Date: 12/28/18 7:09 am
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] New discussion: timing of posting of CBC results.
Hi - 

On the one hand,there has been a history of CBC results being the "property" of the party, until reported to the other observers at the countdown.  And I think many of us have enjoyed the game of keeping our rarities secret until the end of the countdown, when the compiler asks "any other species I didn't call out?"  And then at that point we have tended to treat the compiler as the steward of the data from then on.

As cell phones have proliferated, we have been seeing a lot of early reports of party results:

" Sally and James and I did the Maplewood sector of the Centerville CBC today.  We got 67 species and our best birds were..."

This has not generated much rancor, as far as I have seen, nor should it,  although I admit to some disappointment when I open such an email and realize it is not the overall count results that I was hoping for.

However, now many CBC participants are entering their birds into ebird as they see them, and the ebird "rare bird" filters are making the entered rarities available in real time (status unconfirmed).  Unless, of course the rarities are exceptionally large (and gray) falcons or owls, but that is another issue.  In effect, ebird is treating the CBC data as public as soon as it is entered.

Several people around the state are monitoring these rarity reports and copying them to local listserves, as a service for those of us who do not get these reports sent directly to our phones.  Range Bayer has been doing this in Lincoln County and I regard it as a great service. Even now, living in North Carolina, I enjoy seeing updates on the continuing Magnolia Warbler at Ona Beach.

So if someone's good finds on a CBC get publicized ahead of time through this route, and spoil their  countdown fun, they should realize this is a consequence of their using ebird, not the fault of the people repeating ebird info.

One last comment, if you are depending on your compiler to get you list through ebird, it generally works very well, but I am not sure the ebird sensitive species police will give him/her the info on the previously mentioned large gray birds, and you should remember to pass on those sightings directly to the compiler.  

And a final final comment:  in some places they also seem to be blocking info on tiny gray birds.  During my trip across country I was following state listserves and checking .ebird maps for a lot of species, and it appeared in Arizona that ebird was hiding reports of Black-capped Gnatcatchers.

Wayne Hoffman
now in Wilmington NC

Join us on Facebook!