Date: 12/29/18 9:38 pm
From: Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] Re: [midvalleybirds] Timing of posting of CBC results (and other reports on eBird)
I agree Mary. I particularly enjoyed Matt Hunter's analysis of the Roseburg
CBC. Beyond summarizing the rarities, he highlighted the commonest species
as well--those nine or ten species that every team detected by the end of
the day. Each Count is an avian portrait of a very specific landscape.
These species we often take for granted("trash birds") are probably the
most important.

On Sat, Dec 29, 2018, 9:21 PM Mary Garrard <springazure1...> wrote:

> Hi Joel and all, I appreciate Joel's commitment to forwarding RBAs and
> sharing other interesting bird observations. Although I generally don’t
> chase rarities and keep only casual county/state/life lists, I enjoy
> knowing what others are seeing and having the opportunity to check out
> something rare or unusual in my environs even if I don’t make use of it. I
> do receive eBird RBAs for several counties but not everyone does.
> As eBird has attracted more and more users, fewer and fewer post to the
> various birding listserves. This makes me sad, because one of the values of
> the listserves to me is the reports not just of rarities but of everyday
> observations. I really enjoy Howard Bruner’s poetic descriptions, for a
> shining example; I share the joy that others experience watching
> hummingbirds interact at their feeder or witnessing the outcome between
> predator and prey. Thank you to everyone who continues to post these
> quotidian observations—eBird serves a function, but it certainly doesn’t
> feed my soul in the same way.
> I wish everyone a wonderful year of observing, chasing, encountering,
> conducting science involving, and otherwise enjoying the birdlife around
> us.
> Happy new year!
> Warmly,
> Mary
> > On Dec 29, 2018, at 4:52 PM, <clearwater...> wrote:
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> > In general I agree with the observations made by Wayne Hoffman and
> others:
> >
> > Once a bird is reported via eBird or any other widely accessible digital
> media (e-mail list-servs, Facebook, Twitter etc.), it's basically out there
> in the public domain. Unless there is some particular reason to keep a
> report under wraps (e.g. risk of harassment or unwelcome intrusions on
> private property), it seems sensible to assume that any such report can and
> probably will be forwarded to other interested parties.
> >
> > Since there has been some commentary and speculation about when and how
> I forward rare-bird reports to the Mid-(Willamette) Valley bird list, I'd
> like to explain that process here.
> >
> > As background, the Midvalley list was set up by Jim Norton in 2006, with
> two main functions: (1) to keep local birders/birdwatchers informed of
> interesting local bird observations and opportunities, and (2) to simplify
> the task of compiling local field notes. Jim eventually left for a job in
> Texas, but we've kept this list going because it's still useful for those
> functions. When I work on the local Audubon field notes (as I'm doing this
> weekend), it's very useful to have everything in one place.
> >
> > In part to maintain those functions, I subscribe to both OBOL and COBOL
> (which sometimes yields reports for the Santiam Pass portions of Linn
> County, within the service area for Corvallis Audubon) in digest form. The
> digests come out fairly predictably in the wee hours of the morning, so
> part of my morning routine is to skim through the digests, pick out and
> forward postings that seem pertinent to the mid-valley region. It only
> takes a few minutes and I usually just forward postings verbatim, without
> putting much thought into it. Sometimes I'll add a bit of context on
> locations, and/or translate 4-letter codes or other "birder-ese" for a
> broader audience.
> >
> > As eBird gained popularity in the late 2000s, and quite a few
> interesting local reports were no longer being shared via e-mail lists, I
> signed up for eBird rare-bird alerts (RBAs) for Linn, Polk, and Benton
> counties. These RBAs come out at seemingly random times during the day.
> When they pop up in my inbox, I take a look and forward them immediately if
> they seem like they could be of interest, and if I haven't yet seen a
> report on the mid-valley list. There is usually at least a 3-hour delay for
> these RBAs.
> >
> > I don't forward every "me-too" report of continuing rarities such as the
> Tundra Bean-Goose (which has generated many dozens if not hundreds of RBAs)
> or birds that are only likely to be of interest to hard-core birders (such
> as occasional Tricolored Blackbird reports from the Philomath sewage ponds,
> or reports of so-called "Cassiar" Juncos), or reports of ephemeral
> sightings that are unlikely to be replicated.
> >
> > But if a report of something as charismatic a mockingbird pops up, I'll
> definitely forward that as soon as I see it. Historically wintering
> mockingbirds have tended to stick around long enough for many people to see
> them. Even people who aren't hardcore birders tend to enjoy mockingbirds,
> especially if they grew up in a region where these were familiar birds.
> >
> > I certainly appreciate when birders take the time to post notice of
> unusual birds to the MidValley list, but I know it often gets forgotten.
> Some birders who use eBird for all of their observations have suggested
> that everyone should just sign up for eBird, and then they'd get these
> reports directly, either as RBAs or as "needs-list" reports.
> >
> > I know the folks who make these suggestions are trying to be helpful,
> but it reflects a gap in understanding of how 80% or 90% of local
> birdwatchers pay attention to birds. If you're not keeping a state/county
> "year" list or a life list you don't "need" any birds, but you might still
> be interested. I haven't signed up for "needs" lists myself because I don't
> want to hear about how I really need to go see a Ruddy Duck at the
> Philomath sewage ponds just so I'll have it on my list for Benton County
> this year. But if someone finds something else cool in my neighborhood, I
> might still be interested.
> >
> > On the Midvalley list we have a few folks who make a regular routine of
> visiting Baskett Slough NWR. They're not necessarily listers or "chasers"
> but they share their own notable sightings. I think they'd appreciate
> knowing that a mockingbird is around, for next time they go out there.
> >
> > Like some of you guessed, I wasn't thinking at all about the Oregon CBC
> tradition of keeping rarities under your hat until the countdown, when I
> forwarded that RBA. I was thinking about how to organize the Oakridge CBC
> the next morning, and also dealing with a house full of guests, and our
> septic system which has been acting up lately. I was aware of the Dallas
> CBC (and I regretted not being able to help Caleb this year -- especially
> after seeing the list of "misses" since my contribution in recent years has
> usually been to do a bit of owling, then hike clearcuts in the higher
> elevations on the west edge of the circle). But when this RBA came out at
> 6:20 PM, it never occurred to me that someone might be offended if I shared
> it.
> >
> > I appreciated Isaac's comment on his own expectations regarding eBird
> postings. My hunch is that the younger generation, in general, have a good
> handle on the realities of digital communications.
> >
> > Happy birding in the CBC season,
> > Joel
> >
> > --
> > Joel Geier
> > Camp Adair area north of Corvallis
> > _______________________________________________
> > birding mailing list
> > <birding...>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> birding mailing list
> <birding...>

Join us on Facebook!