Date: 4/7/17 6:46 am
From: Ashley Peele <ashpeele...>
Subject: [Va-bird] eBird Hotspots and Tackling Tricky Breeding Codes
Hi Folks,

Happy chilly Friday to you all! It's 35 degrees with a 25 degree wind
chill in Blacksburg this morning. Where did Spring go?? :)

First, let's talk about *eBird hotspots*. It's come to our attention
recently that more of the established hotspots are poorly placed, relative
to Atlas block boundaries. This is logical, b/c the two have nothing to do
with one another. Established hotspots are a part of the regular eBird
system, while the Atlas block boundaries are routed in the USGS Topo Quad
map system.

At any rate, this can cause obvious issues. If you're not careful to note
where a hotspot falls in relation to block boundaries, you may actually be
criss-crossing between two or more blocks. Some NoVA volunteers brought a
specific example of this to our attention.

The hotspot for Leesylvania State Park is (or by now was) out on a tip of
the easternmost edge of the park, which fell in the Arrow Head NW block.
Most of the state parks fell in the Quantico NE block. The easiest way to
avoid this issue is just creating your own points/locations.

So! If you're heading out to atlas and collect breeding data, always try
to look ahead at the locations you'll be visiting. Note the block
boundaries AND the hotspot locations, if you plan on using them.

Lastly, I've started a short article series to compile the various breeding
code clarifications and tips that I've been pushing out over the last
month. The first installment is now published on the Atlas eBird
portal, '*Tackling
Tricky Breeding Codes (Pt 1): The Possibles...
<http://ebird.org/content/atlasva/news/tackling-tricky-breeding-codes-part-1-the-possibles/>*'
I'll keep sharing these via the list-serv as they are posted, so folks can
check them out. Lots of useful tips in a pretty short article. Check it
out!

All for now. Stay warm and good birding this weekend!

Ashley Peele, PhD
Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas Coordinator
Conservation Management Institute - Virginia Tech
Office: 540-231-9182
Fax: 540-231-7019
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