Date: 6/1/19 3:24 am
From: Holly <0000002d9b0d8554-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Re: Dickcissel - Berks county
Hello John, and PABirders,
To clarify what John is referring to regarding the search for Dickcissel not appearing on the maps, or other data outputs in eBird, here's what's happening:
When a species that is rare for a region, or out of date ranges for what we expect, the observation entered into eBird is flagged for review. This means, the observation was trapped by filters designed to catch them, and requires supporting documentation: photo or audio recording, or supportive field notes that describes the bird and rules out other similar species easily confused with the one reported. 
When a flagged species is submitted, it gets loaded into a "review queue" which is managed by a regional eBird reviewer, or in some cases, several reviewer's review queues. The record will be "pending" review (sort of like being in limbo) until it is manually analyzed by an eBird reviewer, and vetted for the database. 
Most people are aware that eBird reviewers are volunteers, and are tasked with tedious reviewing, and, in addition, responsibilities that involve filter tweaking, communication with both eBirders and other reviewers, reviewing of fluid data and date ranges in eBird to better understand our changing bird distributions, and, the actually process of reviewing a single record. As you can probably imagine, this can be time consuming, and, many of us have multiple counties in Pennsylvania to oversee data for. During the months of migration, our review queues back up with piles of records needing to be reviewed. April and May, not to mention August- October, are our heaviest contribution months, and we reviewers have lots of work to do to keep up! 
While we, too, would love to have our records vetted quickly, and work off our volunteer plates, I can speak to all of our PA reviewers and say that we are all avid birders, and are also out there enjoying migration and contributing to the database. Hence, our free time is very limited and our reviewing gets a little boggled down. Additionally, most of us our employed, have families, and other personal obligations/responsibilities (and many other volunteer obligations!) so time is already limited. 
So, please bear with us when you don't see your records in eBird being vetted quickly, especially during migration months. We will get to them. Here in PA, we have a great eBird review team, all of whom include volunteers who are generously donating volumes of their personal time to maintain a regional database. 
Your contributions to eBird are valuable, and we take each one seriously. Immediacy in review would be a great thing for eBirders hoping to understand where birds are, but in the big picture, a short delay in review will not impact what eBird was designed for, and that is avian conservation science, and a greater understanding of bird distributions.
Happy birding, 
Holly MerkereBird Pennsylvania, State CoordinatorChester County, Pennsylvania (temporarily working in Maine, with a piled up review queue!)

-----Original Message-----
From: John Good <00000101cb5f2433-dmarc-request...>
Sent: Thu, May 30, 2019 5:58 pm
Subject: [PABIRDS] Dickcissel - Berks county

I listened to (for quite an enjoyable long time) and photographed a singing
male Dickcissel on Kunkle Road, Berks county today (5/30). GPS=40.5480,
-075.7144. Observation (with photo) will probably appear in the eBird "PA
rare bird alert" email tomorrow, but undoubtedly will not show up in a
general search on eBird for Dickcissel in PA, current year. Go figure. If
you search hotspot=Rodale Experimental Farm, you can find the documentation.

John Good

Lehigh Co.
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