Finding New Vermont Birding Hotspots Near You

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eBird-hotspots-1800x700Discover the best places for birding nearby or around the world using the Vermont eBird hotspot explorer. You can explore Vermont eBird hotspots in a map-based tool designed to provide quick access to all the information you need. Thanks to suggestions from Vermont eBirders, we have recently added numerous Vermont eBird hotspots for the main ridge and high peaks of the Green Mountains from Mt. Mansfield to Middlebury Gap. Hotspots are public birding locations allowing multiple birders to enter their bird observations into the same shared, eBird “location.”  Thus the aggregated results can easily be obtained via the eBird “Explore Hotspot” function and other eBird tools.

Hotspots now are at the major summits, on nearly all approach trails to those summits, and trail segments covering the full length of the Long Trail from Mt. Mansfield to Middlebury Gap.  Several hotspots have been added on both flanks of Mt. Mansfield.  Also added is a hotspot for the Preston Pond Loop Trail in Bolton.

At a glance, you can see which birding locations have the most species. You can filter to show only the results for a particular month, for the last 10 years, or sites with visits during the last month. The hotspot explorer may even help reveal some hidden gems near you that you never knew about! The Hotspot Explorer provides a completely new way to plan birding trips, putting millions of records from over 100,000 eBirders around the world into your hands.

The Hotspot Explorer can be accessed via eBird’s View and Explore tab.

When you first arrive at the map, you see a broad grid representing species diversity. The hottest areas are bright red. Click on any grid cell to see the diversity value. Zoom in to see finer grid cells, and zoom in further to view individual hotspots (also coded by diversity). When you zoom in and reveal the hotspots, you can click on the locations to get a quick pop-up summary of the information from that location.

Hotspot explorer details page for Mt. Mansfield IBA hotspot.

Hotspot explorer details page for Mt. Mansfield IBA hotspot.

When you click the “View Details” option on a hotspot pop-up, you get a new page specific to that location with data summaries and more information relevant to eBirders. The most recent sightings list is a full species list for the hotspot. You can expand this to see the images, audio files, and comments by clicking “Show All Details”. “Recent Visits” gives you quick links to the latest checklists submitted from the hotspot. You can also link directly to the Bar Charts or High Counts for a hotspot from this page.

We hope they will get lots of use through all seasons.  We also hope birders will suggest new locations for hotspots from areas of the state seldom birded.

Vermont Hotspot Coordinators
Ron Payne, Ian Worley, and Kent McFarland

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Comments (2)

  1. birder_rws says:

    Kent, Ian and Ron, How is data from an area that wasn’t but is now a Hotspot get incorporated into the Hotspot summary? 2-situations: I have data for location Bullhead Pond (E Dorset – Man line) which was entered in ebird in 2008 and 2010 (to say nothing of all the records I have yet to enter!) which is not included in summary for that Hotspot. The data for 2013 was entered for location Bullhead Pond WMA and does show up. – I assume I used WMA location name after the area was designated a Hotspot.
    #2 – There are 2 balloons for Shaftsbury Lake 97 sp; 45 clists and Shaftsbury State Park 40sp; 3 cklists. These are both the same location given different names by different people. Should these be merged? If not, why not?
    I suspect there are many situations throughout the state like these… What’s your approach to establishing common ground/names for sites?

    • You can merge your private locations with public hotspots if they are near
      each other. It is easy to do. The directions are here:
      http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1010517-how-do-i-merge-a-personal-location-with-a-hotspot-
      I try to encourage folks not to over-merge though. As long as they are
      basically the same location, merging them is fine. We just don’t want to
      lose spatial resolution.

      Shaftsbury two locations – These are two different kind of hotspots. The
      lake hotspot is specifically for LoonWatch, but can be used by anyone
      counting birds on the lake itself. The other hotspot is for birding within
      the state park only. So they are slightly different. We actually shouldnt
      have very many, if any, accidental duplicates for hotspots. We manage them
      very closely. But do point out any you find for sure!

      Hope this answers your questions.
      Kent

      Kent McFarland

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