Hopefully Dan Scheiman will reply as he'll have ALL the answers to this. :) I'll give my thoughts though.
1. I THINK you can report them to Ebird(I don't know) but you can't count them (officially) as a bird you've seen for the ABA countable stuff. If you were doing a Big Year, for instance, a netted bird would not count. It's weird... I THINK once it is let go if it's in the wild or a certain amount of time and you still see it, it's countable. I know that birds in a net, even while being released just don't "officially" make it to your life list...
2. As far as Ebird goes, I'd say sure you can count those. You can even count those on your official life lists because you technically, with your own eyes, saw them. In fact, sometimes I take pictures of snow geese flocks to see if I can find some Ross' in there later on. You can definitely report such birds to Ebird because you saw them and they were present where you were.
3. I have no idea. I think if it was something rare enough, I'd report it no matter what as they'd want that data. As far as your "official" life list goes, I'm not sure that would count because you didn't actually SEE it yourself. Side note: As much as I've been tempted to do this sort of thing(not that I have a drone, and I'd like to throw rocks at the ones people have flown to stare at me) I don't recommend birding this way. Drones are noisy and obnoxious and would be bothersome to most birds.
4. I'd say no on this. Obviously you can't count it on your own life list because you didn't actually see it in person. I mean, you can't count birds in zoos even if you're there. I would not report the birds to Ebird, even if they were super rare. Ebird could get flooded with reports from people that didn't see such a bird in person and it would skew the data, I believe. If you saw something rare enough, someone else will have seen it and report it for Ebird but you could always contact Ebird or the host of the camera and the info will get reported. Most of those cameras save a certain amount of data.
Hopefully, again, Dan Scheiman will weigh in on it but, this is how I see it.
On 10/23/2018 3:44 PM, Glenn wrote: > 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. > > Glenn Wyatt > Cabot > > > >