Date: 1/29/18 7:56 am From: Mike Patterson <celata...> Subject: [obol] Re: Wallowa Co Gyrfalcon
Unless someone has specific information from eBird regarding the gyrfalcon/falcon-trade connection, I think we're making an assumption that may not be entirely valid regarding the placement of Gyrfalcon on the blocked list.
If we look at the other species that have been blocked, they appear to be species sensitive to human disturbance in general and subject to too much love from birders and photographers. Perhaps we are deflecting when we should be looking at behaviors closer to home. The problems associated with disturbances caused by people who want to get a better look or a better photograph are well documented and the multiply in areas where human population densities are high and wild spaces are low. It would not be the first time that an issue associated with urban populations is handled asymmetrically by eBird. I have referred to it as the East Coast bias, but it could just as easily be labeled the Southern California Bias or the Portland bias.
This does not dilute from the larger problem with eBird's solution to the disturbance issue. They've used a chainsaw when a scalpel would have been more appropriate and I hope the folks at eBird are listening to the very real concern many of us have about the suppression of data we are choosing to donate to them.