[Tweeters] eBird reporting question (no sighting)

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 18:59:52 PST 2014


Hi Karen,

Good questions that I'm sure others wonder about as well. Here's my
take on it as a frequent eBird user and eBird reviewer.


>> First, I'm not sure of the extent of these hotspots and how I would find out.

>> Third, if I see a Merlin in Edison, should that just get included in Samish Flats since Edison isn't a hotspot?


At least at this point there isn't a predefined exact area for eBird
hotspots, but in general if the place you're birding at sounds like it
falls under the location of a hotspot, feel free to use it. However,
you shouldn't use a hotspot for a location that is more specific than
where you were birding. For example if you are birding on the Samish
Flats and bird along several roads there it would be entirely
appropriate to place those sightings under the location Samish Flats,
but would not be appropriate to use the hotspot Samish Flats--Estes Rd
unless you were only birding on Estes Rd. Similarly, birds seen in
Edison could be placed under the Samish Flats hotspot, or could be
placed at a personal location in Edison.


>> Second, do I break my trip up into parts: first driving around Samish Flats, then a stop at the West 90 (Samish >> Flats--West 90), then maybe a bit more Samish Flats, then a stop at Samish Island--Day Use Area, then back to >> Samish Flats, then Bay View State Park, back to Samish Flats and eventually into Skagit flats?


The short answer is yes they should be split up as you indicated. I
think of it this way - the list you enter should be reflective of
where you went birding, including location, duration and effort type.
To do this well for the situation you describe would take substantial
effort and many lists, which can become quite a chore depending on
where and how you are birding. I admit that while birding the Samish
Flats I'm often somewhat lazy in my record-keeping, in that I won't do
a complete list for each of these locations. In your example I would
likely do an Incomplete Casual/Incidental list for Samish Flats where
I list the highlights but not every bird. For the stop at the West 90
I would likely do a Complete Stationary list (or Complete Traveling
Count if I walk into the fields). Samish Island--Day Use would
probably be a Complete Stationary list as would Bay View State Park.
If I birded the Day Use area on Samish Island and several other
locations on the island, then I would use the more general Samish
Island hotspot and record it as a traveling count. If I stop at a
particular random stop and spend awhile birding there I might make a
new personal location for that exact spot and record all the birds I
saw there. It's up to you how thoroughly you want to record your
observations, but I would say the bottom line is that what you record
should accurately reflect your birding effort.

In other areas where there are more well-defined discrete birding
locations (such as the Upper Skagit Valley, or visiting several
parks), I'll usually do a complete list for each location.

Hope that helps!

Ryan Merrill
Kirkland, WA / Newton, MA




> ---------- Forwarded message ----------

> From: Karen Wosilait <kwosilait at clearwire.net>

> Date: Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 8:43 PM

> Subject: [Tweeters] eBird reporting question (no sighting)

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

>

>

> I'm not sure how to handle certain situations, such as spending a day mainly

> driving around what I think is Samish/Skagit flats.

>

> First, I'm not sure of the extent of these hotspots and how I would find

> out.

>

> Second, do I break my trip up into parts: first driving around Samish

> Flats, then a stop at the West 90 (Samish Flats--West 90), then maybe a bit

> more Samish Flats, then a stop at Samish Island--Day Use Area, then back to

> Samish Flats, then Bay View State Park, back to Samish Flats and eventually

> into Skagit flats?

>

> Third, if I see a Merlin in Edison, should that just get included in Samish

> Flats since Edison isn't a hotspot?

>

> Thanks so much,

>

> Karen Wosilait

> Seattle

> kwosilait at uwalumni.com




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