Date: 7/10/17 4:54 pm
From: Daniel Scheiman <birddan...>
Subject: Re: eBird: Tips for Traveling Counts and Mobil App

When birding in a hotspot use the hotspot as your location. Never create a
personal location that means the same thing as a hotspot. Even when there
are multiple habitats in a hotspot it is understood that the waterfowl are
on the water and the warblers are in the woods. Some hotspots are big enough
to require sublocations. eBirdıs hotspot naming convention is Primary
Location--Sublocation (note the two hyphens). For example, Millwood Lake is
a primary location with multiple sublocations, e.g. Millwood Lake--Okay
Levee, Millwood Lake--Saratoga Landing, Millwood Lake--Dam. Create a
separate list for each sublocation. Millwood is also large enough to span
multiple counties. The county is the smallest-scale geopolitical boundary
that eBird uses for list building (and Bird Records Committees use for
record keeping), thus it has significance for hotspot creation and use, e.g.
Millwood Lake (Hempstead Co.), Millwood Lake (Howard Co.), as well as for
birding outside of hotspots.

Whether a primary location needs sublocations and how those sublocations are
delineated and named is something of an art, and it depends a lot on how a
place is birded, as well as whether a user decides to create a new
sublocation and suggest it as a hotspot, and whether a hotspot reviewer
accepts such a suggestion. For Millwood Lake it makes sense that when you
have to stop and restart birding (and hence checklist building) to get from
one access point to another, each access point is a sublocation. For Bald
Knob NWR, the birding Iıve done goes continuously from entrance road to
moist soil units to silos to woodlands. It'd be unduly burdensome to expect
birders to keep separate lists by habitat, e.g. Bald Knob NWR--Moist Soil
Units, Bald Knob NWR--Woodland to North of Moist Soil Unit, Bald Knob
NWR--Rice Field (maybe rice field this year, then mudflat next year). If you
want to create small personal locations by habitat or something, you may,
but then lists under those personal locations will not contribute to the bar
chart and other public output for the Bald Knob NWR hotspot. Someday eBird
will build a polygon tool that rolls up hotspots and personal locations in
the area you draw, or lets you delineate exactly the area you birded
regardless of management and habitat boundaries, or draw the route you took.
For now we have the point system that must suffice to represent polygons and
paths. So accurate and consistent naming helps other users understand what
the dot represents so they also properly place their checklists in the same
shared hotspot.

For personal locations, you can use your own naming convention. But if you
suggest as a hotspot a personal location called ³Arkansas, Lonoke Co.,
Cypress Bayou Wildlife Management Area² Iım going to accept it but rename it
³Cypress Bayou WMA (Lonoke Co.)² (this WMA spans Lonoke and White Cos.).

Dan Scheiman
Arkansas eBird Reviewer
Little Rock, AR

On 7/10/17, 3:01 PM, "Michael Linz" <mplinz...> wrote:

This is good information, thanks for sharing.

A question:
I am wondering what we need to do in areas in Arkansas where a hot spot
covers a large area and/or multiple habitats. An example would be Bald
Knob. There is only one hot spot but a large area and multiple habitats.
When you are near the front you have mud flats and flooded fields. As you
move toward the back you are in a wooded area for a mile or so. I saw
someone posted on the article and suggested that you not use hot spots when
this is true but instead set up two personal locations. What is your

A comment:
If possible I use a hot spot. If I have to create a personal location I
have somewhat standardized the names I use for traveling locations. I use
the city, state, location. Where location is the name of the road or place.
It helps me remember where those locations were. While my standard may not
work for everyone, I suggest that you develop your own standard.

Michael Linz(Conway, AR

On Mon, Jul 10, 2017 at 8:08 AM, Daniel Scheiman <birddan...>
> This is a blog post from a fellow eBird reviewer regarding traveling counts.
> . Elevation changes in Arkansas are not as critical as out west, but habitat
> boundaries can be important for habitat specialists, and hotspot and political
> boundaries apply everywhere.
> He links to the eBird mobile app tips and tricks page, which are also good to
> review
> try-app-best-practices.
> Dan Scheiman
> Little Rock, AR

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