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So you spotted a bird in a preserve? Report it!

We at Chikaming Open Lands (COL) strive to manage our properties based on the best science available. Unfortunately, several of our preserves lack data about the bird species calling them home. Help us out by reporting the birds you see while hiking COL trails! How? Use eBird!

What is eBird?

eBird is a citizen science project documenting global bird diversity. Bird observations are recorded all over the world, including right here in southwest Michigan. “eBirders” submitted over 10 million checklists last year!

How it works?

Bird species observations can be recorded at or using their mobile app (available at Apple and Android app stores). All observations are linked to a date, time, and location. These data are used by scientists and natural resource managers to better understand birds and make management decisions. Learn more here.

Where to go?

You can record bird observations anywhere, including your own backyard. Several COL trails are official eBird hotspots: Robinson Woods Preserve, Jens Jensen Preserve, Grand Beach Marsh, New Buffalo Marsh, Galien River County Park, and Turtle Creek Preserve. We could use more data at all of these locations, so if you visit one of these sites, go ahead and submit a checklist of what you see!


Any time! eBird is a global effort, so checklists are being reported around the clock. However, birds tend to be most active in the early morning and early evening. Additionally, eBird is hosting Global Big Day on Saturday, May 9, 2020. Global Big Day is birding’s biggest day in which birders around the world celebrate by getting outside to birdwatch and report what they see. We encourage you to participate along with us, whether that be at a COL preserve, another local natural area, or your own backyard.


Anyone. Seriously! Whether you’re an expert or novice birder, watching birds is fun, and submitting data is easy.  Get started by creating an account and checking out the many resources that eBird has available.