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Andrew Griebeler, March eBirder of the Month

21 Apr 2024
Andrew Griebeler

Andrew Griebeler, March eBirder of the Month

Please join us in congratulating Andrew Griebeler of Durham, North Carolina—winner of the March 2024 eBird Challenge, sponsored by ZEISS. Andrew’s name was drawn randomly from the 10,846 eBirders who submitted at least 31 checklists with counts for each species in March. Andrew will receive a new ZEISS SFL 8×40 binocular for his eBirding efforts. Thank you to everyone who participated in the March eBirder Challenge, we are grateful for your support and continued dedication to data collection and conservation. Here’s Andrew’s birding story:

It is a wonderful surprise to be selected eBirder of the month for March 2024!

I’ve been interested in birds for a long time, though I haven’t always been a birder. My mother is an avid birder. I grew up taking family trips to wildlife refuges in Texas and Louisiana. During college, I worked at the Puget Sound Museum of Natural History, where one of my jobs was photographing the museum’s bird wing and tail collection. I enjoyed watching Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in the parking lot of my Texas highschool and observing American Crows and Surf Scoters in Tacoma, Washington, but I didn’t document what I saw.

I started keeping track of the birds that I saw during the pandemic. I photographed a Yellow-rumped Warbler darting around a bamboo thicket outside my window. I uploaded the photo to iNaturalist, which I had already been using to keep track of plants that I encountered on hikes. Birding rapidly became a hobby. I took some Bird Academy courses, used eBird to locate hotspots, and found earlier sightings for my life list from older photos of birds that I had taken. Still, it took about a year before I created a list directly with the eBird app while birding. I now regularly use eBird to find hostposts, to check recent sightings, and to upload lists. I get daily Rarities and Needs alerts. When I go out birding, I use the eBird, Merlin, and iNaturalist apps. I’m still learning all the tools that eBird makes available, especially through the website. The ZEISS binoculars make a welcome addition to my evolving birding routine.

Many thanks to ZEISS, eBird, and the Cornell Lab for making all of this possible. I also thank my mom; eBird’s reviewers, editors, and expert contributors; and Gary Shugart and Peter Wimberger of the Puget Sound Museum of Natural History for sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge about birds.


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