Date: 11/13/17 6:34 am
From: Young, John (DPU) <john.young...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Sightings platform query

I have a question about selecting a platform for sharing sightings, which I'll get to after a bit of preamble. 

It's understandable that e-bird would shelter participants from reports from multiple observers of the brown pelican that seemed to have spent the summer in the greater Boston Harbor area, not so much because of the well-known trickiness of pelican ID, but because seas are inherently treacherous, dangerous to birders, and people should not go out.    Similarly, I can see why participants would want to be shielded from the report of a Hayward-54-November-vagrant; such birds aren't typically tied down and it's a disappointment to travel far and dip; better not to try.  But what about birds found in a number slightly higher than is typical for a place and time, or species slightly outside their typical migration dates or in a less regular county - do birders want such raw information available or no?  I would imagine a constant stream of such data would overwhelm Massbird, which I think has settled down very nicely in its role.  Also, I don't know what warranted suppression of !
news for a few short years of a loose colony of hooded warblers in southwest Vermont; who does that protect?

I'm imagining a delightful database where one could see mapped, by species, all reports, vetted or not, without respect to screens pre-supposing ranges or what is considered an expected number of individuals; also maybe to be able to see a list of reported species, un-stripped, for specified birding locations.  Such a system would take a stupendous effort to build, I imagine.  What a pity!  Lacking that, I wonder if there is any other platform suitable, preferably on a statewide basis, where I can share sighting reports and read them from others where I would not be impinging on readers who don't want to be overwhelmed with messages? 

John Young
Jamaica Plain

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