[Tweeters] eBird Hotspot Boosting

Doug Santoni dougsantoni at gmail.com
Thu May 20 14:13:09 PDT 2021

As a non-scientist, I just wanted to speak out on behalf of the sentiment expressed by the original poster, and say that the intention of broadening our knowledge and trying new birding spots is a worthy endeavor. I think all of us in this forum share a love for birds and our natural world!

Doug Santoni
Ph 305-962-4226
DougSantoni at gmail.com

> On May 20, 2021, at 1:41 PM, J Christian Kessler <1northraven at gmail.com> wrote:



> 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,

> Seattle


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

>> 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 just south of Alderwood. Happy birding!

>> -Joey McCracken

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