Date: 2/2/19 7:20 pm From: MARK CHAVEZ <markchavez...> Subject: [cobirds] South Platte Reservoir and ABA guidelines
Today, after a full day birding, I decided to stop at South Platte Reservoir. This place is always a tough place to bird for the county listers, because a majority of the lake is in Arapahoe County and very little is Jefferson County. I have seen many reports of the Black Scoter and other birds being reported in Jefferson County in ebird. When I got there, I saw that the ice shelf is starting to retreat in Jeffco. For the majority of the winter, the Jeffco portion has been iced over. I was excited to get my year Jeffco Black Scoter swimming along the ice, and a beautiful adult Iceland (Thayer's) Gull on the ice edge. I then realized that the birds were still in Arapahoe County. No!!!!!! Jefferson County starts somewhere between blue markers 96 and 97. These are the markers on the south side of the trail and the lake. As I stood there bummed, the gulls where spooked and every one of them circled and flew far over the Jeffco side of the lake. YES!!! The scoter of course stayed on the Arapahoe side. I was still excited to finally get an Iceland for Jefferson County. I will still have to wait for warmer weather to retreat the ice edge to get that scoter in Jeffco. Now for the confusion for new birders and listers... According to ABA (American Birding Association) you cannot count a bird for your life list unless the bird is physically in that county, state, or country. A great example was that there was an Amazon Kingfisher on the US/Mexico border. You could not count the bird unless he would land on the U.S bank. Many birders spent hours waiting for the bird to come on the U.S side. So if you want to list for county, state, or country and follow ABA rules, you only count the birds that are physically there. Ebird which we all use to count and list birds allows us to count birds from the area we see the bird which contradicts ABA rules. Ebird still asks that you make a comment on your checklist stating that the bird was observed from a different county then where the bird was physically. Ebird is all about bird populations and trends, that's why birds like African Collared Dove, Indian Peafowl, and Colorado Mute Swan count in ebird but are not ABA countable, which mean they don't really count on your life list because breeding populations have not been established. I just wanted to clarify a few things for the new individuals to this great hobby. If I'm incorrect I would welcome clarification.