For your information on this great event that happens every year in Texas by Cornell University of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab’s Team Sapsucker is heading to Texas for their Big Day quest to raise more than $250,000 for bird conservation. On the best day in April (depending on weather) they’ll attempt to break the national all-time record for most birds found in 24 hours.

Raise the stakes, spur them on, and help us advance critical conservation efforts for the birds. Please pledge any amount per species, or make a flat donation. Thank you!

Pledge and learn more here: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/bigdaypledge (less info)

With April’s arrival, birders are focusing their attention on fields and forests as millions of landbirds of several hundred species make their return to North America after wintering in the tropics. As these birds stream northward, we may daydream about what the actual “picture” of this migration might look like. Do Yellow Warblers spread evenly across the continent? Do Indigo Buntings surge northward along river valleys? Do different wintering populations within a species stream back northward via completely different corridors?

Until recently, “seeing” migration at continental scales had been nothing more than theoretical. But thanks to some advanced statistical techniques using eBird observations, modeled in conjunction with remotely-sensed landscape variables, we can now see the results as an animated movie of bird occurrence throughout the year. This “virtual” migration experience allows us to watch Indigo Buntings pouring northward through the Mississippi River Valley in spring and see them concentrate on the Gulf Coast as they pass back southward in fall. They help us visualize the evolving changes in the migration routes of eastern and western populations of Swainson’s Hawk. Maps for 50 other species are available on the occurrence map pages on eBird and each includes analysis of the story told by the migration maps and how they connect to what we know of the species’ biology and what further questions each of these might raise (along with some discussion of how the models are generated). As you think about bird migration this spring, we encourage you to bookmark the page and check back in to see the migration maps even as you notice these returning songbirds making their first return to your backyard or local park. See maps.

Big Day 2011–Help support eBird and bird conservation

• Big Day Website: Team profiles and photo galleries

• Facebook: Follow Team Sapsucker on the eBird Facebook page