Date: 7/10/20 5:20 pm
From: Vickie Buck <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender vlbuck for DMARC)
Subject: [obol] Re: Checklist protocol
eBirders and others,

Apologies for making this a longer thread, but I think it may be helpful to some to have the other notes below.

I originally thought that dots and symbols (no symbol, half orange, red, and red+rare) by birds in an eBird list signified how common the birds were in a specific area at that time of year. And that is partially true. I also did not understand when “Unreported” was listed on eBird reports. As Caleb explained below, “Unreported is signified by the red dot, and means that a species has either never or very rarely been reported in the immediate area of the sighting.” There is an addition to this explanation that I discovered when researching “eBird Mobile Tips & Tricks: Help Center" today. The addition has to do with timing, the grid and checklists in the area.

I eBird lists several times a month from our property. In the late winter/early spring, we have numerous Wood Ducks using our pond and nest boxes near the pond. Once the ducklings are fledged and gone, we rarely see Wood Ducks later on, like now in July. (Although Jon said a Wood Duck was on the pond a week ago. I need to pay more attention!) Today when I was looking at my full mobile eBird list, I noticed that Wood Ducks on our property have a red dot. Obviously, they are here and I have reported them numerous times just a few months ago. Here’s what I found on the tips page:
---------------

No dot: Common. Species reported on 6% or more of checklists from that grid square and time period*

Orange half-circle: Infrequent. Species reported on at least one, but fewer than 6% of all checklists in that grid square and time period*

Red dot: Unreported. Species not previously recorded on any checklist in that grid square and time period*

* The "time period" is the past 10 years of data for the 3-week period centered on the current week. The "grid square" is the fixed 20x20km square in which the checklist occurs, unless fewer than 25 complete checklists have been submitted from that square in the last 3 weeks, in which case a 60km grid is used, then 100km, and then the regional level.

Red dots vs. Rare species
Not all "red dot" species are flagged as "Rare" <https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48000795278-the-ebird-review-process#anchorFlaggedObservations> (marked with the letter "R" in eBird Mobile). Whether a species is "Rare" is determined by regional filters set by volunteer data editors. Click here to learn more about Rare bird filters <https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48000795278-the-ebird-review-process#anchorWhyFlagged>.

Unlike the "Rare" designation, which is defined by a filter for the entire region, colored dots on eBird mobile are determined by the proportion of complete checklists containing that species at the local level. Species with red dots have not been reported on any checklists from that area and 3-week period in the last 10 years, but may not be unusual enough to be considered "Rare" by eBird's data filters.
------------------

The “time period,” the “grid square,” and the number of checklists in the grid square in the last three weeks all affect whether or not in this case a bird will be signified as “Unreported” with a red dot.

This explanation came from the middle of a long page. There are quite a few other handy tips and tricks that I will be looking over more thoroughy.
Here is the URL:
https://support.ebird.org/en/support/solutions/articles/48000960508-ebird-mobile-tips-tricks

Thanks to Gerry for bringing this particular question up, and to Caleb for the explanation.

Happy summer birding,
Vickie Buck
Walterville, OR
<vlbuck...>


> On Jul 9, 2020, at 2:22 PM, Caleb Centanni <caleb...> wrote:
>
> Hi Gerry and all,
>
> Thanks for your question! Sorry for my delay in responding here. 'Unreported' is signified by the red dot in the eBird app, 'Infrequent' by the orange half circle. Theoretically, the red dot means that a species has either never or very rarely been reported in the immediate area of a sighting, while the half-circle means that is has been reported, but infrequently. There are some serious glitches, as you mentioned with the Rock Pigeons. Almost all 'Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)' sightings have the red dot next to them, and I'm guessing this is some issue with the Feral Pigeon designation, but don't know. These markers are also much less meaningful in undergirded areas, where much less has ever been reported in eBird. However, we feel it can be helpful to add notes on them to our sightings, since they oftentimes signify effectively whether or not a species is common.
>
> I don't know whether the red dot disappears after you eBird a species once in an area. I know that I once changed a red dot for Purple Martin at my childhood home to a half-circle over a few weeks of reporting them.
>
> Hope that helps!
>
> Best wishes and good birding,
> Caleb
>
>
> On Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 10:43 AM Gerald Meenaghan <meenaghang...> <mailto:<meenaghang...>> wrote:
> Caleb,
>
> I’ve been wanting to ask you the following question: I’ve noticed you and Courtney including “unreported” in your (particularly rare) bird comments. I’ve also long wondered at the significance of a red dot next to a species on an eBird checklist. Does the red dot signify “unreported?” What about the orange half circle? If I observe at a particular location a bird that has a red dot next to it on eBird, does the red dot go away the next time I observe it in that location? Please advise. I find the red dots very confusing and am not sure what they mean. John Sullivan thinks that the red dots signify “more uncommon” than the uncommon orange half circle. But in Lane County, feral rock pigeon often has a red dot next to it.
>
> Thanks in advance for your help!
>
> Best,
>
> Gerry Meenaghan
> 2934 Mill St.
> Eugene, OR 97405
> 541-221-4307
>
>> On Jul 3, 2020, at 9:05 AM, Caleb Centanni <caleb...> <mailto:<caleb...>> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> Hi Lars and all,
>>
>> Fun discussion about some of eBird's ambiguities and the differences in how species are detected. I just wanted to address a few points here, as an (albeit new and inexperienced) eBird reviewer.
>>
>> First, the reason for the notice asking you to verify you've only seen one of each species is to catch and prevent instances of '1' being used to indicate the number of birds weren't counted or estimated, in the place of 'X'. This might sound reasonable, since you're sure there was at least one of each species reported. However, it doesn't work well for scientists using eBird, because they then have to assume that the observer's best estimate for each species' number was '1'. Instead, eBird asks us to use 'X' as our count if we didn't estimate the numbers of birds, or even better, give rough estimates of the number we think were there.
>>
>> In Lars's instance, "saw" definitely means "observed", which specifically means that you either saw or heard the species while it was alive. While data on detections by footprints, feathers, scat, nests, dead birds, etc. are certainly valuable, eBird doesn't currently have a way to enter these observations that works with the way scientists use the data to estimate bird populations and abundance.
>>
>> However, your other observations of birds and their signs are certainly valuable. If you want them to be recorded, you could enter the count for a species as "0" and write about what you saw in the species comments, though I'm not sure what those in charge of eBird think about this. You could also enter them into an alternative database, like iNaturalist, which is meant to include data like this.
>>
>> The breeding code for the warblers/cowbird is beyond my scope. That would be a good question for eBird.
>>
>> Hope that helps!
>>
>> Best wishes,
>> Caleb Centanni
>> Reviewer for Polk County, OR
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 8:37 AM larspernorgren <larspernorgren...> <mailto:<larspernorgren...>> wrote:
>> eBird is a work in progress. My concern is the egregious abuse of the English language. Why doesn't the notice read"detected" instead of "saw"? In addition to audial detections, l can recall footprints of a Great-blue Heron at a stock tank in Wyoming, the feather of a Sharp-shinned Hawk under a probable nest tree, scores of dust baths made by Mountain Quail in logging roads...l didn't see any of those species.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


 
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