Date: 1/2/20 9:14 am
From: Gabriel Foley <mddcbba3...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Re: eBird and MD BBA3
Hi all,

My name is Gabriel Foley; I am the Atlas Coordinator. It's lovely to 'meet'
you all!

It's great to see so much interest in the Atlas. I've attached the Handbook
(you can find it on the website as well, ebird.org/atlasmddc/about), which
should answer most of the questions that have come up in this email thread.

Regarding the Atlas eBird portal: the general recommendation is to only
submit checklists that have breeding codes (except for nocturnal checklists
- all nocturnal checklists should be submitted, including ones with no
birds observed). *Only checklists entered through the Atlas eBird portal
count towards the Atlas*, so it's critical to use the portal (
ebird.org/atlasmddc).

There are instructions in the Handbook for submitting checklists on mobile
and on the computer. On the computer, just go to ebird.org/atlasmddc - this
is the Atlas portal. On your mobile device, go to account settings to
change the portal. Once you change the portal on the app, it remains
changed until you change it back. I know it can seem overwhelming, but it's
actually pretty simple once you go through it a time or two.

If you want to change the portal on a checklist, just go to the website,
find the appropriate checklist, and select 'Checklist tools' in the top
right, and you'll see an option to change the portal.

Bryan's reply below contains some excellent tips and suggestions; you can
also follow the Atlas on social media (@mddcbba3
<https://www.facebook.com/mddcbba3/>), or contact me if you have any
questions not covered by the Handbook. I'm always happy to talk atlasing!

Happy new year to you all, and I look forward to seeing you out in the
field!

Gabriel

From: Bryan H <bghenson23...>
> Date: Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 9:21 AM
> Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Re: eBird and MD BBA3
> To: MD Birding <mdbirding...>
>
>
> Here are my suggestions on Atlasing from a participant perspective:
>
>
> 1. eBird - this is the main way atlas data is collected, use it - it
> has great maps as the data comes together
> 2. Breeding codes - add them to your checklists (it's pretty easy to
> select them)
> 3. Field notes - take notes anytime you think you see breeding
> behavior - these support the codes and help the folks looking to validate
> the data later
> 4. Change to the portal - if the list isn't entered into the portal it
> won't make it into the atlas - reviewers might catch it later (if you added
> breeding codes), but you need to do it on any list with breeding behavoir
> 5. Block boundaries - learn where the blocks begin and end and which
> ones are priority blocks - stationary counts will figure that out for you
> automatically when you add to the portal, traveling, you need to account
> for which blocks you are in
> 6. Safe dates - learn them, but document any breeding behavior (did I
> mention field notes) for anything outside too - part of the project is
> figuring out any changes to breeding dates
> 7. Talk to others about the BBA* - you'll find lots of homeowners and
> photographers that will tell you about owls and hawks and other birds they
> have found nests for
> 8. Nocturnal surveys - do these - they are fantastic for getting to
> hear owls (and nightjars possibly)
> 9. Travel - getting to under-birded blocks is important - teaming up
> with others can make this very sucessful
> 10. Priority species - some species are of extra interest - see the
> handbook -
> https://s3.amazonaws.com/is-ebird-wordpress-prod-s3/wp-content/uploads/sites/80/2019/12/FORM_MDDCBBA3_AtlaserHandbook_Dec2019_V1.pdf
> 11. Patience - observing breeding behavior involves lingering and
> observing birds longer
>
> Benefits of participating:
>
> 1. Going to areas you may never have birded - I've explored areas
> around me that I had never visited and found some great habitats I've gone
> back to many times
> 2. Owling - nocturnal surveys are awesome - listening to owls is great
> - at one spot, we had 4 screech owls pop up a few feet away from us
> 3. Learning more about bird's nests - we found a nest during a night
> walk and it turned out to be a Red-eyed Vireo nest - before I never would
> have recognized it, now I know it
> 4. Special sightings - some of us followed some Peregrine Falcon
> sightings and found an eyrie locally - the pictures of the baby falcons
> when they were banded are terribly cute
> 5. Watching and learning breeding behaviors is fun
> 6. For the listers - you can track how many species you have confirmed
> and number of blocks you have contributed to
>
> * I've gotten reports of Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Mississippi Kites
> through homeowners and photographers
>
> Hope this helps,
> Bryan Henson
> Sterling, VA
>
> On Thu, Jan 2, 2020 at 8:56 AM John McKitterick <
> <john.mckitterick...> wrote:
>
>> Mike:
>>
>> You should definitely submit any breeding observations through the atlas
>> portal, regardless of where in Maryland or DC you are birding. One of the
>> neat things about using eBird for the Atlas is that we can all contribute
>> to the effort whenever we are out birding in MD/DC. The Atlas uses the
>> block leads not to control who is atlasing the blocks, but to ensure that
>> the level of effort is consistent in each block throughout the state. We
>> want each block to be atlased with at least a minimum number of hours of
>> effort, and achieving that is one of the main responsibilities of the block
>> leads.
>>
>> As far as which portal to use goes, if you know you are atlasing, then
>> obviously you should use the atlas portal. On the other hand, if you think
>> you won't be gathering any useful breeding data, you might set your portal
>> to the regular eBird portal. And then if you do see or hear breeding
>> evidence, you have two options. One is to stop your current eBird list,
>> submit it, and start up a new one using the Atlas portal to record those
>> codes. The other is to record the breeding code in your current eBird list,
>> and then once you've submitted the list you can edit the list on eBird to
>> change the portal after the fact. I don't think you can change the portal
>> on a submitted list through the smartphone app, so you will have to
>> remember to do it when you get home and have access to a browser.
>>
>> --John McKitterick
>> Columbia, MD
>> VP, MOS
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 2, 2020, 8:21 AM 'Mike Bowen' via Maryland & DC Birding <
>> <mdbirding...> wrote:
>>
>>> A related question: For the duration of the BBA in Maryland/DC, should
>>> I use the MD-DC BBA portal for any and all my birding in MD and DC, even
>>> though most of it will necessarily be in blocks assigned to others and
>>> likely will not contain any breeding information
>>>
>>> Mike Bowen, Montgomery County
>>>
>>> D. H. Michael Bowen
>>> 8609 Ewing Drive
>>> Bethesda, Maryland 20817
>>> Phone/fax: (301) 530-5764
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thursday, January 2, 2020, 08:02:02 AM EST, 'Jim Nelson' via Maryland
>>> & DC Birding <mdbirding...> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> One more thing. At the bottom of the eBird homepage is a link to a page
>>> about "Regional portals and collaborators" The Virginia Breeding Bird
>>> Atlas portal is on that list (MD does not appear yet, I suspect because the
>>> portals page hasn't been updated). At the top of that webpage it says --
>>> "eBird is available throughout the world. In addition to the core eBird
>>> site we have several regional portals, which are managed by local partners
>>> and provide local information and birding expertise. When visiting a region
>>> or planning a visit to that region, we encourage you to check these sites.
>>> These applications are fully integrated so when you enter records into
>>> eBird, they immediately show up in each portal (and vice versa)."
>>>
>>> To test this, when I clicked on the VA eBird Atlas link there, I got a
>>> screen that shows my stats through that portal -- 6 checklists, 4 species
>>> confirmed as breeding (based on codes I used in eBird), etc. When I
>>> clicked on "My eBird" in that portal I see my total stats, and when I click
>>> on "Manage My Checklists" I get only the 6 checklists I submitted through
>>> that portal.
>>>
>>> Then going back to my regular eBird portal (the one we all use), those 6
>>> checklists are in my list under "Manage My Checklists" with all the other
>>> checklists I have submitted.
>>>
>>> Jim Nelson
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Gail Mackiernan <katahdinss...>
>>> To: Bryan H <bghenson23...>
>>> Cc: Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...>
>>> Sent: Thu, Jan 2, 2020 7:00 am
>>> Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Re: eBird and MD BBA3
>>>
>>> Also, if a checklist is entered on the BBA portal, does it also
>>> automatically appear in your personal My eBird account?
>>>
>>> Gail Mackiernan
>>> Colesville
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>
>>> On Jan 2, 2020, at 6:46 AM, Bryan H <bghenson23...> wrote:
>>>
>>> The guidance in VA (which may well differ from the MD guidance) was to
>>> only submit checklists using the BBA Portal if they contained breeding
>>> codes/data. My understanding for the rationale was that otherwise when
>>> doing quality checks on checklists, they would have to wade through a lot
>>> of checklists that had no breeding data to realize that one or two
>>> checklists (for GHOW for example) were missing breeding codes.
>>>
>>> I have not looked through the MD/DC BBA documentation to see what the
>>> correct guidance is, but the documentation can be found here:
>>> https://ebird.org/atlasmddc/about
>>>
>>> Hope that helps,
>>> Bryan Henson
>>> Sterling, VA
>>>
>>> On Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at 11:39:48 AM UTC-5, Tyler Bell wrote:
>>>
>>> There are virtually no breeding birds right now other than owls and Bald
>>> Eagle (crossbills could be but this isn't a year for them). So, unless you
>>> have something that qualifies as probable or confirmed, it won't matter. If
>>> you're familiar with safe dates, you'll know that most birds aren't of
>>> concern until April or May at the earliest. I'm not sure if you go back and
>>> change it but there's no reason why it wouldn't just move the data from the
>>> regular to the BBA database.
>>>
>>> Also, if you use eBird on a computer, please use the BBA portal:
>>>
>>> https://ebird.org/atlasmddc/ map <https://ebird.org/atlasmddc/map>
>>>
>>> This is all new to most of us. Virginia is well into their BBA so anyone
>>> familiar with VA data, it would be nice to have any clarification!
>>>
>>> Tyler Bell
>>> <jtyle......>
>>> California, Maryland
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 11:00:06 AM EST, Scott Young <
>>> <wsy......> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Thanks for the reminder. I have 2 questions:
>>>
>>>
>>> 1. Can you add them to the MD BBA from the computer browser/eBird site?
>>> 2. Can you change the portal after submission without having to delete
>>> and re-enter data?
>>>
>>> Thank you,
>>>
>>> Scott Young
>>> Giathersburg, MD
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--
**Note new official work email and phone number. Please update your contact
information.*

*Gabriel J. Foley*, M.Sc.
Atlas Coordinator
Maryland & DC Breeding Bird Atlas 3
North Bethesda, MD
<mddcbba3...> | 202-681-4733
Pronouns: he/him/his

@mddcbba3 <https://twitter.com/mddcbba3>
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