Maybe this is more of an eBird question, but I think it is a birding community question. What can I officially "report" as having seen, bird wise? For instance:
1. If I went up to where they are tagging Northern Saw-whet Owls, it is my understanding I couldn't claim having seen one because it wasn't in the wild. Even though it was in the wild the second it was released. Is that correct? I know that in south Louisiana they go out in the evenings and try to catch and tag Yellow and Black Rails and I bet those get reported. So I'm really confused why a netted bird that gets tagged and immediately released isn't reportable.
2. What if I take a photo of a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese, and later while looking at the photos I spot 2 Cackling Geese in the photo. Can I claim those even though I didn't "see" them while I was there but my camera did?
3. Here is a question my wife had that led to this post. What if I had a drone with a camera on it. If I flew that drone into the swamp and saw an Anhinga through the camera, is that reportable? This seems like a reasonable question now that drones are so readily available. Especially because if the answer to question 2 is a yes, then what difference is there if the camera is being held by hand or not?
4. Depending on the answer to question 3 - if the answer was yes, I could report a drone spotted bird then how about a remote camera? Sabal Palm Sanctuary in Brownsville, Texas has a bird camera where anyone can log on and watch to see what wild birds show up at their feeders. I bet everybody would say those birds are not reportable. But why not? They were in their natural wild state, what difference is there if the camera is 600 miles away or in my hand?
I only ask these things because I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing when reporting birds.