At first I started using eBird because I liked the idea of my everyday sightings being useful for science. I quickly grew to love how simply it organized all my sightings and lists. Eventually, I learned how to use the data myself, by looking at bar charts and maps. More recently, I’ve been amazed by the animated occurrence maps made from eBird data.
Now the folks at eBird have teamed up with NOAA and others to create BirdCast. Using predicted weather patterns along with records of past weather patterns and eBird data from past years, Cornell is now posting a weekly report of predicted migration patterns, as well as a followup summarizing what actually occurred.
Check out this week’s BirdCast report. Reading over the section for the West, I learned to keep an eye out for the first Vaux’s Swifts this week. Also, the Lawrence’s Goldfinches we have been seeing in recent weeks may begin to head west toward the core of their breeding range; hopefully, some of them will stick around to breed here!