Date: 11/14/17 10:54 am
From: Don Gorney <in-bird-l...>
Subject: [IN-BIRD-L] Advice for Reporting Red Crossbills to eBird
Please follow the direction provided below by the eBird team at Cornell Lab of Ornithology when reporting Red Crossbills. 
There is currently an historic Red Crossbill irruption under way in North America, with birds already showing up this fall in far-flung places, out of range, out of habitat, and in enormous numbers. 
Identifying the various flight call types (see http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/crossbills-of-north-america-species-and-red-crossbill-call-types/) typically requires audio recordings and spectrograms. Although a few birders perhaps can manage to separate the birds to type by ear only, these records generally do not meet the standards for validation, especially since we are still working out the distribution of the forms and since each irruption can have different compositions of the types.
Given the magnitude of this year's irruption, and the difficulty in identifying the birds by ear alone, we ask observers who report Red Crossbill observations without audio recordings to report the birds as ‘Red Crossbill’ and not determined to flight call type. In the absence of audio recordings, we encourage observers to include a suggestion about putative flight call type in the notes section. 
Please try to obtain a recording and embed the recording into your checklist. Send the checklist link or a file of the recording to Matt Young, an expert on North American Red Crossbills, at <may6...> Matt will reply and let you know which crossbill type(s) is on the recording. Once Matt responds, you can go ahead and change the observation to the specific crossbill type. In the details section for the observation please include notation that the recording was reviewed by Matt Young and is being reported per his identification.
Thus far, Types 2, 3, and 4 Red Crossbills have been documented at Dunes State Park. Free smartphone recording apps are available at both the Apple and Android app stores. eBird accepts .wav audio files. Best practices for eBird recordings is at: http://help.ebird.org/customer/en/portal/articles/2159648-best-practices-for-audio-upload-to-ebird?b_id=1928 Note: as of early afternoon on Nov 14, 2017, eBird is having a problem with the media server so photos/audio cannot be uploaded or reviewed. Staff is working on the problem.
As a reminder, crossbills cannot be reliably typed on the basis of photographs alone, as there is much overlap in bill sizes. 
 Don Gorney
Indianapolis, IN
317.501.4212
dongorney AT yahoo.com
 
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