Date: 6/27/19 4:46 pm From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Yellow-billed Cuckoos: Thank you for the robust comments on the ESA de-listing proposal!
Thank you to everyone who responded with comments on the petition to remove protections for Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo (YBCU), currently listed as Threatened under the Endangered species Act.
I'd especially like to thank Marshall Iliff and his colleagues for putting in some long hours yesterday, to provide the USFWS with an informed view on appropriate vs. inappropriate use of eBird data, and a very relevant analysis to illustrate the importance of considering hours of birding effort (which the petitioners failed to do). I'm hoping that USFWS will keep what Marshall wrote on file, for the next time that they get a similar petition that cherry-picks incidental reports from the database.
Thanks also to Brian Sullivan for helping to mobilize the "eBird central" team despite being in a remote location with poor internet access!
Also a big thank-you to Jay Withgott for adding his informed perspective as an eBird reviewer. This was exactly the kind of insightful commentary that I was hoping for, when I sent out my appeal for eBird reviewers to chime in. Well, more than I was hoping for -- as we all know, Jay is an excellent writer so he did a great job of explaining the issues.
Thank you to Nancy Baumeister for sharing her personal observations of the "habitat" at some of the Arizona sites that were suggested as secondary habitat in the de-listing petition.
Thank you to Rich Hoyer for providing feedback on my concerns, and especially for pointing out that reports of YBCU in southern Arizona after June 25th (or thereabouts) could likely be post-breeding wanderers.
And thank you to Nels Nelson for adding his personal perspective as a birder who still hopes to see one of these birds in Oregon!