In response to your original question, George, I would say that one does not need to "use" ebird (ie submit observations) to receive their automated rare bird alerts (https://ebird.org/alerts - you will need to register). These reports are highly customizable, allowing you to choose to receive reports from specific counties, states, or countries, daily or hourly. I subscribe to the statewide rarity list, which I get as a once a day email that lists every county rarity across the state. I would estimate that less than 5% of the birds in that report get reported on obol.
I would also say that I think in most cases that is a more efficient way to deliver that information. Many obol subscribers, I would guess, would prefer fewer emails about low level rarities. And, as mentioned, many birders simply aren't on obol, or don't feel comfortable posting here.
eBird can never compete with the community of this forum, or the breadth of knowledge of it's users, but it's hard to beat for letting you know what is being seen where. Even if there are the pitfalls that Mike points out. I for one never did refind that ostrich at Audubon...
Good birding, Brodie Portland
On Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 20:13 Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...> wrote:
> For instance the second confirmed Lesser Black-backed Gull for Oregon was > well photographed at the Marine Science Center at Yaquina Bay in September. > It appeared on Obol a month later. This was well into the list,'s 2nd > decade. The single out of state birder was the only one to see that gull. > > On Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 7:49 PM Mike Patterson <celata...> wrote: > >> Here on the North Coast many, if not most of the rare stuff going to >> ebird only is coming from out-of-state birders who may not even >> be aware that OBOL exists. >> >> Many of these alerts turn out to be misidentifications, so I don't >> rebroadcast them unless they are confirmed by photo, relocated, or >> unlikely to have been mistaken for something more likely. >> >> Those of you who think your missing out need not worry too much. It's >> a modern artifact of eBird that we get to hear about these things at >> all. There was a time, back in the day, when, if we heard from >> out-of-state drive-by birders, it was WEEKS after the fact. >> >> -- >> Mike Patterson >> Astoria, OR >> Bald Eagles - a gateway bird >> http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/northcoastdiaries/?p=3709 >> POST: Send your post to <obol...> >> JOIN OR QUIT: http://www.freelists.org/list/obol >> OBOL archives: www.freelists.org/archive/obol >> Contact moderator: <obol-moderators...> >> >>