Date: 7/2/19 9:56 am
From: David Ely <mountainplover...>
Subject: [cobirds] Ebird Tips and Guidance
Hello Cobirders,

I wanted to take a few moments and offer some suggestions on how to better
utilize the ebird tool and have your valuable observations accepted into
the database.

As I'm sure most everyone is aware, Colorado has a team of volunteers that
review ebird data and help validate sightings. This is an important
process as researchers rely on the quality of data for their studies and
examinations. Of course, ebird is there for you to use just as a personal
list manager, but we certainly hope everyone tries to keep their data as
accurate and meaningful as possible. Sometimes you may get an email from a
reviewer asking for more clarification, additional details or descriptions,
or even some suggestions regarding location, for example. Due to the high
number of records in the state that need reviewed, it is not always
possible for reviewers to email you when issues with your checklists are
detected. Checklist issues with distance are common. A lack of comments
(or the type of comments) that support your observations is also a frequent
issue. Below is some brief guidance on these topics.

*Distance:* Traveling counts should be kept generally under 3-5 miles
though up to 5-6 miles is sometimes OK (uniform habitat while driving in
eastern Colorado for example). An example of a checklist that is
considered too long would be a single checklist submission for an entire 25
mile BBS route. In this case, a checklist for each point is strongly
preferred, though you could group a few of them (first 3-5 miles, then
another list for the next subset of miles).

*Rare Birds:* Please make every effort to accurately describe what you
observed and of course photographs and recordings are of tremendous help.
While it is often very helpful to state what the bird was doing, a
description of the bird's activities alone aren't enough. Comments such
as, "flying over" or "seen in our yard" are fine to include but a
description of a rare or "flagged" species is needed.

*High Counts:* When you are flagged for a high count of a species, please
describe how you determined the count. Comments such as "tally" or "1 X 1"
are appropriate to state that you counted each individual present. You
can also make a short comment such as "one singing above bridge and second
heard further downstream." When estimating a flock, please include some
comments such as "by 10's" or "estimated by 100's."

Just by striving to write better descriptions and keeping traveling count
distances appropriate, you'll fix the majority of issues the review teams

Should you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me
directly. There is also tons of fantastic information in the help section
of ebird as well.
I'm hear to help and partner with you so that you get what you want out of
the ebird tool and to help you accurately share your valuable observations
and contributions.

Going forward, I hope to have a somewhat regular cadence with "Tips and
Tricks" emails to this list serve. I'm very open to suggestion and would
love to know what you'd like help with and what you'd be interested in
hearing more about.

Good ebirding and please enjoy a fantastic and safe 4th of July holiday!

David C. Ely
Broomfield, CO
Lead Ebird Reviewer for Colorado

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