This has been one of the most useless, and pointless, discussions I have ever seen. I love obol and eBird and all of you who have chimed in to self gloss about why or how you do or do not use it or count birds accurately, or use rigid protocols or not. Rigid protocols, I have used them in counting birds in the Crashcades and coast range, have their place, but it isn't necessarily critical in ebird in order to be useful or fun to look through
Ebird is voluntary, it is a bunch of data that people like me use all time to check on local status of species x or when this or that bird usually arrives or goes south or how common it is. It is also a wealth of data for more rigorous research by grad students or whomever as well and they have to sort through that data for what they can use just like anyone else. The data that we enter may end up being less than more useful. Don't worry about it, just enter what you know when you want and not at all if you don't
Like the farmer said when asked what they do with all of that corn, "we eat what we can and what we can't we can".
Calm down folks. And now you can say the same to me. Roy Gerig, Salem OR