Thank you for the clarification Ian!
On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Ian A. Worley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> As a volunteer eBird reviewer in Vermont I get many questions. The most
> common question in the last few weeks is "Why are there so many subspecies
> showing up as options when I'm creating my checklist? It didn't used to be
> like that. What should I do"?
> When ready to create your checklist and you are on the "What did you see
> or hear?" page, which lists all the species which you might expect to find,
> look for the option "Show Subspecies". Click that option on and off and
> you will see the subspecies show up and disappear on the list. Most of the
> time you will have no need to turn on "Show Subspecies".
> eBird uses eight taxonomic categories (see below). Recently eBird
> completed an upgrade of all categories other than species, and we reviewers
> added them to the lists you see when making your checklists. Many of the
> additions give you more choices to pick from when dealing with birds whose
> identifications are causing you difficulties.
> The recent addition of so many subspecies (one of the eight categories)
> makes it seem like suddenly there are choices I have to make that I know
> little or nothing about. When I'm entering a Red-tailed Hawk on my
> checklist, do I pick "Red-tailed Hawk" or "Red-tailed Hawk (borealis)"?
> ----- Simply pick the species, and not the subspecies. If seeing the
> subspecies on the list is bothersome, simply unselect "Show Subspecies" on
> the "What did you see or hear?" page.
> If you have "Show Subspecies" selected, and for a particular species only
> one subspecies is shown, that means it is the only subspecies known from or
> expected in the area where you were birding.
> If "Show Subspecies" is not selected, the subspecies don't show, and the
> list of choices much simpler. Turn it on only if you suspect there are
> multiple subspecies to choose from for a species in your birding location
> ... and you are interested in the subspecies.
> See below for a brief overview of all eight eBird taxonomic categories.
> They can be really helpful with birding ID dilemmas, and thus improve the
> information on your checklists. A full explanation is found at this eBird
> Help link:
> The eBird Taxonomy: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1006825
> Enjoy the migration madness!
> Vermont eBird reviewer
> Champlain Valley of Vermont
> The eight eBird taxonomic categories ---
> Species: -- e.g. Mallard
> Subspecies or group of subspecies -- e.g. Mallard (Mexican)
> "Spuh": Genus or identification at broad level -- e.g. dabbling duck
> sp., duck sp.
> "Slash": Identification to Species-pair -- e.g. American Black
> Hybrid: Hybrid between two species -- e.g. American Black Duck x Mallard
> Intergrade: Hybrid between two subspecies or subspecies groups -- e.g.
> Mallard (Mexican intergrade)
> Domestic: Distinctly-plumaged domesticated varieties that may be
> free-flying (these do not count on personal lists) -- e.g. Mallard
> (Domestic type)
> Form: Miscellaneous other taxa, including recently-described species yet
> to be accepted or distinctive forms that are not universally accepted --
> e.g. (Red-tailed Hawk (Northern), Upland Goose (Bar-breasted)
Sent from my iPhone, so please forgive any egregious spelling errors.