You Will Now Need 5,000 or More Birds To Make the Top 100 (World/All-time) Page on eBird

A very orange Scarlet Tanager male I’ve been running across every few days this summer.

One of my goals, which I have not yet given up on, is to crack the Top 100 All-time for World birding on eBird. If and when it ever happens, it will not last very long, since the number of species needed to make it onto this page only ratchets up.

And now, on June 22, 2020, a milestone has been reached: while the Number 1 spot holds at 9,260 species, the Number 100 position stands at exactly 5,000 birds. I remember years ago how some of the numbers on this page were in the 3,000s. Those days are long gone.

The closest I have ever gotten is #183, on April 27, 2020 with 4,172 birds. I have added 12 more birds since then, but my rank has dropped by 21 places to #204.  So even with the pandemic putting the kabosh on much birding / travel – it certainly messed up our plans – plenty of others out there are still accumulating lifers.

Below is a plot of the number of birds at the #100 spot starting from March 3, 2020. I wish I had older data to compare the slope; I would have thought this period would show very little relative growth due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Interesting that the slope is negative for a bit – apparently someone removed lists or sightings.

Looking at the rough sizes of the changes in count and time, the rate is on the order of one bird per day. Since my own goal is to get to about 5,400 lifers, I would need to get there in the next 400 days or so in order to make the Top100, should this trend hold. I’d expect some variation – eventually it has to asymptote out, but once the Coronavirus is behind us I’d expect the slope to tick up for a while, too. I’ll be tracking this going forward for as long as I am birding…

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