There are large areas of Java and Bali for which we have no bird occurrence data; this makes it difficult to understand large-scale changes in distribution and possible bird declines in areas that are not normally monitored. We are calling for the help of Citizen Scientists to help fill existing gaps in data and examine patterns of bird distribution across the region.
For the whole month of January 2020, we are asking you to go out and record and submit lists of birds that you see. The priority for this project is to visit “blank” grid squares (see map below). We are asking you to go to areas outside national parks and other areas that are protected for nature, as these are the areas that are not regularly visited by people recording bird data. We are also prioritising lowland (below 800 m altitude), as these are easiest to access and also the most under-recorded in the region.
You can visit any habitat type that you wish, but please focus mostly on habitats and areas you think are not typically visited by birdwatchers. These data are the most valuable! So, visit rice paddies, agricultural areas, urban/semi-urban areas, plantation woodlands, etc.
This is not a competition to record the most or rarest species, so you do not need to focus on ‘bird rich’ areas. We are just as interested in finding areas that support few birds, so we can begin to understand why that is, and what could help birds recolonise those areas.
Simple steps to record a bird list
Find somewhere nearby that you want to go and visit. Use the map below to visit a blank grid square if possible. You can record a list anywhere, so still record lists if you are not near a blank square.
Record the coordinates at your start location, as well as date and time (GPS apps available on mobile).
Try to spend at least an hour recording the bird species you see and the number of individuals in the area. (Recording the number of individuals provides better quality data but is not essential).
Begin a new list if you enter a new major habitat type (going from open grassland into forest).
Do not travel too far from the starting point (3 km), so that the data reflect the location where you recorded the coordinates. If you travel a long way, it is worth starting a new list after around 3 km.
Submit the data via eBird or Burungnesia.
Record and submit data
To record and submit data, using a mobile application is the easiest way:
eBird is perfect for non-Indonesian speakers, while Burungnesia is excellent for those that speak Bahasa Indonesia.
Please share checklists with “bigmonth2020” as an additional observer, by adding an observer and clicking “share checklist with…” and entering the username bigmonth2020
Burungnesia – download here, and manually install it using your file browser.
To share your data, please include BIGMONTH2020 in the location field, after the location
If you would like to submit data but do not use one of those mobile applications, you can email your bird list to email@example.com and include, as a minimum:
date and time of observation
coordinates of the observation
species observed (optional to add number of individuals)
Acknowledging your support
All observers that submit data for the Big Month will be acknowledged for their contribution in the final report.
All organisations that have shown support for the event will have their logos in the final report (and Supporters so far are shown at the bottom of the page).
There is a Big Month competition to give those that contribute the most the opportunity to win prizes, generously provided through funding from the Oriental Bird Club and Idea Wild. The competition only includes data submitted via the Burungnesia application.
For Burungnesia data to be included in the competition, you must include BIGMONTH2020 in the “location” field, e.g. Mentoro, Pacitan, Jatim – BIGMONTH2020
Checklists must be submitted by midnight on 31 January 2020 via Burungnesia to be included in the prize competition.
Each submitted checklist will be worth at least 1 point. The total value of your checklist depends on where the location of the observation was made, based on our priorities!
There are three grid categories:
3 points – Priority Grid: a “blank” grid with no bird data.
2 points – Potential Grid: a grid that has been visited but has fewer than 5 checklists
1 point – Crowded Grid: a grid that has more than 5 checklists already
A running total of scores will be kept by the event organisers and updated every Monday during the event. Squares are dynamic and can change status during the event, for example, if people go and fill blank squares.
The competition winners will be those with most points at the end of the Big Month!
The map grid for Java and Bali has been divided into three categories:
Red squares – These are those that already contain 5 checklists. We still need more data here, but they are lowest priority.
Amber squares – Potential squares, where we only have a small amount of data and need more.
Grey squares – “BLANKS”, these are the highest priority squares to visit, we currently have no data here, so some interesting discoveries could be made!
Blue areas –high altitude and therefore low priority (but still submit data please if you visit these areas).
Turquoise areas – national parks and other protected areas for nature. Again, these are low priority, but we would still love to have your data.
To determine where you are on the grid in real time, download the kmz file, download here and open with applications that support it, such as Google Earth, Locus Map, etc.
Code of Conduct
Each participant is obliged to comply with the code of conduct Observer Bird Indonesia.
Participants are required to submit data honestly, as data generated will be used for the benefit of nature conservation. Lists with few species are just as important as lists with many!