Date: 5/12/19 2:46 pm
From: 'Russ Ruffing' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Nitpicking--Counting rules at borders in an "official" count
It’s two issues - listing, and eBird.

For eBird checklists, I generally only submit a single complete checklist for any count that straddles two counties. For data purposes I don’t believe eBird cares if the birds were 50 yards either way in one county or the other; they just want the raw count data of a location irrespective of political borders.

Of course, that presumes no birds of county significance (to my own county lists or the overall county lists) were observed. If there is a bird of significance, then I try to do two separate complete checklists so as not to skew the county data for either county.

For example when I kayak Triadelphia where the Cattail Creek mudflats straddle both Howard and MoCo, if it’s just a bunch of peeps present that aren’t of significance, I do one stationary count for Howard since it’s my home county. But when Steve Collins and I found a Bairds Sandpiper there while kayaking, I submitted separate checklists for each county to be specific without double counting the birds as best I could.

Just my two cents.

Russ Ruffing
Woodstock

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 12, 2019, at 3:54 PM, Marcia Balestri <mebalestri...> wrote:
>
> Is there a rule out there somewhere (didn’t find it in google) that explains how to count at border areas in an “official” count? I suppose there must be something written for the state or country borders (maybe not?), but what about county level?
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> I live in a county with lots of good birding spots that borders 2 other counties and try to include these areas when I do a county count (like a May Count or a fall count) to share anything that is on the “other side” of the county line with the appropriate county coordinator. Can I count/share a bird that I hear in one county, but is physically sitting in the other county? I would think the answer to this would be no, since that would be double-counted. But what if I am only hearing it and can’t really tell which county it is actually sitting in or more importantly, I can’t tell whether it is 2 different birds or just 1 that just flew over to the “other side”. This doesn’t come up often as there are usually enough birds on both sides of the line to “share” between counties, but every now and then there are some head scratchers that can cost time trying to figure out what to do. Now I realize that the purpose is to try to get an accurate count, but we are rabid in Maryland about county listing (and counting) ;-), and some counters don’t like to share (just kidding, of course). So if there is some hard and fast written down rule somewhere, I would like to know it.
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> And while I am here, just out of curiosity, when you are just counting for your own list and standing in one county and hear or see a bird in another county, which county do you put it in? Or do you stand there until if flies into your county and count it on both county lists?
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> Marcia Balestri
> Worcester County, Maryland
> <mebalestri...>
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> “...ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." Charles Darwin, 1871
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