Sightings on eBird

Track Birds across Sligo on eBird

Northern flicker bird

Northern Flicker male reported on eBird by Stephen Davies at the Wheaton Branch ponds on April 14 (S. Davies photo)

Follow the comings and goings of birds in Sligo through eBird, an international website that includes seven portions of the Sligo watershed.

Expert volunteer birders frequently post their detailed observations from one of these Sligo locations, which eBird calls “hotspots.” The eBird site is much more comprehensive than the Friends of Sligo “Sightings” page for birds.

The eBird site allows users to manipulate the data in various ways. Local birder Stephen Davies has created a summary chart showing the combined abundance of Sligo’s birds over the course of a year.

You can find Sligo’s pages through several routes on the eBird website:

1. One is by going to the list of Montgomery County “hotspots” and selecting one of the Sligo locations.

2. Go here — eBird sites in MoCo — to see the list. Five of Sligo’s sites are #26 (Wheaton Branch stormwater ponds), #67 (the Park from Kemp Mill to Wayne), #79 (Wayne to Dennis), #88 (Dennis to New Hampshire), and #92 (Long Branch from Carroll to Piney Branch).

3. Go here — eBird Hotspot in PG County — to see Northwest Branch hotspots (#66 and #93). Note that the nearby Lake Artemesia hotspot has 218 species sighted.

4. Another way to find Sligo sites (including two that are not officially on the Sligo list) is through the map of eBird hotspots in Montgomery County. Zoom in using the plus-sign in the lower-right. Then click on any tag to access all the data for that location. The map includes Evans Parkway Park and Breewood Park.

Stephen Davies reported this Swamp Sparrow at the Wheaton Branch ponds on April 11 and included this photo.

The eBird site lists 95 species that have been observed over the last twelve months at the Wheaton Branch stormwater ponds just downstream (south) of Dennis Avenue. Of these, 75 have been spotted since January.

The eBird website can be confusing at first, but, in addition to the links above, you can go to the eBird home page:

Choose “Explore” (second option down), then “Explore a Region” from the next page. In the search box that comes up, type “Montgomery.” Montgomery County will be ninth on the list of U. S. counties named “Montgomery,” arranged alphabetically by state.

Select “Hotspots” and look at either the list or the map.

–Michael Wilpers, Natural History Committee
[email protected]