[Tweeters] eBird Hotspot Boosting

J Christian Kessler 1northraven at gmail.com
Thu May 20 13:40:07 PDT 2021

this is to misunderstand the role of hotspots and their use in science.
scientists are looking at species over much wider areas than just one or a
few hotspots. in this context hotspots are non-random sampling points.
any scientific statement about a species population (occurrence; density)
for an area would have to take into account the density of hotspots in that
area, the frequency of reports on each hotspot, along with other habitat &
and such variables.

hotspots are themselves highly non-random and hence non-scientific. some
hotspots cover definable areas (like the UBNA) that may include multiple
discrete habitats, while others are simply geographic coordinates for a
place birders have found productive. there is from a scientific
perspective no rhyme or reason to the identification of hotspots as
individual locations, but as a collective set of data points covering a
separately identified (by a scientist researching a specific question)
area, they provide a time-series and wide-area picture of great value.

and a key element of that value is the occurrence of a species by season.
eBird bar charts are organized for occurrence by week of the year. in the
end, "flooding" a hotspot only makes inherently non-random data even less
non-random, which is to say statistically biased in hard to determine
ways. starting a new hotspot in an area with few of them could, on the
other hand, be beneficial to the comprehensive data set.

Chris Kessler,

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 11:29 AM Joey McCracken <joemccracken3 at gmail.com>

> Hi everyone, I've got an idea for those on eBird. What if we were to find

> an eBird Hotspot in the area with not too many checklists or species and

> then for the next week we try and get as many species as possible for that

> location and we will change the location every week. We could really fill

> in some missing data and maybe find some rarities in places that are not

> well birded. It's just an idea for now but if you all want to do it maybe

> we can start at Brierwood Park <https://ebird.org/hotspot/L7009887> just

> south of Alderwood. Happy birding!

> -Joey McCracken

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