Mike’s Monday Pics 2/26/24 – A Pleasant Surprise

This weekend I received an unexpected, yet pleasant, surprise.  I received an email from eBird/Merlin and I almost dismissed it (I get lots of email from them in the form of Alerts) but I’m glad I took the time to open it.  As you may know, eBird and Merlin provide valuable tools to birders – eBird for recording your sightings and Merlin for helping you figure out what you saw.  I’ve been bulling my way through the 4,200+ photos I took in Chile and Argentina and Merlin has helped me identify some of the pics I was sure of.  Once I’ve narrowed down my search I match my shots to the pictures in Merlin to nail down the final ID.  My pleasant surprise was that the good folks at Merlin selected 14 of my pictures to be exemplars in their App and website.

When I started adding pictures to eBird 10 years ago there were about 1.6 million images already there; now there are over 57 million!  Sometimes I wondered if anyone ever sees the pictures I upload – indeed they do!  Here are five the 14 shots selected to be in Merlin:

While in New Zealand 8 years ago I captured a family of Variable Oystercatchers at the beach.


On the same trip we visited an Australasian Gannet colony near Kidnappers Bay.  Here’s the BIF shot Merlin selected.


In 2015 we had a wonderful visit to the Galapagos Islands, where we saw the distinctive Blue-footed Booby.


More recently we spent a month in the Scottsdale, Arizona area and saw this beautiful Rosy-faced Lovebird while there.


In 2020 I took my first Field Guides bird tour – to Thailand!  I photographed hundreds of new species (for me); the folks at Merlin selected this Silver-eared Laughing Thrush as an exemplar.


Thanks for allowing me some “brag time”.  Maybe some of our members also got their pics tapped for Merlin.  Let us know if you did!


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