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Thank you everyone for submitting your data you are collecting on Christmas
Bird Counts to Vermont eBird. We got a ton of checklists from this weekend
in VT eBird from all of you CBCers. VT eBird can be a great way to store
your sector-level data (the region you bird in the count circle) and
compare it from year to year. Entering data for the CBC and for eBird
presents no problem at all. Indeed, one day we envision the possibility of
entering your eBird list and having it automatically contribute to the CBC.

As you head out to do Christmas Counts this season, please remember the
following helpful hints for adding your CBC data to eBird:

- Most CBC circles are divided into multiple sectors, with teams of people
(“parties”) covering each sector. Remember that eBird counts are single
party counts, so any data collected during the CBC season should be entered
for single parties only, not parties that spend a lot of time split up.

- The official CBC effort does not permanently store information at the
“sector” level. eBird provides an opportunity to permanently record those
data. For example, most coastal counts will have a substantially different
mix of birds on the open beach versus areas 5 or 10 miles inland. eBird
thrives on location specificity, so we welcome your sector data from the
CBC.

- While eBird works best with location specific sightings, it can be time
consuming to enter multiple lists from a single day. We certainly
appreciate those who take the time to break a day of birding into discrete
stops, but a day-long traveling count or area count is not completely
inappropriate. The important thing is that you describe what you did
(accurate mileage, duration etc.) for your sector that you birded.

- If you do use a day-long count to enter your count, please give some
thought as to the location that you use. Please do not plot your point at a
'hotspot' if you spent significant time birding outside of the hotspot
area. It is far better to plot a new point to represent the CBC sector, and
to name it in a way that makes it clear what it represents -- such as
“Lakeville CBC--Sector 5”. Since hotspot summaries depend on data collected
at the actual point, the bar charts and other summaries become much less
meaningful when they include data from outside the location.

Many thanks in advance to all of who participate in both eBird and the CBC.
Our collective knowledge of birds has grown exponentially thanks to the
efforts of citizen scientists like yourselves.

Kent McFarland
VT eBird manager
____________________________

Kent McFarland
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
PO Box 420 | Norwich, Vermont 05055

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