Date: 10/26/18 9:55 am
From: Tom Miko <tgmiko...>
Subject: Re: [sbcobirding] eBird Breeding Bird Data (was New County eBird Reviewers Announcement)
There is one aspect to this topic that also affects others, under other
circumstances: the inability to contact the person(s) who entered that
(breeding) data to ask for specifics. This is something that I hope eBird
will address, at some point. Currently, there are folks who locally monitor
entries for their local patches, and when they see questionable entries,
they contact the eBird user who made the entry. This is currently only
possible if the person auditing other's observations has the email address
or phone number of the person who entered the observation. There should be
a way to contact strangers where the person with questions sends an email
to the eBird user (perhaps Cc'ing the local eBird admin) without the eBird
user's email address or other personal information being revealed.
Tom Miko
LA County

On Oct 26, 2018 7:17 AM, "Cuyler Stapelmann" <cuylerstapelmann...>

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for your input and your contributions to eBird. I agree that eBird
has very valuable data beyond breeding codes. However I think an important
qualifier was missed in my email regarding use of the data for consulting
(e.g., biological studies for environmental impact reports). I use eBird
data for many of the capital improvement projects that I work on to assist
in complying with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Fish and Game Code
regulations that protect nesting birds. While no database can replace a
nesting bird survey, having more data available regarding which species may
be nesting at a site proposed for development would assist planners in
addressing potential biological constraints earlier in the project
development process. Whereas records in CNDDB are vetted before made
available for public use but contains fewer records, eBird has many more
records but the data should probably be scrutinized for accuracy before
use. I guess my only point is that perhaps this is an underutilized
function of eBird that has the potential to significantly contribute to the
protection of nesting birds in a practical manner. My two cents anyway.


On Oct 25, 2018, at 9:48 PM, Jamie Chavez <almiyi...> wrote:

I wanted to reply to Cuyler's comment below because it deserves some
follow-up. Cuyler has found a good way to mine the information but I must
disagree with the statement that, "Breeding bird data is probably the most
valuable information eBird has to offer". This might be true IF the data
were vetted but sadly it is not. eBirders can plug-in any breeding bird
code they wish to at any time of the year for any species. Try opening a
personal list in January and see how you can make an edit to enter "Nest
with Eggs" for any species on your list. That is just beyond stupid.

Review of BB data in checklists is not a function (currently) of the eBird
review process, therefore, 99.9% of all breeding bird code entries ever
entered have never been scrutinized for accuracy. I've seen all sorts of
incorrect uses of BB codes. Since this data is not available as an output
tool it doesn't really matter, but I've never understood why eBird would
permit this if there wasn't a mechanism in place to validate what people
are entering. If they ever do start using this gold mine it needs to be
cleaned in a major way first.

Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 2:27 PM Cuyler Stapelmann <
<cuylerstapelmann...> wrote:

> Breeding bird data is probably the most valuable information eBird has to
> offer to the consulting world, but it is not easy to access. I am
> interested to know if anyone has any insights. Thanks.
> Cuyler
> …
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

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