Streaking for Citizen Science Month

 ... eBird streaking that is.

Along with being Earth Month, April is also Citizen Science Month. Citizen science is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of activities, but what they all have in common is that they provide ways for non-professionals to contribute in some way to scientific research and discovery.

Logo for Citizen Science Month April 2021

There are two ongoing data collection projects I try to contribute to regularly; iNaturalist and eBird. 

iNaturalist is focused on observations of individual wild organisms (you can explore mine through my iNaturalist profile), while eBird is a survey-style project based on observing all of the birds in a given area at a given time.

Although I signed up with eBird about a year and a half before I joined iNaturalist, in recent years I've been using iNat (as the cool kids call it) far more often. But in honour of Citizen Science Month I'm currently trying to make up for that with a little bit of healthy self-competition:

eBird keeps track of the most days in a row that you've counted the birds. Until very recently my longest streak was six days. But then in March I got up to 17 days before I got distracted on a Saturday and forgot. 

The start of April seemed like the perfect time to kick off a try for a longer streak, and as of April 15  I'm successfully on day 15 with hopes to at least go the full 30 days to round out the month. 

Part of what's making this doable is that eBird allows for stationary birding, which can include looking (and ideally listening) out a window. That's been the bulk of the 15 days of lists so farI spend 20 minutes most mornings counting the house sparrows and robins and crows I can see out on the street.

Though there was one proper, in-the-park bird walk, which included this fun sighting:



Are you a bird watcher? Have you ever participated in citizen science? Would you like to?