Date: 5/15/19 3:45 pm
From: Sameer Apte <sameerapte1...>
Subject: Re: No nighthawks yet in my Pittsburgh neighborhood
According to eBird, this is not the correct protocol for the use of 0.
0 is supposedly only used to indicate an abandoned or destroyed nest.
Good birding,
Sameer Apte

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 15, 2019, at 18:27, Barb <0000001455f85cf8-dmarc-request...> wrote:
> I would always see them in the evenings in Swissvale near Braddock Avenue, or if I was in Lawrenceville or driving through Squirrel
> Hill near Murrray Ave. But I haven’t seen any yet this year.
> On a side note I saw one when I was staying in Port Clinton Ohio early last week 5/6 for the birding week, it gave great looks as it displayed in the early evening, diving repeatedly toward the top of the adjacent motel, with a really cool Doppler effect I’d never seen, and calling. I love watching them.
> Barb
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On May 15, 2019, at 6:07 PM, Barry Blust <BarryBlust...> wrote:
>> Actually there is a way to note the lack of a species in eBird. You can create a list for a particular time & place (like a normal ebird list) and put in the species you observe (if any) and also put in a count of zero for Common Nighthawk. Then in the comments you can put in a statement like you had below. For an example checklist like this see . Multiple lists like this over the normal time period (days or weeks) that you normally observe the nighthawks would more completely document the lack of nighthawks.
>> As a side note, ebird lists with no species are valuable data as noted here: .
>> A zero count can also be used for other purposes, such as when a dead bird is found or when a bird's nest is found but no bird of that species is present. (See this link for a bit more info: )
>> Barry Blust
>> (from Win 10 laptop)
>> Glenmoore, PA
>> Chester County
>>> On 5/15/2019 8:25 AM, Kate StJohn wrote:
>>> Here's something that eBird can't report on except by omission...
>>> So far I have seen/heard no common nighthawks in my City of Pittsburgh neighborhood. In the old days, before the Great Extinction, I'd hear & see my first nighthawks by May 5 and have at least 20 passing through by May 10-15. This year, zero so far.
>>> On the other side of Schenley Park near the Squirrel Hill business district, a friend heard one nighthawk on May 2.
>>> Other than that my Spark Bird seems to be on its way to extinction, locally or globally.
>>> Kate St. John, Pittsburgh
>>> Visit my bird/nature blog at
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