Date: 9/24/18 1:55 pm From: James V Remsen <najames...> Subject: [LABIRD-L] Details on non-flagged records in eBird lists
LABIRD: After revising and re-running a bunch of parish filters recently, I wanted to encourage observers to write additional notes in the Details section for non-flagged entries that are nonetheless noteworthy for the locality's habitat or marginally early or late. Ditto on high counts even if not flagged. The reason for this is that filters are dynamic and modified frequently. So, even if record was not flagged originally, it may trigger a subsequently modified filter. It only takes a few seconds to add some words to the Details section, such as “unusual habitat”, "marginally early”, etc. Better yet, some actual description of what you saw. Note that there is a Details section for every species on your eBird list, not just for flagged entries — that’s what those Details fields are for.
Typos are rampant, so almost anything relevant in the Details can signal reviewers that you didn’t make a data-entry mistake.
eBird is supposed to be a Citizen Science project, not just bird-listing software, so think about ways of making your lists more useful — it often requires only a few seconds of extra work.
Tangentially …. Again, given that eBird is supposed to be “science”, remember that a core requirement of science is repeatability. However, the vast majority of eBird lists are unrepeatable — they do not contain enough information that would allow someone to replicate your survey. So, when you submit a list, ask yourself whether someone else could roughly repeat your survey by following the basic itinerary in your Comments section. It doesn’t have to be step-by-step but try to give an observer a general idea what you did. If you are using the eBird phone app, you already have the option to use the eBird Tracker function, which maps your route (removing the need for itinerary in Comments).
Dr. J. V. Remsen
Prof. of Natural Science and Curator of Birds
Museum of Natural Science/Dept. Biological Sciences
LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803