Date: 7/10/20 7:02 pm
From: larspernorgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] eBird protocol/codes
The system of classifying abundance on eBird is kind of like grading on the bell curve. I almost remarked on it last week when l heard a Bewick's Wren at our house for the first time in 15 years. I imagine the 20km square l am in includes much of western Washington County so hundreds of reports are filed every three week period and many include BEWR. Today l heard a Western Wood Pewee. Fourth record here in 27 years, first for July. Their extreme rarity at my location will never be reflected in the code. Even had l filed 100s of reports a week for the past decade. But if that 20km square ran west from me and covered the Tillamook State Forest l might be the dominant list maker at 20 or 30 reports a week. Likewise, maybe half the top twenty species l report from my patio carry one of those colored circles-Mountain Quail, Northern Pymy Owl, Canada Jay, Hermit Warbler are evidently on under 6% of reports over three weeks.       I had been envisioning a circle or hexagon centered on my gps coordinates as the source of the customized list. How long will it take to come up with that kind of software? I am impressed with the existing protocol because l vividly remember trying to use Peterson field guides with black and white plates. The small owls were illustrated heads only. So the volume of information and nuance therein that is instantly available is really unbelieveable.      But the formula based on fixed data areas and observer effort means classification will actually be more skewed as time goes by.Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
 
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