Big Data

eBird and ‘Big Data’: Virtual talk from Paskamansett Bird Club

With birdwatching soaring in popularity as a hobby during the pandemic, Paskamansett Bird Club will be hosting a virtual lecture on eBird at its Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

After a short club meeting, eBird project leader and ornithologist Marshall Iliff will be presenting the talk, titled “eBird in 2021: A vision realized.”

The free, open-access web database eBird began in 2002 with the vision that birdwatcher data could be used to advance avian science.

Almost 20 years later, it is engaging tens of thousands of birders in multiple languages from all over the globe and driving cutting edge science and conservation.

The project also enables customized mobile field guides via Merlin, and fuels the world’s largest collection of bird photos and audio via the Macaulay Library.

With eBird, birders can record and store sightings, organize photos and audio recordings, and explore a wealth of bird finding resources — all to help conservation.

The database is expected to surpass one billion records this spring.

While discussing this new reality of “Big Data Ornithology,” Iliff will also touch on how much eBird has helped his own birding and record-keeping, including explorations along the Bristol County coast at his favorite migration patch, Gooseberry Neck in Westport.

Iliff is an ornithologist who has completed field work around the country and led nature tours around the globe before joining eBird in 2007.

Visit the website at to learn more about the project.



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