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At 09:23 AM 11/20/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>This last couple of days I,ve had a small party of 7 or so siskins at my
>feeders, together with a lone fox sparrow. I'm holding my breath for the
>redpolls! Also at the Brattleboro Retreat Meadows over the lsat couple
>of days a couple of common goldeneyes (the first of the season) and a
>late osprey.
>
>Hector Galbraith PhD


Hector-
I've noted with great interest your detailed bird reports on the birding
list serve. It's great information. So I'd like to encourage you to
contribute your sightings to this new and amazing on-line database for
tracking birds across Vermont. You may have heard of it; it's called
Vermont eBird - http://www.ebird.org/vins/. Please check it out. The site
is fairly easy to use. And the benefits are tremendous - for birds and for
eBird contributors like yourself.  If you're already a Vermont eBirder -
thank you for your contributions to the database.

Why eBird?
Every time that you see and identify a bird, you are holding a piece of a
puzzle. Whether you are casually watching birds in your backyard, or
chasing rare species across the country, you are helping to put this puzzle
together. Unfortunately, just like puzzle pieces, these observations lose
their value if they remain separate from one another. The sightings tucked
away in your memory, or in your desk drawer, or in an old shoebox in your
closet leave gaps in a partially completed picture. In truth, the only way
that all these bird sightings make a contribution to our understanding of
nature is when they are collected and organized into a central database
where they can help complete a picture of the life of birds. That's where
eBird comes in.

eBird allow you to access your own bird records anytime you want. And with
thousands of birdwatchers across the continent helping to construct it by
contributing their sightings, eBird will soon become a vast source of bird
and environmental information useful not only to bird watchers but to
scientists and conservationists the world over.

If you use the eBird web site to enter all your birding information, and
get your friends, family members, students, and colleagues to use it as
well, before long the answers to the never-ending questions about birds
will be found in the eBird database, for use now and for generations that
will follow.

How will scientists use it?

Researchers in the fields of conservation and ecology frequently conduct
studies that are aimed at answering two questions: Where does a given
species live? and How abundant is it? With each checklist that you submit
to eBird, you provide scientists with an increasingly valuable resource for
answering questions about the distribution and abundance of birds.
Answering these questions is important to conservation efforts because they
show where species live, how abundant they are, and whether their numbers
are changing over time.

Thank you for your time. I hope you soon become an eBirder!

Best,
Kent McFarland
Vermont eBird Coordinator