Date: 5/7/19 1:25 pm
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Ebird--avoid using the "x" in checklists because...
Dave Lauten you should feel ZERO guilt about not using eBird and anyone who feels compelled to shame you about not entering your data in eBird probably doesn’t fully understand the difference between science and citizen science.

eBird exists for schmoes like me who collect “data” in a far less rigorous and random manner. My process bears no resemblance to the rigid protocols and methodologies that you and your colleagues follow. You all are making a real impact on the fragile population of Snowy Plovers that breeds along the Oregon Coast. I can submit eBird checklists until the end of time and never approach the impact that you and your colleagues make in a single season of field work.

Would I trade away any one of my encounters with Snowy Plovers hatched on Oregon beaches for all of the data collected in eBird? Nope! It has its place, but eBird has at best a passive impact on bird conservation, as opposed to active conservation work being done by you and others. While I encourage eBird use I will never fret for a moment over your non-use. Your work and mission is way more important than mine.

Dave Irons
Beaverton, OR

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 7, 2019, at 12:47 PM, DJ Lauten and KACastelein <deweysage...> wrote:
>> On 5/7/2019 9:09 AM, David Irons wrote:
>> As with any science, meaningful participation requires the following of certain protocols. Upon discovering eBird it is easy to get seduced by the ease of personal record keeping, listing and sharing of rare sightings. Unfortunately, many become avid users without, or before taking the time to learn the eBird protocols and best practices. The result is the input of many checklists that are scientifically useless. It would be one thing if it took no effort or minimal effort to identify and cull out those checklists, but that is not the reality. Thousands of volunteer reviewers spend an unknowable number of hours interacting with observers in an effort to keep the database as “clean” as possible.
> Not that I really have anything useful to contribute to this discussion, but because of what Dave wrote above, I do not use eBird.....because as an ornithologist, I feel immense guilt if I don't do it "right".....and since I am literally in the field every day for at least 6 months straight, it is simply overwhelming to me to think about keeping tabs on how many individuals of the all the species I see on a daily basis. And then going home and sitting at a computer (or worse yet, looking at my phone in the field) to add all these birds. And because I don't feel good about that, I decided not to participate, much to the chagrin of a few (it has been mentioned to me). Since I follow protocols all the time, I know how that works, and I just feel like if I used eBird it really wouldn't be very useful data unless I follow the protocol. But then someone might say that I do it as a profession, and eBird is made for the birders of the world who don't spend the amount of time I do in the field, and thus, have more time and interest in using eBird.
> Cheers
> Dave Lauten
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