Whoops! Thanks, Ian, for super response and link to article! (Thanks also to person who added clarification off list.) Was in clutches of more than full-time work at the time so missed the article (no excuse, I know), but I am glad to join the ranks of "everyone [who] knows the birds here are feral" (as well as to bring others who might have missed it into the fold). I will change at least this year's reports.
On Saturday, January 11, 2014 4:11 AM, Ian A. Worley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
The Rock Pigeon -- Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) anomaly is an interim
stage in eBird's attempt to clarify the two categories in its system to
be correct for all the situations in the world. Some places have both
feral and native birds, for example. We have only feral ones. However,
the category "Rock Pigeon" is deeply embedded in the historical records.
The ebird problem is both in naming birds as they are found at this
time, and in having the proper name ascribed to all the previous Rock
Pigeon reports world wide that are already in the system. It is a large
eBird housekeeping endeavor.
This is explained by eBird at:
For us, except for seeing the two categories in our list of choices, it
is really quite simple. (a) We have only feral Rock Pigeons in our part
of the world (the Americas). (b) It doesn't matter which of the two
names we have in our records or we select in making our reports .....
because when the eBird process of correction is complete, all birds in
our records will show as Rock Pigeon (Feral) and the only choice we will
see when entering new data for Vermont or anywhere in North America will
be Rock Pigeon (Feral).
So, for right now, it makes no difference which of the two choices you
select. Everyone knows that the birds here are feral, and sometime in
the next few weeks or months the choice you see will only be "Rock
Pigeon (Feral)", and all your records will automatically be changed to
"Rock Pigeon (Feral)".
Only if you have seen an actual wild population of the species some
place in southern Europe, North Africa, or nearby southern Asia will
your report retain the name "Rock Pigeon."
Hope this makes sense.
On 1/10/2014 10:47 PM, Charlotte Bill wrote:
> Had to go to a meeting in Barre today, so drove home afterwards through Waterbury Center and had the pleasure of watching the Northern Hawk Owl with five other people about 3:30 p.m. Thanks, Liz Lackey, for first reporting this bird!
> That said, what's this about the new feral pigeon category on eBird? I do understand the concept of FERAL (as pertains to cats, etc.), but I do not know how to distinguish between a feral rock pigeon and a plain rock pigeon. I notice some folks are reporting feral rock pigeons, so I would truly appreciate instruction on differentiating between the two.
> Charlotte Bill