Date: 11/9/17 6:37 am
From: William Rowe <rowemb45...>
Subject: Re: eBird question

The eBird situation at Riverlands is a bit vexing, since the area straddles
two states, and eBird (naturally) prefers that you enter lists from one
state at a time. Here is the approach that the local eBird team has
evolved, along with many of us other observers:

1) The major hotspot is "Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary" in St.
Charles Co., Missouri. It covers everything within the boundaries of
Riverlands IN MISSOURI as a Corps of Engineers-managed area. In theory, at
least, it does not cover adjacent non-Corps areas, some of which have their
own hotspots. It also does not cover Illinois.

2) The primary hotspot FOR ILLINOIS is "Melvin Price Lock and Dam 26,
Alton" in Madison Co., Illinois. This covers the dam itself, the spillway
and the river just below it, the Great Rivers Museum area on the other side
of the river, and (importantly) *everything on the "Missouri" side that is
actually in Illinois*. This includes all the woods, brush, and marsh
between the yellow state-line sign and the dam parking lot, as you
describe. Thus this hotspot is where you saw the Blackpoll, and you can
create a list for yourself there. Like any public hotspot, it will show up
on the map when you "Explore Hotspots" under the "Explore Data" tab in
eBird. You don't need to create a personal location for this sighting.

3) The trickiest part of using this hotspot division, which doesn't affect
your Blackpoll, is where the state line falls between that yellow sign and
the Alton bridge. As a rough guide, I think most of us just make our best
guess by sighting from one spot to the other, but two things are clear: all
of Ellis Island is in Missouri (according to the Corps personnel I've
spoken to), and the portion of the actual river channel just above the dam
and along the lock wall is in Illinois. This can leave it UNclear which
state a given duck or grebe or loon may be in, especially when viewed from
Riverlands Way, but I think most of us just count them for Missouri unless
they are so far out in the bay as to be basically in the river channel.

I know, too much information, but that's not all. I will leave you on your
own to check out these additional hotspots: "Red School Rd./Cora Island
Rd.", "Confluence Rd.", and "Big Muddy NFWR--Cora Island Unit." None of
these should be confused with Riverlands.

Hope this helps,

Bill Rowe
St. Louis

P.S. to the eBird team: I sure hope I didn't get anything wrong!

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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