EBird Training mini-grants of $500 were awarded to eight Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) so they can host workshops that train participants in how to use eBird, a virtual community science platform and database for documenting bird observations.
The goal of the mini-grants is to empower RCP leaders to train their partners to use eBird effectively for land conservation within their respective landscapes, creating an ambassador network to promote the effectiveness of this birding tool for conservation, monitoring, and community engagement. These grants were awarded through the Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative (NBHCI) as a part of a broader funding effort by the group to train RCP Network leaders to use eBird data and bird-friendly forestry techniques, and to support partners with effective management implementation on ecologically important forests, grasslands, and farmlands for at‐risk bird species in the Northeast.
The Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative (NBHCI) is a collaborative effort between The Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network, Audubon groups, Highstead, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
The eight awarded grant projects propose a variety of both virtual and in-person workshops taking place across the Northeast in CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Read below for more information about the recipients and their proposed workshops:
Cold Hollow to Canada
Cold Hollow to Canada, in partnership with their local conservation commissions, will host a series of eBird workshops in northern Vermont to support the RCP’s community science efforts. The workshop will include an online introduction to the platform followed by an in-person event.
High Peaks Initiative / Maine Mountain Collaborative
The High Peaks Initiative and Maine Mountain Collaborative, in collaboration with the Maine Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society, and the High Peaks Alliance, will conduct an eBird workshop in conjunction with their annual Rangeley Birding Festival to train more birders to use eBird. They will also conduct marketing and outreach to birders across the Rangeley and High Peaks region of Maine in an effort to make the Rangeley region a premier birding destination.
Hudson to Housatonic
The Woodcock Nature Center will host an in-person workshop on behalf of the Hudson to Housatonic RCP as a way to introduce the eBird app to the community and encourage ongoing use of the platform as a means to engage with the environment, while collectively gathering crucial bird data at Chestnut Meadows. Participants will also learn how their eBird data can be to use to preserve similar land areas in the future.
Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative / Housatonic Valley Association
The Housatonic Valley Association will host an online eBird workshop for land trust partners in the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative with the goal of leveraging eBird as a land conservation and restoration tool and promoting its use amongst community members. The workshop will teach land trust partners how to use eBird, encouraging them to incorporate eBird into their land conservation toolkit, and illustrate the utility of the app for engaging with younger generations.
Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative / Kent Land Trust
The Kent Land Trust (KLT) will train their Stewardship Committee and interested members of the public how to use eBird to observe and collect information about birds on KLT properties and land outside their network. They also aim to use the KLT Farm, its eBird hotspot, and its restoration project as a case study.
Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership
The Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership, in collaboration with Mass Audubon, Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance, and Wareham Land Trust, plans to run a beginning birding workshop with an emphasis on using eBird and the significance of the data collection, followed by three in-person workshops to demonstrate its use in the field. During field sessions, participants will learn about key habitats in the coastal pine barrens region and put their new knowledge into practice with on-site technical support.
Mid-Champlain Valley RCP
The Mid-Champlain Valley RCP will bring together RCP partners, made up of multiple local Conservation Commissions, and teachers with whom they have collaborated in the past, to learn about eBird. They will host an in-person eBird workshop that will teach participants to host trainings in their own schools and towns, show more people how to use eBird, and allow the RCP to develop and share combined bird knowledge to better understand their landscape.
Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership
In partnership with Antioch University New England, Quabbin to Cardigan will host a four-part online workshop series geared toward novice and competent eBird users, orienting participants to the eBird platform with a focus on regional conservation applications. They hope to raise greater awareness of eBirding in the Monadnock Region and beyond, identifying how eBird data can be integrated into decision-making processes in education, research, outreach, and conservation.