Date: 3/2/17 12:58 pm
From: Craig Taylor <tnemec1...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: Those Darn eBird Alerts: Re: IBET Reported Red-necked Phalaropes in Lake County!!

Steve makes a good point:  Forewarned is forearmed.
Please remember that EVERY eBird alert contains the following statement:
 NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated
So, travel at your own risk....
Please note that eBird uses what I would call a "better safe than sorry" logic to eBird alerts.  Many alerts do turn out to be correct.  Some do not.
Playing, "What if..."

What if eBird did NOT automatically launch an eBird alert until it was actually confirmed.  Confirmation could (and many times does) take days. 

So a rare bird is entered into eBird, is confirmed in 3 days, alert then sent out, everyone rushes to see rare bird to find it gone.  It left after 2 days.
"Why is eBird keeping rare birds SECRET!!!!"  "It was a LIFER!!! Why eBird, WHY?"  "I drove 5 hours to see a CONFIRMED eBird sighting!!!!"

Better safe than sorry; forewarned is forearmed; NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated; travel at your own risk.
And, most of the time, enjoy.

"Do you eBird?"

Craig Taylor
La Grange, Illinois
Cook County

From: "'Bailey, Steven D' <sdbailey...> [ILbirds]" <ILbirds-noreply...>
To: "IBET (<ILbirds...>)" <ILbirds...>
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2017 1:59 PM
Subject: IBET Reported Red-necked Phalaropes in Lake County!!

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Thanks to a heads-up by a birding friend, of a flock (!!) of 7 Red-necked Phalaropes that were reported at Diamond Lake in Mundelein, Lake County on an eBird rare bird alert (apparently ANYTHING makes it on such alerts!), since the birds were so close to home, I had to go check things out… even though the sighting was MORE THAN TWO MONTHS too early for this species to be in Illinois! Suspecting a mis-identification, unfortunately, I was not incorrect. Once there, I joined up with Joe, then Phil, and despite a bit of momentary excitement, the “blackish crowned… long, slender white-necked (birds)”… with “bill not as long as Wilson’s Phalarope” (as described in the eBird alert by the observer) was pretty much correct on all accounts… though, spoiler alert, the birds were NOT Red-necked Phalaropes… they were HORNED GREBES, of which there were about ten scattered about the lake in a few small groups. It was nice seeing the grebes… and a nice adult BALD EAGLE flew over close while we were there, plus I was able to meet a Lake County birder for the first time! Luckily, it was a short drive, and a good excuse to get out of the house. Good birding!   Steve Bailey Mundelein (Lake Co.) <sdbailey...>

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