Hey Patti, et al,
so much for your response, Patti. You're right, of course.
However, two things make ebird reporting difficult for me. Am replying to the whole VTBIRD list because I would like to know how ebirders (plural) deal with these questions. Both relate to accuracy.
1) What's the exact count?
2) What's the exact location?
Re #1, e.g.: were there 34 Evening Grosbeaks or 35? Aw sheesh. I think
there are 35, but am I recounting one that just flew to another branch? I count again and am not sure again because a few other birds change positions again. How many are really there? Let's not even begin to get into the juvenile vs. adult or male vs. female numbers questions.
Then, are there 120, 140 or actually 131 Snow Buntings in that flock?
It all seems like being precise ought to matter, but in the final determination, when making the report, do ebirders fudge it, i.e., pick a number and say close enough? I REALLY want to know, because this is one issue that stops me from reporting. I WANT TO GET IT RIGHT.
Re #2, The other tough question is location. Let's say I'm birding as I walk my dog on the road that transects the Enosburgh Town Forest (TF).
As I do my "Walking Count," I see and hear a Pileated Woodpecker at one end of the TF, two RB Nuthatches at the parking area midway between borders, nine BC Chickadees throughout, and the 34 (or 35) EV Grosbeaks at the feeder near the other edge of the TF. I want to report as precisely as I can about WHERE I observe these birds. After all, the Pileated Woodpecker is half a mile away from the Evening Grosbeaks. Do I place markers on the Google map at the proper locations for both species and a third marker for the nuthatches? This means three reports for my walking count, and I guess I can do it, but what about the BC Chickadees throughout? Where do I place the marker for them? I can't stand it! This, too, stops me from entering data in ebird.
There you have it, i.e., the explanation of why "I'm afraid I can't deal
with the e-bird thing...." Ideas, anyone/everyone? I would appreciate replies ON LIST, rather than off. How do all of you experienced ebirders deal with these issues?
BTW, if I see that NHO on my way to work tomorrow, I will stop the car and get out and do a stationary count for X number of minutes and report it to ebird and let you all know. That ought to be easy enough.
--- On Thu, 2/3/11, Patti Haynes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Patti Haynes <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Northern Hawk Owl Report from Belvidere
[log in to unmask]
Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 4:35 PM
I hope you see the NHO on your way to work tomorrow and I hope you
reconsider posting on ebird. What you post here on VT Bird benefits birders,
but not science.
Bryan was the one who convinced me to post what I observed on ebird way back
the fall of 2003. I have not always been the most faithful ebirder, but
to know that something I enjoy can also contribute to science only adds to
Thanks for thinking about it,
On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 1:40 AM, Charlotte Bill <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Ohhhhh Bryan! People seem to be tee-heeing about where Belvidere is, but
> thank you for Jack Slagle's Northern Hawk Owl (NHO) report! I can't help but
> wonder if this might be the same NHO I saw almost every day for more than
> two months during my commute to and from work through Montgomery, Belvidere,
> Eden, etc. Slagle's NHO sighting is barely five miles from where I (and many
> others) saw the NHO between 1/5/09 and 3/18/09. I will look on Friday when I
> drive that way again. I'm afraid I can't deal
with the e-bird thing, so I
> will leave that to others.
> Charlotte Bill
> --- On Wed, 2/2/11, Bryan Pfeiffer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Bryan Pfeiffer <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Northern Hawk Owl Report from Belvidere
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2011, 8:43 PM
> Greetings, VTBIRDers:
> This just in from Jack Slagle, who reports a Northern Hawk Owl in Belvidere
> > Around mid-day I was traveling east on Rte 118 toward Eden about 1/2 or
> 3/4 mile east of
the junction with Rte 109 (where Rte 109 ends at Belvidere
> corners). The owl was at the top of a large balsam fir on the south side of
> the road (this is in the middle of the large wetland west of Belvidere
> Bryan Pfeiffer
> Vermont Bird Tours
> PO Box 121
> Plainfield, VT 05667
> Birding: http://www.VermontBirdTours.com/
> Blogging: http://www.DailyWing.net/