Date: 6/30/20 8:16 am
From: R Stewart <2cnewbirds...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Rare Bird Reports
Thank you, Richard, for expanding on the reason for your (rare) ebird
reports. An interesting quest - 'but someone's gotta do it!' I would be
interested in learning what makes your AMRO post linked here - with its 7
photos - in the migratorius Group. I may never look at an AMRO or HOWR the
same again!

I did look at your subspecies spreadsheet. I assume each of those
highlighted in green is a possible or recognized subspecies? Are these
subspecies already determined/studied by others?

Yes, please share your entire spreadsheet with me.. <birder_rws...>

Who is the reviewer for Bennington Co? Ruth Stewart

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 9:53 AM Richard Littauer <richard.littauer...>

> To add to what has been said already:
> Many of these reports have been coming from me. I've recently had a
> wonderful time going through a list of most species in Vermont, and
> figuring out which species are monotypic and which ones have subspecies.
> The filters are set up differently by different reviewers: this means
> that logging a Common Grackle (Bronzed) (/Quiscula quiscula versicolor/)
> in Caledonia doesn't hit a flag, while logging one in Washington County
> does. They're no less common in either place. Due to filters, however,
> it's often the case that there are many more subspecies identifications
> in counties without filters, as the checklist doesn't automatically
> suggest the subspecies identification, as well. I've been curious to see
> what subspecies have been seen in what counties. If I find a gap, I'll
> often log one, the next time I'm there.
> On a different level, one of the aspects of birding I am very interested
> in is seeing birds in more detail. Learning how to identify subspecies -
> when it is even possible in the field, which isn't always the case-
> means I've had to really brush up on the morphology and coloration of
> otherwise common birds. I spent a good 30 minutes looking at the House
> Wrens <> I logged yesterday, as it
> seemed that there was some light barring on the flanks, and as I
> couldn't figure out whether the dorsal barring was evident or not in the
> pictures I took. I know they were House Wrens; I know they were almost
> certainly the /aedon/ subspecies given the geography, but it was a good
> amount of fun proving it. If you look at the photos, you'll see some
> very vaguely whitish feathers where the supercilium is; Northern House
> Wrens shouldn't have a supercilium. I had to weigh that when deciding on
> whether or not they really were that subspecies. It's a good amount of
> fun. (It's also hard. I can't see red that well. When is rufescent
> different from rufous? Who knows)
> Another aspect of subspecies birding is checking what media is on eBird;
> do we have a photo of our present subspecies, in Vermont? Do we have
> audio recordings? If not, I've been going out and trying to get some.
> Driving to Franklin to see Upland Sandpipers for my life list takes time
> and planning and gas, which is why I haven't done it yet. But hopping
> outside my door and walking twenty feet to take the first photo in the
> state
> <
> >of
> a /Turdus migratorius migratorius /is almost as satisfying, and a whole
> lot easier to do. (Fascinatingly, we also should have American Robins
> from Newfoundland - /Turdus migratorius nigrideus/ - migrating through
> in the fall; look for a Robin with a black mantle and a deep red breast!)
> If you're interested, I have a large Google Sheet with all of the
> information I've collected on subspecies in Vermont. You can see it,
> here: Due to the way that
> the sheet is displayed, you can't see all of the Field Diagnostics
> field. If anyone is interested, let me know if you'd like me to share
> the original sheet with you, and I'd be happy to.
> I'll slowly be adding each species to an individual page on
>, when I have the time. Birding is often
> more fun than coding, so this progress is slow. Rewarding, though.
> Hope this helps.
> Best,
> Richard
> On 6/29/20 21:55, Ian Worley wrote:
> > I would add to Zac's reply that the filters cover counties as a whole,
> > and so if a species is uncommon or difficult to ID in one part of the
> > county during a particular season, but common in another part, the
> > filter might be set to identify potential errors based on that part of
> > the county where errors might occur.
> >
> > For example, in the Champlain Valley shorebirds common by Lake
> > Champlain during fall, let's say, might also occur at high elevations
> > rarely, but with a relatively high frequency of mistaken IDs. The
> > filter could be set to catch those errors, meaning that birders
> > reporting the birds from the shores of Lake Champlain will have the
> > same flagging. The reviewer simply confirms those without ado. It is
> > not possible in eBird to have separate filters within counties like
> > ours, such as one for lakes and wetlands, one for lowlands, one for
> > highlands, and one for tundra. The filters, however, are finely tuned
> > to the changes in seasons.
> >
> > If you are curious about a filter setting, contact the local reviewer.
> >
> > Good birding and safe health.
> >
> > Ian
> > ---------------------------
> > Reviewing Addison, Chittenden, Grand Isle, and Franklin Counties
> >
> > ==============================================================
> >
> > .
> > On 6/29/2020 9:38 PM, Zacheriah Cota-Weaver wrote:
> >> Ruth,
> >>
> >> All of the local eBird reviewers set their own filters based on county
> >> levels. These filters allow reviewers to catch eBird observations
> >> that have
> >> potential for data errors, such as rare or easily misidentified species.
> >> The eBird needs alerts and rare bird alerts are based on observations
> >> flagged by these filters. When you see common species showing up on
> >> these
> >> lists, it is likely that a birder chose to report a subspecies that
> >> triggered one of the filters. Most eBird reviewers have subspecies
> >> flagged
> >> to ensure the proper written description or evidence is provided when
> >> identifications are made to that taxonomic level.
> >>
> >> Below I've linked an article about the review process that might help
> >> further answer your question. It's one that I'm sure other eBirders have
> >> had as well. Cheers!
> >>
> >> Zac Cota
> >> Washington County eBird Reviewer
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 9:27 PM R Stewart <2cnewbirds...> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Can someone please inform why certain very common birds keep showing
> >>> up on
> >>> the Rare Bird Alert - such as Am Robin, (migratorius Group) , House
> >>> Wren,
> >>> Turkey Vulture, Common Yellowthroat, Barn Swallow, Song Sparrow, etc?
> >>> AND why a Yellow-billed Cuckoo seen up N. is on the list and not the
> >>> YBCU
> >>> reported in the southern 'sun belt?"
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Ruth Stewart
> >>> E. Dorset VT
> >>>
> >>

Ruth Stewart
E. Dorset VT
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