Date: 12/29/18 10:12 pm
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: [midvalleybirds] Timing of posting of CBC results (and other reports on eBird)
Great points made all around. I would like to follow-up on of the things that Joel mentioned. "Everyone signing up for eBird" is fantasy land thinking. While it may seem that almost every birder is now using eBird, that isn't the reality and likely never will be. While eBird is long on data points, it often comes up short on nuance. A typical eBird checklist will never fully capture the joy that we experience from being afield birding in special landscapes or in the company of long-time birding friends and companions. Blogs, listservs, and other social media outlets offer opportunities to learn about experiences, other birders and birds in a way that an eBird checklist can't convey. Just yesterday we learned that a Zone-tailed Hawk had been observed and photographed in Oregon for the first time. If eBird was all we had to depend on for bird information we would all still be in the dark and unaware of this wonderful discovery.

Dave Irons
Beaverton, OR

________________________________
From: <obol-bounce...> <obol-bounce...> on behalf of Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...>
Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2018 5:37 AM
To: Mary Garrard
Cc: <clearwater...>; obol; Midvalley birders
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...><mailto:<springazure1...> wrote:
Hi Joel and all, I appreciate Joel's commitment to forwarding RBAs and sharing other interesting bird observations. Although I generally donít 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 donít 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 Brunerís 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 observationsóeBird serves a function, but it certainly doesnít 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...><mailto:<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
> _______________________________________________
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> <birding...><mailto:<birding...>
> http://midvalleybirding.org/mailman/listinfo/birding


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