Date: 5/22/20 3:33 am
From: Larry Arnold <larnold47...>
Subject: Re: [IBLE] [eBird Alert] Ada County Rare Bird Alert

Thank you, Scott !!

I have empathy for eBird reviewers overall, their job being basically a thankless one for all that they do......across the U.S., across Canada, you name it, but when we start squeezing the filters it's like we're forgetting that birds have wings. A couple nearby examples that come to mind in support of your comments, are Highland Valley Ranch Rd and Shaw Mtn Rd.... you needn't drive very far, albeit with some elevation change (but almost insignificant per my perspective), and birds start hitting filters. If I were doing a similar drive in the Pocatello area, yes I see dramatic changes in vegetation (from sage and mixed shrub, into juniper, then aspen, then ponderosa, finally mixed conifer) but not here in the Boise area, so I'm like you Scott regarding our "foothills."

The eBird reviewers control their workloads in this sense, and I understand the need for "high quality data" but I can't help thinking "for what?" do we need so much compartmentalization? For much of this SW part of Idaho I don't see dramatic changes in elevation nor of vegetation to warrant squeezy tight filters... yes here's a patch of sage, and over there is a patch of greasewood, but, but, but ??

First thoughts after first cuppa tea this morning... =)

Thx again for chiming in, Scott, you don't sound grouchy to me, more like experienced, concerned, insightful, valuable to this conversation =)


From: "Scott Tuthill" <satuthill...>
To: "IBLE" <IBLE...>
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2020 6:01:51 PM
Subject: Re: [IBLE] [eBird Alert] Ada County Rare Bird Alert <daily>

Jay -- I am going to challenge you on this one a bit - though I will offer a caveat. I have lived in the Highlands area of Boise for 25+ years. So, not out in the "valley" but not "up in the hills". For where I live Evening Grosbeaks are regular in small numbers just about year round and every year. If I work out in the yard for a couple of hours any month of the year I can just about guarantee to have a flyover of a small number - one to three or so. The "irruption" last fall just seemed pretty normal to me. So, now that I am putting more and more of my sightings into eBird it just seems odd to constantly have to enter comments in for them because they are "Rare". I have come to accept that where I live has its differences than the valley as a whole. For several years there was a resident flock of Red Crossbills in the neighborhood. I have had Rosy-Finches and Pine Grosbeaks around the house in winter. I don't expect them in other part of the area any more than I expect Common Yellowthroats or Willow Flycatchers around here. So, the question is how do you recognize the diversity of whatever area eBird is using (which is what by the way?) without a bias due to population and reporting distribution. Again, I am not sure of the area used in eBird but it seems odd that Grasshopper Sparrow is marked as Infrequent with Evening Grosbeak as Rare. I think of the former as having a very small local distribution for a few months of the year. I am willing to be part of the solution here -- not just be a grouch. Just let me know what I can do.

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