Date: 9/28/19 5:20 am
From: Alex Lamoreaux <aslamoreaux...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Those fall kingbirds
I agree completely, Alan - eBird excels at seasonality, migration timing
and relative abundance. Those other categories you mention are being added
to the database increasingly. Those reports, articles, etc you mention are
incorporated into Cornell’s other arm of bird data besides eBird, the Birds
of North America accounts.


On Fri, Sep 27, 2019 at 11:25 PM Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>

> Much data is not in eBird because it predates eBird, is included in agency
> reports, private entity databases, various studies published in journals
> and so on. eBird is a great resource that I contribute to but it is not now
> and won’t ever be a single source for bird data.
> Among other things, eBird doesn’t have much data on whole categories of
> avian information, such as what birds eat, what substrates nests are built
> in, survivorship of young, longevity, parasites, specimen measurements and
> so on. Maybe it will over time.
> What eBird is great at is seasonality, migration timing and relative
> abundance.
> Alan Contreras
> Eugene, Oregon
> <acontrer56...>
> > On Sep 27, 2019, at 10:06 PM, Alex Lamoreaux <aslamoreaux...>
> wrote:
> >
> > My statement that this species complex can’t be IDed without vocals is
> far from ludicrous or dogmatic, it’s a simple fact. Accept that or not,
> it’s the truth.
> >
> > The meadowlarks are easily separated by plumage given a decent view
> (completely unlike the identical Tropical/Couch’s) and perhaps eBirders
> *shouldn’t* blindly report meadowlarks as one or the other without
> confirming them with the help of vocals and fieldmarks. Making IDs based
> solely on range is strongly discouraged by eBird. If these kingbird IDs are
> just going to be made off range, then all should just be Western Kingbird
> according to the books, right?! Clearly not...
> >
> > Any records of this species complex without vocalizations is immediately
> called into question if they’ve been decided as Tropical based solely on
> assumed probability and without vocal documentation. Vagrancy of the two
> species to the east coast, where all sightings are only accepted to species
> level with vocal confirmation, have proven that vastly higher (and
> increasing) percentages are Couch’s.
> >
> > In 2018 I had 240 confirmed Couch’s, 170 confirmed Tropical, with 150+
> unidentified. You can be sure I’ve thought this species complex through,
> and done the research.
> >
> > To Alan’s points- sadly if it’s not in eBird it’s essentially of zero
> importance, and will be lost to the dustbin of time. I’m only concerned
> about accuracy of eBird records as that is the go-to for all bird status
> and distribution moving forward, and those records will be preserved
> indefinitely and assessable to all.
> >
> > Alex
> >
> >
> >
Alex Lamoreaux
Naturalist and Senior Leader/North America Specialist for Wildside Nature

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