Date: 7/21/19 8:52 am From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Hitting reply-all on eBird rarity reports (or supposed rarities)
Once again, for folks who feel a need or desire to respond to the eBird rarity reports, or respond to someone else who did:
Please don't copy the whole report in your e-mail. That really creates an unsightly and unreadable mess for OBOL digest subscribers.
If you want to comment on a specific report (such as an alleged Fox Sparrow summering in Lincoln County), please just copy and paste the relevant lines, then give your comments.
Personally, I don't think it's worth reacting to most of these reports. The fact that they show up as RBAs means that they've been flagged for local reviewers to look at. Many will turn out to be mistaken IDs by well-intended but inexperienced observers. Many others are just on the list because someone got fussy about subspecies classifications.
I worry more about the reports that don't get flagged as RBAs, because they don't get caught by the automatic filters. Like Lincoln's Sparrows in low-elevation parts of a county where there should just be juvie Savannah Sparrows, this time of year.
Unfortunately the only way to spot such things is by the method that Priscilla mentioned: plot up a map for a species that you're curious about, look for bubbles that are out of place, and then contact the local county reviewer if you think you've found something suspicious.
There is just about endless opportunity for that kind of work to clean up the database. Some county reviewers welcome this kind of help.