LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for VTBIRD Archives


VTBIRD Archives

VTBIRD Archives


VTBIRD@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

VTBIRD Home

VTBIRD Home

VTBIRD  January 2019

VTBIRD January 2019

Subject:

Re: White-breasted Nuthatch --- How to apply this topic to eBird entries

From:

Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 13 Jan 2019 13:22:29 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (220 lines)

Thank all,

And thanks to Allan for pointing out that the concept of "subspecies" in 
eBird is more expansive than just a taxonomic subcategory.  So what many 
of us learned in biology at one time or another is only part of the 
eBird story.

Allan supplies this comment and eBird link:
"If you want to get into the weeds, here is the link -- 
https://ebird.org/science/the-ebird-taxonomy "

 From a reviewer's point of view and experience, I find myself 
corresponding commonly with eBirders about the first step "into the 
weeds" when they are indecisive about an observation and how to enter it 
in eBird.  All those of you who have contributed to the "winged-wabler" 
database the last few years, are already experienced in this.

It is worth noting that a traditional notion of a "subspecies" usually 
includes a range limit, but does not necessarily imply a 
field-identifiable taxon.

So, I thought I'd just present the eBird list of the different kinds of 
eBird entries ("taxa"), abridged from the above link. I have altered the 
order, added a couple of additional examples, and added one note.  Here 
they are:

------------------------------

The eBird taxonomy is much more than a list of species. It includes 
every field-identifiable taxon that could be relevant for birders to 
report.

---- Species: e.g., Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus

---- "Spuh":  Genus or identification at broad level, e.g., swan sp., 
Cygnus sp., passerine sp., bird sp.

---- "Slash": Identification to Species-pair, e.g., Tundra/Trumpeter 
Swan Cygnus columbianus/buccinator

---- [This the common notion of a taxonomic "subspecies"] --- ISSF or 
Identifiable Sub-specific Group: Identifiable subspecies or group of 
subspecies, e.g., Tundra Swan (Bewick’s) Cygnus columbianus bewickii or 
Tundra Swan (Whistling) Cygnus columbianus columbianus

---- Hybrid: Hybrid between two species, e.g., Tundra x Trumpeter Swan 
(hybrid)

----Intergrade: Hybrid between two ISSF (subspecies or subspecies 
groups), e.g., Tundra Swan (Whistling x Bewick’s) Cygnus columbianus 
columbianus x bewickii

---- 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 (Red-tailed Hawk (abieticola), Upland Goose (Bar-breasted)

---------------------------------
There is a quick way to discover all the choices available in eBird.  
Suppose you want to know all the available choices for "Mallard".  In 
eBird go via "Explore" to the "Species maps" function.  Type in 
"Mallard".  In the drop-down box all possible entries containing word 
"Mallard" are listed.

If looking for a broader group that might include a bird that might be a 
mallard, check out possible categories via the same process. such as 
"dabbling duck sp.", "duck sp.", "waterfowl sp", "bird sp."   You will 
find them all available for your use.  If you are viewing a bird that is 
clearly a diving duck, check out "diving duck sp.", "duck sp.", 
"waterfowl sp.", "bird sp."  You will find no "diving  duck sp." but 
will find the other categories.

The choices presented via the app, or on-line, may be confusing or 
"push" you to an incorrect choice.  When in doubt contact the regional 
reviewer if you know who it is.  It is hard to track down reviewer's 
names, but if you know any reviewer they should be able to get the name 
of the reviewer(s) where you are (anywhere in the world).  You can also 
try the eBird "help" function.

Any bird you encounter can be entered in ebird, as long as it is a bird 
(there is always the category "bird sp." to use).

*** When eBird asks you, when making a checklist, "/Are you submitting a 
//*complete checklist*//of the birds you were able to identify/?" ..... 
you should always answer YES unless you are intentionally excluding any 
birds.  So what about a bird whose ID you are uncertain about.  Enter it 
as "bird sp." or a more specific category, and that fulfills eBird's 
part of the question "to identify".


Ian
--------------------------

Ian Worley
Reviewer for the
     Champlain Valley of Vermont




On 1/13/2019 9:34 AM, Allan Strong wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> Thanks for the engaging conversations. I'll simply add here that the VT Bird Records Committee (https://vtecostudies.org/wildlife/wildlife-watching/vbrc/)
> is in the process of looking into which subspecies will be requiring additional documentation.
>
> One of the challenges is that eBird subspecies do not necessarily conform to subspecies in a taxonomic manner, but rather are noted as identifiable subspecific forms, which include groups of birds that may be identifiable in the field, but may not align directly with a subspecies. The Northern Red-tailed Hawk is such a "form" - identifiable in the field, but not necessarily a subspecies. If you want to get into the weeds, here is the link:
> https://ebird.org/science/the-ebird-taxonomy
>
> We probably won't solve all the issues, but hopefully we will be able to add more details to the conversation.
>
> Allan
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard Littauer
> Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2019 11:01 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] White-breasted Nuthatch
>
> Thanks, Ruth, and thank you also, Zac, for the thoughtful response.
>
> I'm afraid most of the recent logs for this bird have been mine. I don't know how many people get those alerts, and I apologize if it has come off as spam.
>
> I've been spending a lot of time looking into Red-tailed Hawk subspecies, recently, and I was excited to learn that there are other subspecies, for other birds, in the area which haven't been routinely logged. At the same time, I've also been disappointed that so few people seem to log subspecies. Having read the Red-tailed article above, I figured I would just start doing it, as it is encouraged if you can. This seemed to me to be a logical extension of becoming more familiar with eBird.
>
> I've since spent more time recently looking into the White Breasted Nuthatch, in particular looking at how the eastern subspecies looks and sounds different than the western ones, and, consequently, I've begun logging them when I see them. For me, this has meant identifying them directly, either by sight (the subspecies here has a paler back and cap) or by sound (it seems to me that the yank is lower and clearer than the western subspecies, for instance). I apologize for writing 'default subspecies' on occasion, which I am certainly guilty of doing - I *have* been identifying them, but it seems that it's the lack of representation in eBird that causes this bird to need to be commented on, at all, and writing the same message - "pale blue back, thin black cap, low yank" - seemed more onerous than saying that I was happy identifying them as *Sitta c.
> carolinensis. *It didn't appear to me that logging a subspecies should be any different from logging a normal species - that is, by the honor system, where we assume the logger knows how to identify birds in the first place*.* I'll work on my comments, in the future, if they are helpful. I also apologize for logging several a day; I've just been birding more than usual recently. Admittedly, there are times when I may have made assumptions based on a quick ID; I'll work on that, too.
>
> The user experience for eBird, especially on the app, is not clear on whether or not subspecies is encouraged; if anything, the app seems to discourage logging subspecies, as you have to look for rarities, add it, and then comment. But I figure that if more people learn about the subspecies and log them, then the more we'll know about the bird's distribution, and this issue (and logging subspecies can be an issue, especially as the eBird reviewers have to look over these) will be eliminated. It's a rather cyclical situation: no one logs rarities because it is harder to do so, and because no one sees them as an option, and so we don't have any logs for rarities, and so they stay rare. This doesn't seem to be the case for everything - I've seen nothing but Slate colored Juncos here, although both Slate and Nominate options are listed. But look for *Buteo jamaicensis borealis* sightings on eBird, compared to just Red-tailed Hawk, and you'll see what I mean. I figured it might j!
>   ust take a few particularly zealous people to change this, so I started doing so (and again, I apologize if this has been annoying to anyone).
>
> In any event, I really do encourage others to learn more about subspecies, too. The process has given me a great amount of joy.
>
> Best,
> Richard
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 12, 2019 at 8:09 PM Zacheriah Cota-Weaver <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> Ruth,
>>
>> I'm glad you asked this question as I've heard it from a few others as
>> well. This may be a good time to start a discussion on subspecies
>> reporting.
>>
>> eBird is a powerful tool for collecting data and turning those data
>> into meaningful inferences about bird populations. The insights gained
>> from eBird are only as good as the data that go in. While people most
>> commonly report bird species to eBird, you can report individuals of
>> just about every taxonomic level. My guidance to birders is to make
>> reports based on your level of experience and the quality of the observation.
>>
>> I'll provide an example. If you observe a large soaring bird in the
>> distance but don't get many field marks on it, perhaps eBirding it as
>> "diurnal raptor sp." is the best bet. If you can tell based on shape,
>> flight, and personal experience that it was a buteo genus hawk, eBird
>> it as "buteo sp.". If you get a good look at a rusty tail and dark
>> patagial marks, you might confidently eBird it as a Red-tailed Hawk
>> (Buteo jamaicensis). Now, if you've studied your Red-tailed Hawk
>> subspecies and get a good look at an overwintering one with a dark,
>> nearly black appearing chin, heavy belly band with large and globular
>> streaks, you might be justified in eBirding it as a Northern
>> Red-tailed Hawk (abieticola) (Buteo jamaicensis abieticola). Here is
>> an article  if you are interested in Red-tailed Hawk subspecies:
>>
>>
>> https://ebird.org/vt/news/red-tailed-hawks-recognizing-subspecies-in-v
>> ermont
>>
>> Sometimes birds are better left at higher levels, such as genus or
>> family, when the quality of the observation is poor or when you just
>> don't have experience/confidence with a certain group of birds.
>>
>> eBird gives the option to report subspecies, and many regularly
>> occurring subspecies are listed when you start a new checklist. I
>> encourage people to follow the guidance above. If you have studied the
>> subspecies and feel confidence with your observation, feel free to
>> report it and document it appropriate. We should not assume, however,
>> that we are always seeing the most commonly occurring subspecies. I
>> often hear/see the phrase "default subspecies", which to me signals
>> that people are not truly identifying the bird to a certain subspecies, but are making an assumption.
>>
>> When a species or subspecies is flagged for review, as the
>> White-breasted Nuthatch subspecies are, they show up on the alerts. I
>> encourage folks who are interested in reporting subspecies to study
>> them well and document them thoroughly in eBird. There are quite a few
>> here in Vermont, including some that may someday be their own species
>> (i.e. Eastern/Western Palm Warbler, Eastern/Western Willet).
>>
>> I'd love to hear what other folks have to say about subspecies
>> reporting as well.
>>
>> Zac Cota
>> eBird Reviewer
>>
>> On Sat, Jan 12, 2019 at 6:28 PM Ruth Stewart <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> What's the story on the WBNU showing up on the rare-bird alert?
>>>
>>> Ruth Stewart
>>> E. Dorset, VT
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Zacheriah T. Cota-Weaver
>> 175 Depot Street
>> Hyde Park, VT 05655
>> (802) 696-8613 cell
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>
> --
> Richard | @richlitt <https://twitter.com/richlitt> | burntfen.com <http://www.burntfen.com>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager