to the boating community to do the constant tending that this garden needs to keep up awareness and participation. And I’m so involved in other projects I can’t take the time to do the long-distance promotion.
And in many ways the setting has also changed since Birding Aboard began.
In the beginning, awareness of eBird was much less than it is now — there wasn’t even a base list of each region’s ocean birds! Thanks to Michael Shrimpf and others, eBird’s customized checklists now help narrow down the identification. And it’s now a lot easier for cruisers to get bird ID help, from Cornell's free Merlin Bird ID app to crowd-sourced identification sites like iNaturalist.org.
Where Birding Aboard stands now:
- I have recently pulled the website, www.birdingaboard.org. I didn’t want obsolete resources posted online.
- The Facebook page is in the process of being shut-down, with a little technical snafu yet with Facebook.
- The eBird account (https://ebird.org/profile/MzUxNTg0/world)
will exist in perpetuity. It has all the reports, including boat credits and documentation photos. The account has sightings from all over the world, from the Northern Passage to Antarctica and transoceanic routes. (Note: You may need to have an eBird account to have full viewing of the profile and data.)
Going forward, if you field questions from birding-boaters about where they can log their sightings, or where to get seabird identification help, the consensus as I’ve chatted with others is to use:
This crowd-sourced, worldwide identification and data-logging site will help them identify what they photographed. After three identifications by users, often volunteer experts, the sighting is added to the iNaturalist worldwide nature database. At that point the observer can also optionally submit the photo and now-known species to www.eBird.org.
Thanks for all your involvement over the years! It’s been a rewarding project and I’ve loved working with each of you. I think we’ve witnessed a big change in awareness of seabirds over the past ten years, and that’s a great thing.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Vice Commodore, OCC