Date: 4/15/17 10:26 am
From: Peter Quadarella (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: eBird reporting
I knew about this guideline but I never thought it was a rule. I very
rarely put in anything more than 5 miles, but the case of a loop is one
where I actually did just last week (at Jones Lake State Park). I would
hate to think my checklist could get deleted.

Peter Quadarella
Weddington, NC

On Sat, Apr 15, 2017 at 10:32 AM, Hilda Flamholtz <carolinabirds...>

> OK - this is good to know. I did a 7 mile Christmas Bird count day that
> was all walking in one park. I hate to think that it didn't count, but
> lesson learned. In this park, there is a central loop around Congaree
> Creek with two tails breaking off the loop. There was some retracing of
> steps to get it all in but not recounting the same birds on those pieces,
> of course. (Timmerman Trail in Cayce, SC) We birded from like 7am to
> 12:30 or 1 in the one park. I think if you put a dot in the center of the
> park - it is definitely not more than 5 miles diameter.
> Should I have just broken it up into 2 time chunks to have less distance
> in each? Or put 5 miles thinking not so much of how much I walked but more
> about the total range of the area?
> Thanks,
> Hilda Flamholtz
> Columbia, SC
> On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 3:18 PM, Christopher Hill <Chill...>
> wrote:
>> I deleted the specific checklist Kent was responding to, but I will agree
>> with him. When looking for areas of Loggerhead Shrike concentrations in
>> South Carolina, I have been a bit frustrated by ebird lists that had high
>> numbers, but then turned out to be from a 200 mile drive that started or
>> ended in another state! The dot on the map had basically no relationship
>> to the birds counted. That’s an extreme example, but what Kent says is
>> true. Outliers like that get incorporated into maps and other data
>> processing and distort the picture.
>> Chris Hill
>> Conway, SC
>> On Apr 14, 2017, at 3:05 PM, Kent Fiala <carolinabirds...> wrote:
>> This might be a good time to point out that eBird prefers that checklists
>> using the "traveling" protocol should cover no more than 5 miles. I believe
>> that many people are not aware of this, and are submitting data that cannot
>> be used for research purposes. When you cover a longer distance, such as
>> the 9.0 miles reported here, eBird asks that you break up the checklist
>> into separate checklists covering less distance each. This is explained in
>> the eBird help file how to make your checklists more valuable
>> <>
>> It's a long page so I'll quote just the relevant section:
>> Traveling counts have proven to be the most effective type of observation
>> for modeling bird populations at large scales. By doing these counts
>> birders often detect a good proportion of the birds in a given habitat. It
>> is critical, however, that your traveling counts not be too long. Our
>> analysts are able to effectively use traveling counts that are ≤5 miles.
>> Most birding that is conducted on foot easily falls within this window, but
>> traveling counts by car can often be longer. Please consider breaking up
>> your long traveling counts into shorter distance ones. It's best if these
>> shorter counts are in a relatively consistent habitat, or does not pass
>> through habitats that are too different. For example, a logical point to
>> break a longer route into segments would be a transition between forest and
>> farmland, as the birds found in these two habitat types are vastly
>> different. Doing so would make information associated with each location —
>> such as vegetation information from satellite images — more informative.
>> Plot your location at the center of the area traveled, not at the start
>> point or end point.

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