I am one of many eBird reviewers for Oregon so can answer your question.
What is most usable to eBird is #1.
You have multiple options but #2 would automatically be eliminated due to excess time. We reviewers no longer see checklists that are too long in time or distance. In the past we had to find them ourselves and weed them out.
#3 might work if you do either a limited traveling count during that day or a stationary count if you just hang out at one spot.
Back to #1.Options:
A. If you are just entering casual data then use the incidental category
B. Do a brief stationary count, or
C. A short traveling count.
You are hiking along the trail and bump into a fun bird you want to record. You can do any of the above with particularly B being the most useful. It can be for only a few minutes.
Use the Incidental category if you only want to record that one bird and ignore the other species around it.
eBird prefers you keep your distances restricted to 5 miles or less, particularly if you change habitat. I don’t remember what the time limit is, but more than one day is definitely too long.
I hope that helps. Please let me know if you still have questions.
Washington County and Statewide OR reviewer
> On Jul 30, 2020, at 1:08 PM, <jonathan...> <jonathan...> wrote:
> Hi all… Not sure if it’s OK to post general ebird questions here, but thought this group might have some advice/opinions.
> What is the standard best practice for reporting casual sightings from a location where you’re ‘out all day’ and observe a handful of species throughout the day? I checked/googled e-bird for advice on this topic, but couldn’t find a clear answer.
> An example is most recent post – spotted a few woodpeckers (and various other species) over the course of 3 days of hiking. But this doesn’t have to be a backpacking trip necessarily. Do I…
> 1 - Do a number of individual posts of these individual birds – so 20 minute length with the particular bird, and any others that happen to be around then? If so, how much time is appropriate? E-bird says they prefer reports over shorter time periods. But, wouldn’t that skew the results if you only make a report when something notable makes an appearance?
> 2- Do a single trip report that spans numerous days?
> 3- Do a trip report “each day”
> For each of the last two, that’s a lot to keep track of… and especially if you’re moving around a lot. Any other suggestions?
> On this particular trip, there weren’t a ton of birds in general, but the few that made an appearance were notable (at least to me), I’d like to have a record of them, but not sure the best approach.