calbirds
Received From Subject
1/21/18 8:51 am Chris Johnson <ryanjohnson77...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Misc Central Valley Rarities
1/21/18 8:48 am Dave Weber <dwbirdster...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Curve-billed Thrasher yolo cty
1/19/18 3:03 pm 'Geoffrey Rogers' <rogersgl1952...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/18/18 10:10 pm Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/18/18 9:37 pm <kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/18/18 6:52 pm 'T.G. Miko' <tgmiko...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 4:25 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 2:54 pm Jennifer Rycenga <gyrrlfalcon...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 1:44 pm Glen Tepke <g.tepke...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 1:24 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 12:11 pm Chuck & Lillian <misclists...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/17/18 11:04 am Doug Shaw <dougshaw09...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 10:09 pm <kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 10:04 pm Mary & Nick Freeman <mnfreeman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are regional/county list servs still relevant - YESSS
1/16/18 9:43 pm Paul Hurtado <paul.j.hurtado...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 9:27 pm Kathleen <kamnick...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Are regional/county list servs still relevant
1/16/18 7:33 pm Leonie Batkin <leonie.batkin23...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 7:15 pm Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 7:09 pm Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 6:41 pm Bruce Barrett <coddler...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 6:25 pm Robert McKernan <rmcksula...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 6:24 pm Karen Havlena <jkhavlena...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 6:21 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 6:02 pm Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 5:43 pm Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 5:32 pm Marcus England <marcuscengland...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 5:28 pm Sharon F1727 <sharonf1727...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 2:09 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 1:57 pm borodayko <adboro...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 12:41 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/16/18 11:21 am <dan_cooper_90042...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/15/18 8:22 pm 'T.G. Miko' <tgmiko...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
1/13/18 10:29 pm Bob Toleno <bob...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] RUSTY BLACKBIRD at MoonGlow Dairy, January 13
1/13/18 5:25 pm Adam James Searcy <serpophaga...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/13/18 5:20 pm 'Mark Stratton' <zostropz...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/13/18 3:50 pm Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/13/18 3:26 pm Dave Weber <dwbirdster...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
1/13/18 1:01 pm Chuck & Lillian <misclists...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
1/13/18 11:47 am Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/13/18 7:52 am Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/12/18 10:59 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/12/18 9:13 pm Wim van Dam <wim.van.dam...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/12/18 5:23 pm 'Mark Stratton' <zostropz...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/12/18 2:48 pm Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/12/18 2:18 pm Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1/10/18 3:19 pm Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Re: Orange County Tropical Parula trips
1/10/18 1:03 pm David Sonneborn <davidsonne...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula trips
1/10/18 9:39 am Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula trips
1/10/18 8:59 am Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Huntington Beach Tropical Parula update - part 1
1/9/18 2:58 pm <rideout...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] San Diego Pelagics
1/9/18 1:46 pm <thespeckledhatchback...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Recent waterfowl photos
1/7/18 7:53 pm Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula access
1/7/18 4:16 pm Ronald- Thorn <Tronthorn...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Fwd: [CALBIRDS] Barn Swallows - what is going on?
1/6/18 8:38 pm <teasterla...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Nazca Booby and other recent So-cal, rarity images.
1/6/18 6:13 pm James Pike <jimpike444...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach
1/1/18 3:14 pm Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Re: [CALBIRDS] re: northbound Barn and other swallows
1/1/18 1:58 pm Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] re: northbound Barn and other swallows
1/1/18 12:05 pm 'Alvaro Jaramillo' <chucao...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Barn Swallows - what is going on?
12/30/17 8:15 pm 'Michael Bumgardner' <michael.bumgardner...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] White-throated Sparrow at Bonsai Garden near Lake Merritt in Oakland
12/29/17 10:01 am 'Tom Leskiw' <tomleskiw...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] follow-up (NEG) on [nwcalbird] Humboldt Co. WW Crossbill 12/21/17
12/29/17 9:27 am John Sterling <jsterling...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Re: Clay colored sparrow in Orange County
12/29/17 8:48 am John Sterling <jsterling...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Clay colored sparrow in Orange County
12/26/17 11:17 am Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Re: White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
12/26/17 9:39 am Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Re: White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
12/26/17 9:11 am Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> [CALBIRDS] Re: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
 
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Date: 1/21/18 8:51 am
From: Chris Johnson <ryanjohnson77...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Misc Central Valley Rarities
Hi All,


Yesterday, a group of us from the Bay Area (Donald Pendleton, David Nickerson, and myself) went after 4 rarities around the Central Valley.


At Reichmuth Park, we located the Worm-eating Warbler close to the water near Frisbee Golf hole 2/7. As others have mentioned, this bird associated with Bushtits and Orange-crowned Warblers. Being a skulker, the key was to take up a position just ahead of the Bushtit flock where a gap in the forest occurs and wait for the flock to pass. Using this strategy, the WEWA appeared 3 times on the backside of the Bushtit flock in the space of an hour (pic: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42120409<http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42120409>).


In Woodland, the Curve-billed Thrasher continued in the front yard of Rominger Ct.


At the SAC NWR, the Northern Shrike continued roughly 1/2 mile north of the viewing platform (pics: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42120437).


Finally, the Vermillion Flycatcher was seen on the west side of Maxwell Cemetery in the orchard.


Good Birding!


Chris Johnson

San Jose, CA



 

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Date: 1/21/18 8:48 am
From: Dave Weber <dwbirdster...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Curve-billed Thrasher yolo cty
Bird just flew in 8:45am from another part of neighborhood on rominger ct in woodland. Jeff and laurie come back!

Dave Weber,
Milpitas
by phone

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Date: 1/19/18 3:03 pm
From: 'Geoffrey Rogers' <rogersgl1952...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Or, instead of contacting the person, who may be already frustrated, display the name of the reviewer on the checklist and contact him or her about ID or other issues on the list (reviewer contacts are broadly available). The reviewer, who is more experienced, ‘thicker-skinned’ and has already gone over the list, will be accountable for the final appearance of the list unless some provision is communicated that issues on the list are pending a response from the list owner. When this requirement is filled the list is no longer under provision.



Geoffrey L. Rogers

San Diego, CA







From: <CALBIRDS...> [mailto:<CALBIRDS...>] On Behalf Of <kyri...> [CALBIRDS]
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:19 PM
To: <CALBIRDS...>
Cc: Anonymous Freeman; CALBIRDS; Jim Lomax; Brian Sullivan; Bruce Barrett; Gjon Hazard
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]





In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you

are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms? I'm not sure.
The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
specify clearly where the bird was.

In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
absolutely have to be a photo?) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
perhaps questionable species? What data do the reviewers want to see? I
want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
that is expected is the same for everyone.

So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
rare/unusual reports? That would be helpful and would reduce any
appearance of inequity.

Kyri Freeman
Barstow, CA

> 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
> want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
> information. The specific information might be different things at
> different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
> all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
> in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
> them
> where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
> 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
> pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing.." Then,
> when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
> I
> always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
> assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
> 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
> the ordinary accepted."
> Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
> frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
> competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
> that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
> your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
> you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules? There
> is
> no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
> about
> it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
> people
> who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
> honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
> composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
> but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
> if
> I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
> the
> room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
> lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
> to
> apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
> should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
> (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors.
> If
> you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
> some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
> Tom Miko
> LA County
> Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
> 909.241.3300
>
>
> On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, "<kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <mailto:<kyri...>%20[CALBIRDS]> " <
> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> My .02:
>>
>> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
>> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
>> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
>> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
>> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
>> good.
>>
>> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
>> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
>> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
>> bird again.
>>
>> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
>> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
>> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
>> the ordinary accepted.
>>
>> Kyri Freeman
>> Barstow, CA
>>
>> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
>> am
>> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
>> when
>> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
>> the
>> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
>> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
>> > committees under any circumstances.
>> > Leonie Batkin
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPhone
>> >
>> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]
>> >> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
>> Committee?
>> >> The answer is firmly NO.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are
>> improving. I
>> >> hope it works out.
>> >>
>> >> Jim
>> >>
>> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...>
>> >>> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Hi All,
>> >>>
>> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
>> can
>> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
>> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
>> process
>> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
>> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
>> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
>> valuable
>> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
>> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
>> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
>> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
>> provisionally
>> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
>> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
>> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
>> bird
>> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
>> tirelessly
>> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
>> all
>> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
>> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
>> >>>
>> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
>> always
>> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
>> to
>> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
>> number
>> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
>> usability..
>> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
>> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
>> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
>> this
>> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
>> >>> eBird here:
>> >>>
>> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
>> >>>
>> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
>> >>> every day.
>> >>>
>> >>> Thanks
>> >>>
>> >>> Brian
>> >>>
>> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...>
>> >>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
>> same
>> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
>> side,
>> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
>> not
>> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
>> of
>> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings?
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
>> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
>> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
>> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
>> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
>> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
>> Indeed,
>> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
>> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
>> that
>> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
>> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
>> >>>> reviewers to consider.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
>> so
>> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
>> to
>> >>>> capture their reports.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
>> a
>> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
>> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
>> >>>> management, etc.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
>> does
>> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
>> >>>> adjusted.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Bruce Barrett
>> >>>> San Jose, CA
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...>
>> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
>> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
>> don’t care
>> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for
>> someone else
>> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
>> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the
>> birding in
>> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Jim Lomax
>> >>>>> From No Particular Place
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
>> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
>> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> -Gjon
>> >>>>>> San Diego County
>> >>>>>>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>>
>> --
>> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
>> on
>> Amazon. Print copies also available.
>>
>>
>>
>

--
My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
Amazon. Print copies also available.





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------
Posted by: "Geoffrey Rogers" <rogersgl1952...>
------------------------------------

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Back to top
Date: 1/18/18 10:10 pm
From: Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
eBird now has a "profile" option and people can put basically whatever they
want there. Maybe they/we should be encouraged to provide contact
information. I think it would be very useful - but it should be completely
optional.

Ken Burton
Crescent City

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:19 PM, <kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you
> are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
> but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
> eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms? I'm not sure.
> The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
> specify clearly where the bird was.
>
> In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
> some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
> absolutely have to be a photo?) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
> perhaps questionable species? What data do the reviewers want to see? I
> want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
> that is expected is the same for everyone.
>
> So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
> perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
> rare/unusual reports? That would be helpful and would reduce any
> appearance of inequity.
>
> Kyri Freeman
> Barstow, CA
>
> > 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
> > want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
> > information. The specific information might be different things at
> > different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
> > all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard
> of
> > in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
> > them
> > where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in..
> > 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath
> a
> > pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing.."
> Then,
> > when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
> > I
> > always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
> > assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
> > 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
> > requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
> > local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
> > the ordinary accepted."
> > Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
> > frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
> > competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
> > that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
> > your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about
> when
> > you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules? There
> > is
> > no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
> > about
> > it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
> > people
> > who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
> > honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
> > composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
> > but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
> > if
> > I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
> > the
> > room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the
> parking
> > lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
> > to
> > apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
> > should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
> > (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors..
> > If
> > you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
> > some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
> > Tom Miko
> > LA County
> > Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
> > 909.241.3300 <(909)%20241-3300>
> >
> >
> > On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, "<kyri...> [CALBIRDS]" <
> > <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> My .02:
> >>
> >> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
> >> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
> >> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
> >> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
> >> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
> >> good.
> >>
> >> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
> >> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
> >> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
> >> bird again.
> >>
> >> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
> >> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
> >> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
> >> the ordinary accepted.
> >>
> >> Kyri Freeman
> >> Barstow, CA
> >>
> >> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
> >> am
> >> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
> >> when
> >> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
> >> the
> >> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
> >> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
> >> > committees under any circumstances.
> >> > Leonie Batkin
> >> >
> >> > Sent from my iPhone
> >> >
> >> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]
> >> >> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
> >> Committee?
> >> >> The answer is firmly NO.
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are
> >> improving. I
> >> >> hope it works out.
> >> >>
> >> >> Jim
> >> >>
> >> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...>
> >
> >> >>> wrote:
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Hi All,
> >> >>>
> >> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
> >> can
> >> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
> >> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
> >> process
> >> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
> >> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
> >> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
> >> valuable
> >> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
> >> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
> >> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
> >> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
> >> provisionally
> >> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
> >> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
> >> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
> >> bird
> >> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
> >> tirelessly
> >> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
> >> all
> >> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
> >> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
> >> >>>
> >> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
> >> always
> >> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
> >> to
> >> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
> >> number
> >> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
> >> usability..
> >> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
> >> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
> >> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
> >> this
> >> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
> >> >>> eBird here:
> >> >>>
> >> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
> >> >>>
> >> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
> >> >>> every day.
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Thanks
> >> >>>
> >> >>> Brian
> >> >>>
> >> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...>
> >> >>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
> >> same
> >> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
> >> side,
> >> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
> >> not
> >> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
> >> of
> >> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings?
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
> >> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
> >> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
> >> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
> >> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
> >> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
> >> Indeed,
> >> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
> >> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
> >> that
> >> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
> >> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
> >> >>>> reviewers to consider.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
> >> so
> >> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
> >> to
> >> >>>> capture their reports.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
> >> a
> >> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
> >> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
> >> >>>> management, etc.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
> >> does
> >> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
> >> >>>> adjusted.
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>> Bruce Barrett
> >> >>>> San Jose, CA
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>>
> >> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...>
> >> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
> >> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
> >> don’t care
> >> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for
> >> someone else
> >> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
> >> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the
> >> birding in
> >> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>> Jim Lomax
> >> >>>>> From No Particular Place
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>>
> >> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
> >> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >> >>>>>>
> >> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
> >> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
> >> >>>>>>
> >> >>>>>> -Gjon
> >> >>>>>> San Diego County
> >> >>>>>>
> >> >>
> >> >>
> >> >
> >>
> >> --
> >> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
> >> on
> >> Amazon. Print copies also available.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
>
> --
> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
> Amazon. Print copies also available.
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/18/18 9:37 pm
From: <kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you
are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms? I'm not sure.
The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
specify clearly where the bird was.

In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
absolutely have to be a photo?) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
perhaps questionable species? What data do the reviewers want to see? I
want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
that is expected is the same for everyone.

So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
rare/unusual reports? That would be helpful and would reduce any
appearance of inequity.

Kyri Freeman
Barstow, CA

> 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
> want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
> information. The specific information might be different things at
> different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
> all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
> in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
> them
> where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
> 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
> pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing." Then,
> when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
> I
> always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
> assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
> 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
> the ordinary accepted."
> Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
> frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
> competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
> that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
> your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
> you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules? There
> is
> no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
> about
> it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
> people
> who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
> honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
> composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
> but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
> if
> I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
> the
> room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
> lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
> to
> apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
> should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
> (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors.
> If
> you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
> some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
> Tom Miko
> LA County
> Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
> 909.241.3300
>
>
> On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, "<kyri...> [CALBIRDS]" <
> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> My .02:
>>
>> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
>> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
>> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
>> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
>> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
>> good.
>>
>> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
>> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
>> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
>> bird again.
>>
>> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
>> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
>> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
>> the ordinary accepted.
>>
>> Kyri Freeman
>> Barstow, CA
>>
>> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
>> am
>> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
>> when
>> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
>> the
>> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
>> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
>> > committees under any circumstances.
>> > Leonie Batkin
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPhone
>> >
>> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]
>> >> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
>> Committee?
>> >> The answer is firmly NO.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are
>> improving. I
>> >> hope it works out.
>> >>
>> >> Jim
>> >>
>> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...>
>> >>> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>> Hi All,
>> >>>
>> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
>> can
>> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
>> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
>> process
>> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
>> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
>> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
>> valuable
>> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
>> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
>> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
>> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
>> provisionally
>> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
>> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
>> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
>> bird
>> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
>> tirelessly
>> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
>> all
>> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
>> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
>> >>>
>> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
>> always
>> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
>> to
>> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
>> number
>> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
>> usability..
>> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
>> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
>> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
>> this
>> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
>> >>> eBird here:
>> >>>
>> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
>> >>>
>> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
>> >>> every day.
>> >>>
>> >>> Thanks
>> >>>
>> >>> Brian
>> >>>
>> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...>
>> >>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
>> same
>> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
>> side,
>> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
>> not
>> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
>> of
>> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings?
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
>> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
>> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
>> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
>> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
>> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
>> Indeed,
>> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
>> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
>> that
>> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
>> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
>> >>>> reviewers to consider.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
>> so
>> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
>> to
>> >>>> capture their reports.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
>> a
>> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
>> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
>> >>>> management, etc.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
>> does
>> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
>> >>>> adjusted.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Bruce Barrett
>> >>>> San Jose, CA
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...>
>> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
>> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
>> don’t care
>> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for
>> someone else
>> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
>> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the
>> birding in
>> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Jim Lomax
>> >>>>> From No Particular Place
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
>> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
>> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> -Gjon
>> >>>>>> San Diego County
>> >>>>>>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>>
>> --
>> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
>> on
>> Amazon. Print copies also available.
>>
>>
>>
>


--
My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
Amazon. Print copies also available.



------------------------------------
Posted by: <kyri...>
------------------------------------

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Back to top
Date: 1/18/18 6:52 pm
From: 'T.G. Miko' <tgmiko...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
information. The specific information might be different things at
different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask them
where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing." Then,
when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics, I
always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
the ordinary accepted."
Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules? There is
no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know about
it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different people
who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job if
I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in the
room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt to
apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
(wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors. If
you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
Tom Miko
LA County
Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
909.241.3300


On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, "<kyri...> [CALBIRDS]" <
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> My .02:
>
> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
> good.
>
> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
> bird again.
>
> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
> the ordinary accepted.
>
> Kyri Freeman
> Barstow, CA
>
> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I am
> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when
> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the
> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
> > committees under any circumstances.
> > Leonie Batkin
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]
> >> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >>
> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee?
> >> The answer is firmly NO.
> >>
> >>
> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I
> >> hope it works out.
> >>
> >> Jim
> >>
> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Hi All,
> >>>
> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can
> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process
> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable
> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally
> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird
> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly
> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all
> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
> >>>
> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always
> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to
> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number
> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability..
> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this
> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
> >>> eBird here:
> >>>
> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
> >>>
> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
> >>> every day.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks
> >>>
> >>> Brian
> >>>
> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...>
> >>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
> >>>>
> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
> >>>>
> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side,
> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not
> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of
> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings?
> >>>>
> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
> >>>>
> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed,
> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that
> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
> >>>> reviewers to consider.
> >>>>
> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so
> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to
> >>>> capture their reports.
> >>>>
> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a
> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
> >>>> management, etc.
> >>>>
> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does
> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
> >>>> adjusted.
> >>>>
> >>>> Bruce Barrett
> >>>> San Jose, CA
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...>
> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care
> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else
> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in
> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Jim Lomax
> >>>>> From No Particular Place
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> -Gjon
> >>>>>> San Diego County
> >>>>>>
> >>
> >>
> >
>
> --
> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
> Amazon. Print copies also available.
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 4:25 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Yahoo doesn’t have any option to export the archives. If you go searching the net, there are various tools to do it. I found almost all of them broken in one way or another. I finally had a friend who did it for me as a favor for SBB.

One option that I believe would work would be to create a mailing list on groups.io <http://groups.io/>, and it will port over the archives (I’m pretty sure), and from there you could export them. But that’s fairly byzantine and not really why that site exists if you aren’t going to just move the list off Yahoo.

It is one of the reasons I’ve thought it time to either get off Yahoo or bulk up Sialia or something. A lot of data at risk to the whim of (now) Verizon being willing to pay to keep the site running.



> On Jan 17, 2018, at 9:50 AM, Jennifer Rycenga <gyrrlfalcon...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> Important discussion of many issues so far here. I was perturbed, though, by the idea that the Yahoo Groups ARCHIVES might disappear. To me, these are valuable site-specific resources, that I use to help construct species lists for our online site guide in San Mateo county. If there are ways to download, store, or even print those archives, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later, I’d think.
>
>


 

Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 2:54 pm
From: Jennifer Rycenga <gyrrlfalcon...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Important discussion of many issues so far here. I was perturbed, though, by the idea that the Yahoo Groups ARCHIVES might disappear. To me, these are valuable site-specific resources, that I use to help construct species lists for our online site guide in San Mateo county. If there are ways to download, store, or even print those archives, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later, I’d think.

eBird, eBird reviewers, local listservs, and state-wide records committees strike me as reinforcing systems that help to check each other, and that have some valuable differences in personnel overseeing them, which also helps to check excesses. Nothing needs to disappear from our current bird-media environment, near as I can tell.

Jennifer Rycenga
San Mateo, CA
visit http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/
The San Mateo County Birding Guide





 

Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 1:44 pm
From: Glen Tepke <g.tepke...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Many cameras have GPS, but many do not. Even if your camera has GPS, my understanding is that Ebird strips out the photo metadata, which includes the GPS coordinates, before it displays the photo in your checklist. I don't know why it does that - wouldn't geotags that didn't match the location of the sighting help reviewers weed out spurious records? Ebird maestros: please correct me if I've got that wrong.


Glen Tepke

Oakland

> On January 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM "Doug Shaw <dougshaw09...> [CALBIRDS]" <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> I would think any photographer documenting a rare bird would have the GPS features active on the camera. I understand this may be an issue on private property. I have not posted many photos on Ebird so I am not sure if the coordinates are always visible.
>
>
> Doug Shaw
> Santa Rosa, CA, Sonoma County
>
> > >
> > >

 

Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 1:24 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]


> On Jan 17, 2018, at 12:05 PM, Chuck & Lillian <misclists...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> I appreciate the
> necessity and usefulness of having a "second pair
> of eyes" checking my data, despite the occasional
> feeling engendered of "How DARE they question my sighting!!!”

I have only once felt talked down to by an eBird reviewer, and I know from my own experience how often I get an ID wrong for the best of reasons. Almost always they help me see what I missed because they understand the areas better than I do. I really appreciate that feedback and try to learn from it.

>
> And then there are those - as Jim mentions - who
> don't even own a field guide, or they bird by
> photo, without binoculars. There's something just
> plain weird and backwards about that.

Not everyone takes it as seriously as we do (myself making the assumption you aren’t on this mailing list unless you’re pretty serious about this stuff). But one positive side effect of the eBird reviewers is that when notable species are reported, if they can’t get the kind of data they need to feel the sighting is confirmed, those sightings are left uncomfirmed so they don’t trigger alerts or muck with the data.

And we forget that a big aspect of eBird is that the crowdsourcing of the data helps self-correct the data, so for common sightings that’s perfectly fine. And for those rare notable ones, that’s why there are ebird reviewers reviewing them. They don’t need do review the common stuff, the data self polices itself.



 

Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 12:11 pm
From: Chuck & Lillian <misclists...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
In support of Jim Lomax (reproduced below):

Having cause some ebird errors myself - (black)
Brant, Carrion Crow - Common Teal - AND having
been a accountant all my life, I appreciate the
necessity and usefulness of having a "second pair
of eyes" checking my data, despite the occasional
feeling engendered of "How DARE they question my sighting!!!"

Some people, believing themselves beyond error,
just can't stand being questioned or having their
work checked. But just as "one bad apple spoils
the barrel" and "bad money drives out good" and
other ancient yet appropriate adages, it's better
to step on a few toes and catch errors with
reviews than to wind up with a database so
riddled with rubbish that it becomes unreliable and useless.

Even 99.9% accuracy - which is better than the
typical accountant can muster on the first pass
through the data - when faced with 10 million
eBird records per month, yields 10,000 errors per
month and 120,000 errors a year. Think about it.

And then there are those - as Jim mentions - who
don't even own a field guide, or they bird by
photo, without binoculars. There's something just
plain weird and backwards about that.

Chuck Almdale
North Hills, CA

At 06:02 PM 1/16/2018, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] wrote:
> Considering the huge number of erroneous
> ebird reports, some even documented with
> photos, from people either too lazy or don’t
> care enough to study a bird guide but don’t
> mind asking for someone else to identify their
> birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
> people to sort through all the “claims" would
> keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
>Jim Lomax
> From No Particular Place



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Back to top
Date: 1/17/18 11:04 am
From: Doug Shaw <dougshaw09...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
I would think any photographer documenting a rare bird would have the GPS features active on the camera. I understand this may be an issue on private property. I have not posted many photos on Ebird so I am not sure if the coordinates are always visible.


Doug Shaw
Santa Rosa, CA, Sonoma County

> On January 16, 2018 at 7:32 PM "Leonie Batkin <leonie.batkin23...> [CALBIRDS]" <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>
>
> Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds.. I am not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record committees under any circumstances.
>
> Leonie Batkin
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> mailto:<sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...> > wrote:
>
>
> > >
> >
> > The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee? The answer is firmly NO.
> >
> >
> > All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I hope it works out.
> >
> > Jim
> >
> >
> > > > > On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> mailto:<heraldpetrel...> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi All,
> > >
> > > As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc..), eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird information. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would cease to exist.
> > >
> > > One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability.. With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on eBird here:
> > >
> > > http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
> > >
> > > It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every day.
> > >
> > > Thanks
> > >
> > > Brian
> > >
> > > On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...> mailto:<coddler...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
> > > >
> > > > Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
> > > >
> > > > Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into reviewing eBird sightings?
> > > >
> > > > Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
> > > >
> > > > I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
> > > >
> > > > It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture their reports.
> > > >
> > > > Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
> > > >
> > > > eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
> > > >
> > > > Bruce Barrett
> > > > San Jose, CA
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> mailto:<sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Jim Lomax
> > > > > From No Particular Place
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> mailto:<gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...> > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > -Gjon
> > > > > > San Diego County
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > >
> >
> >
> > >
>
>
>
>




>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 10:09 pm
From: <kyri...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
My .02:


I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
good.


I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
bird again.


I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
the ordinary accepted.


Kyri Freeman
Barstow, CA




> Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I am
> not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when
> they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the
> record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
> record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
> committees under any circumstances.
> Leonie Batkin
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]
>> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>
>> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee?
>> The answer is firmly NO.
>>
>>
>> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I
>> hope it works out.
>>
>> Jim
>>
>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can
>>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
>>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process
>>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
>>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
>>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable
>>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
>>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
>>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
>>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally
>>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
>>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
>>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird
>>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly
>>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all
>>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
>>> eBird would cease to exist..
>>>
>>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always
>>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to
>>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number
>>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability.
>>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
>>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
>>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this
>>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
>>> eBird here:
>>>
>>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
>>>
>>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
>>> every day.
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>>
>>> Brian
>>>
>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...>
>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>>>>
>>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
>>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
>>>>
>>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side,
>>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not
>>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of
>>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings?
>>>>
>>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
>>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
>>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
>>>> subsequently cleaned out.
>>>>
>>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
>>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
>>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed,
>>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
>>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that
>>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
>>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
>>>> reviewers to consider.
>>>>
>>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so
>>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to
>>>> capture their reports.
>>>>
>>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a
>>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
>>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
>>>> management, etc.
>>>>
>>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does
>>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
>>>> adjusted.
>>>>
>>>> Bruce Barrett
>>>> San Jose, CA
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...>
>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
>>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care
>>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else
>>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
>>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in
>>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Jim Lomax
>>>>> From No Particular Place
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
>>>>>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
>>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -Gjon
>>>>>> San Diego County
>>>>>>
>>
>>
>




--
My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
Amazon. Print copies also available.




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Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 10:04 pm
From: Mary & Nick Freeman <mnfreeman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are regional/county list servs still relevant - YESSS
Hi all

If one is subscribed to the listserv, the “good deed” approach is to report a rarity to the listserv along with their Ebird entry. Be a good and courteous birder. The Listserv has been used for many years and it comes in handy when one is preparing for a trip. It’s a good and quick overview for bird reports. Keep the tradition and this wealth of information coming in.

Cheers!

Mary Freeman
Glendale, CA

> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:33 PM, Kathleen <kamnick...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>
>


 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 9:43 pm
From: Paul Hurtado <paul.j.hurtado...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
While I was living in Ohio a few years ago there was some concern that the
Birding Ohio facebook group was competing with the state listserv.


I compared some data from the Facebook group with the monthly number of
posts to the listserv, and looking over a few years of those data it
appeared that (at the time) the listserv activity was chugging along at a
pretty steady pace:


https://mostlybirds.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/too-many-birding-forums-in-ohio/


After discussing those results with others, we largely concluded that the
Facebook group wasn't competing so much as it was just additional
information. Good in that more birds were being reported, but bad in that
we could no longer turn to just one resource to monitor those reports.


In CO, the birding community has come up with a nice partial solution: two
organizations "sponsor" (I'm unclear on what that means, exactly) someone
to to do regular (daily!) compilations of rarities reported to the list,
eBird etc... and submit summaries to the state listserv, CObirds.


Aggregating information is tricky, but probably the way to go if the
problem is that information is scattered across multiple communication
platforms. Guiding people towards using these different outlets properly is
also a great idea, as others have mentioned, to keep up the quality of that
information.


Good birding,

Paul Hurtado
Reno, NV




On Jan 12, 2018 2:18 PM, "Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS]" <
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:






It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird. Not only
that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become MORE
fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook
individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are
SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is
supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
gets only some scraps, if anything.


Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the number
of local birders who now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding has
grown steadily. Most of these folks still happily get information from such
sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number of these people
do submit eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is it
the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from the
field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any
smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird
reports? Is there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to
eBird is “enough”? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or just
lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which they got
information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason, recent

checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the San
Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming through
eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit somewhat
skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and local-birder
2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple rarities
mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per eBird alert).
A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that some birds
such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted Goose at a
local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird alert—given that it
is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would dream of posting its
continued existence on a regular basis on the county listserv. Or, over the
past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca Boobies, a wintering
Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and state-level rarities
locally, has drawn an especially large number of California birders from
out of town as well as many out-of-state birders—few of whom have posting
privileges to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them can post to
eBird.


In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they
can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see
the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out
of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real Garganey.
But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of some observers
to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)


Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information on
how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A dropped
pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may just denote
the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is. Some observers add
in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also, because many human
beings (including many birders) are geographically challenged, many
locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
in a number of ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
correct, the included comments (if any) may say little about the specific
tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen
there, origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal
access issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past couple
weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple good posts
to the listserv dealing with private property issues and homeowner and
birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.


Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single day
on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY
eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee,
Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,

Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing.
The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”


Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate chasing
“other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend almost all their time
doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too! And most of us birders are
at some point in the continuum between these two extremes. But the bottom
line is, a relatively small number of birders find a relatively large
percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of their
birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can this large group
of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
positive and negative) if they see that such updates have not been made in
“a reasonable time period,” or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s
preferred exact site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe include
a bit more information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include maybe
where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different from
“usual.” And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a photo.
Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of continuing rarities
without at least some documentation, given that some birds are reported
long after they actually departed.


If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then

submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some texting

or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local listserv to get

their “chase” information, see the bird, and then rarely or never return
the favor to birders following behind them—be it for reasons of laziness,
cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee
bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.


Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed (i.e.,
efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think that my
concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills. Others may
sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!


--Paul Lehman, San Diego









 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 9:27 pm
From: Kathleen <kamnick...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Are regional/county list servs still relevant


I belong to a large horse/equine list that moved off of Yahoo groups to IO... I was not involved in the move, but apparently it was relatively painless with all members being moved to the new format. I just offer this as something to consider if, in fact, Yahoo goes belly up. The rumor of that happening was partly why the equine list moved.


I would be sorry to see the county list servs go away. I live in Sonoma County and keep an eye on the SF list and the East Bay list and CALBirds. While I belong to ebird, I rarely post on it. I just haven’t taken the time to become familiar and comfortable with it.


This is a good discussion, I think...giving folks the opportunity to consider how and why changes may happen. For now, I hope we can maintain all the choices.


Thank you all.


Kathleen Mugele
Sonoma






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Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 7:33 pm
From: Leonie Batkin <leonie.batkin23...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I am not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record committees under any circumstances.
Leonie Batkin

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee? The answer is firmly NO.
>
>
> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I hope it works out.
>
> Jim
>
>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> wrote:
>>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would cease to exist..
>>
>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability. With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on eBird here:
>>
>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
>>
>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every day.
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> Brian
>>
>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>>>
>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
>>>
>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into reviewing eBird sightings?
>>>
>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
>>>
>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
>>>
>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture their reports.
>>>
>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
>>>
>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
>>>
>>> Bruce Barrett
>>> San Jose, CA
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Jim Lomax
>>>> From No Particular Place
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>>>>>
>>>>> -Gjon
>>>>> San Diego County
>>>>>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 7:15 pm
From: Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee? The answer is firmly NO.

All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving.. I hope it works out.

Jim

> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> wrote:
>
> Hi All,
>
> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird information. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would cease to exist.
>
> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability. With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on eBird here:
>
> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676 <http://help.ebird..org/customer/portal/articles/1055676>
>
> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every day.
>
> Thanks
>
> Brian
>
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...> <mailto:<coddler...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> <mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...>> wrote:
>
> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>
> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
>
> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into reviewing eBird sightings?
>
> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
>
> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
>
> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture their reports.
>
> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
>
> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
>
> Bruce Barrett
> San Jose, CA
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> <mailto:<sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> <mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...>> wrote:
>
> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
>
>
> Jim Lomax
> From No Particular Place
>
>
>
>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> <mailto:<gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> <mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...>> wrote:
>>
>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>>
>> -Gjon
>> San Diego County

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 7:09 pm
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Hi All,

As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can
assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by
regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by
records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records,
and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird
records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the
details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful
and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are
great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.),
eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the
relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out
there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
bird information. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly
and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their
hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would
cease to exist.

One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always
evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to
achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of
other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability. With
more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is
near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for
continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you
can read about how the review process works on eBird here:

http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676

It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every
day.

Thanks

Brian

On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett <coddler...> [CALBIRDS]
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
>
> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
>
> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what
> does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could
> not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into
> reviewing eBird sightings?
>
> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as
> possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula
> report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
>
> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise
> also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and
> more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every
> California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they
> have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the
> average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the
> RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
>
> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until
> eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture
> their reports.
>
> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a
> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced
> birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
>
> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not
> fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
>
> Bruce Barrett
> San Jose, CA
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <
> <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to
>> study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their
>> birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all
>> the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than
>> ebird.
>>
>> Jim Lomax
>> From No Particular Place
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
>> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>
>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records
>> Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>>
>> -Gjon
>> San Diego County
>>
>>
>
>



--
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 6:41 pm
From: Bruce Barrett <coddler...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.

Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.

Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what
does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could
not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into
reviewing eBird sightings?

Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as
possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula
report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.

I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise
also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and
more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every
California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they
have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the
average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the
RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.

It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until
eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture
their reports.

Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree
of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds,
information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.

eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not
fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.

Bruce Barrett
San Jose, CA



On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to
> study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their
> birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all
> the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than
> ebird.
>
> Jim Lomax
> From No Particular Place
>
>
>
> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records
> Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>
> -Gjon
> San Diego County
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 6:25 pm
From: Robert McKernan <rmcksula...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Gjon, et al.,

At the risk of being branded as deep-rooted (again), I strongly believe Bird Record Committees continue to be the capstone for bird status in the federated state, and unquestionably more relevant now in the age of eBird. I appreciate the judicial process...



Robert McKernan

Redlands


From: <CALBIRDS...> [mailto:<CALBIRDS...>] On Behalf Of Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS]
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:42 PM
To: Calbirds <CALBIRDS...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]



At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?

-Gjon
San Diego County


 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 6:24 pm
From: Karen Havlena <jkhavlena...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Bravo, Jim --
Bird Records Committees are definitely critical for seriously reviewing important records, and NOT from photos, submitted only to eBird.
Thank you, Paul, for beginning this valuable topic.
Karen HavlenaReno, Nevada

From: "Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS]" <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
To: Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
Cc: CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]

  Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
Jim LomaxFrom No Particular Place




On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?

-Gjon
San Diego County
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Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 6:21 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Speaking as someone with just a little email mailing list background, please, god, whatever you do, don’t do this.



> On Jan 16, 2018, at 2:05 PM, Sharon F1727 <sharonf1727...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> If you have issues with Yahoo, my advice is to switch the elist from Yahoo Groups to Google Groups,


 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 6:02 pm
From: Jim Lomax <sdrib...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.

Jim Lomax
From No Particular Place



> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?
>
> -Gjon
> San Diego County

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 5:43 pm
From: Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird?

-Gjon
San Diego County

------------------------------------
Posted by: Gjon Hazard <gjon_hazard...>
------------------------------------

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Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 5:32 pm
From: Marcus England <marcuscengland...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Chuq’s comment’s below are interesting to me for a number of reasons. I moved to California from Ohio in 2003. I was a significant part of the birding community there and a major contributor on the ohio-birds listserv, which (at the time, at least) helped to bind the entire statewide birding community together. I generally posted a narrative of every significant outing. I was also on the Audubon board, field trip chair and frequent trip leader, regular newsletter author, radio show guest (to talk about birds and tropical ecology), etc., etc.


When I moved here, I tried to have my birding life the same way. It didn’t work. I got negative feedback on my first several posts, got the impression the birding community here wasn’t all that friendly, and never did become involved in the birding world in Los Angeles the way I once was in Ohio. I have birded pretty much constantly (though a lot is in the field as a consultant and not shareable information) since then, have realized now that I’m older that perhaps I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did at the time, and have been gradually trying to slide my way back into the birding community. I don’t post on the lists often, though, because the rules for the different lists vary and I can’t keep straight what is welcome where... In other words, I’m a lurker and find the information useful.


I’m not sure if my babbling added to the discussion, but hopefully it did.


Regards,


Marcus




Marcus C. England
Biologist | Scientific Illustrator
Chiquibul Bird Program Coordinator @ Friends for Conservation and Development
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
http://mcengland.com
http://wildlife.graphics


——————————————————
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> On Jan 16, 2018, at 12:41, Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>
>> 2. Local listserves for news and discussions - like this one, actually, and even ones about rarities. Sort of binding and preserving the "birding culture" of a given region.
>
> So a few months ago I did a survey of many of the california lists to try to understand what was considered normal usage and acceptable content. The question for me was whether things like meeting notices and trip reports were acceptable, to most groups, but also the larger content issues. The groups range across a fairly wide variety, from super hard core “sightings only, and only in specific formats” (remember when I asked if the first response a new users was a complaint they were doing it wrong?) to pretty free range to a couple I simply couldn’t figure it if acceptable usage was ever spelled out by anyone.
>
> My suggestion given the growing use of eBird for reporting is that lists should be talking with the members and considering widening their acceptable topics and become more conversation lists rather than strict sighting lists. My guess is that the lists that are hardest core about sightings only and how they’re submitted are the ones most likely to be seeing reduced traffic and stagnation.
>
> Make the lists more of a social place rather than what they were ten years ago, which were effectively email versions of the bird box phone setups. Times have changed (how many bird box phones are still in use? And is anyone under the age of 60 calling them?)
>
> I’d also suggest taking a close look at list documentation and how accurate and helpful it is. And how accepting and welcoming the list is to new users. Do they get welcomed? Are their first postings received with positive feedback? Or total silence? Or some kind of rebuke or correction? Because if you want them to post a second time, you don’t want their first time to leave a bad feeling.
>
>> 3. Facebook groups for ID issues and sharing photographs (we moderators for Birding CA have had a few threads about the dominance of photos on the site, often just dozens of the same (common) species month in, month out.
>
> This is it’s own long, sad discussion, but basically, that’s Facebook. It’s very graphic-centric, and very shallow in terms of conversations. And it makes it easy for casual sharing, so you’re most likely going to get a lot of casual images. There are ways to maybe make it better, but, well, it’s Facebook and it’ll always be Facebook.
>
> I’ll also note, amusingly, that nowhere in this discussion have we mentioned twitter, which seems an obvious place to build a rare bird announcement network. Except Twitter’s kinda really screwed up these days and not where I’d want to put services I have to depend on…
>
>
>>
>> 4. Summaries/digests (circulated via the listserves, shared elsewhere online) for "less intense" birders who just want to know what's been around in the past week or two.
>
> Which is Sialia in a nutshell. And I wish it had more resources around it and kept permanent archives because the Yahoo archives can be hard to deal with and in case nobody’s noticed, there’s no export function to pull those archives off site and use elsewhere (although there are ways to suck those archives free; I recently did that for SBB to update my external Archive so I didn’t have to worry about that data disappearing or having to solve that problem in a deathmarch). Honestly, this kind of permanent external archive of state lists would be something I’d love to see someone like Audubon take on and support; there’s lots that could be done with it.
>
>> This seems to be the state-of-play 2018. Obviously it'll change.. Yahoo (or what's left of it) will quietly vanish one day, hopefully not taking its archive with it. Facebook will fade and be replaced by Faceimplant where messages are beamed directly to our brains. And then, we'll look back and wish we'd just joined Twitter when we had the chance.
>
> Which is sort of where I started in this conversation.
>
> We have a few choices here. We can decide it’s time to start building the next generation of communication for state birders, and then go out and build it and move over to that system and hopefully not have to worry about things for another decade or so.
>
> Or we can just keep using what we have, flaws and all, and probably wake up one day to find out we have 60 days to set up something else because Yahoo Groups is going away, and then we’re in a massive hurry and panic, and that probably means whatever was done on Yahoo Groups becomes a Facebook group because it’s fast and easy (and honestly, Facebook really sucks on mobile and kills your battery)
>
> Or worse, Yahoo Groups might just break hard, and Verizon looks at it and says “not worth fixing”, and we’re done.
>
> I would much prefer that first option because I hate panic projects and death marches, but I’m seeing no real interest in doing anything but talking right now, and that’s okay, and I’m not going to push to make it happen. But keep in mind that leaves us basically with one of those last two options, and on a schedule not of our choosing. Imagine Yahoo Groups shutting down on two weeks notice just as CBC season is gearing up…
>
> If I were going to suggest one thing to do, it’d be this: I’d love to see a new statewide email list, but one in which only a few people have permission to post, optimally one per county.. And their job would be to monitor the local sightings and chatter and spread the word to the state list so that these specialties get known quickly and reliably... Because from what I can see, those special sightings don’t get that kind of distribution reliably and in the existing lists get bogged down by chatter about whether they’re still there or how to chase them. That talk should go back to the regional lists, which will only happen if that statewide list is moderated and low volume. (The other thing likely good for this list is when notable birding locations have a status change like having access removed or changed)
>
> (And for what it’s worth, if you’re running a list and you want to talk about ways to improve it, change it or whatever, this is stuff I’ve done for a living and I’m happy to chat and offer my thoughts and help where I can. Just drop me an email).
>
> Take care
>
> chuq
>
>
>



 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 5:28 pm
From: Sharon F1727 <sharonf1727...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
If you have issues with Yahoo, my advice is to switch the elist from Yahoo
Groups to Google Groups, which is used for some other regional birding
elists, including the MD/DC one. I haven't experienced any issues with
Google Groups and haven't heard any complaints about them, either.
Sharon Forsyth
Washington, DC

On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 4:57 PM, borodayko <adboro...> [CALBIRDS] <
<CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Here is my two cents. I rely on Yahoo groups for my birding information.
> In a short missive, birds and locations are nicely described. The county
> lists are most important, because I can quickly see what is being viewed
> and where. Ebird is a giant gorilla that is impractical to use unless one
> is interested in a specific bird or a specific hotspot. Even then, I have
> seen the same identified bird pinned to several hotspots some not near
> where the bird actually was..I wouldn't be surprised if Ebird doesn't
> collapse someday under it's own weight. Too much information to process.
>
> Regards, Al Borodayko
> Cypress, CA
>
>
>



--
Sharon Forsyth
Washington, DC

 

Back to top
Date: 1/16/18 2:09 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Ebird’s not going away, it’s going to continue getting better, but it depends on good data being input by all of us.

So perhaps one thing we can take on is a group get together and write a “how to use eBird well and how you can use it on the lists” doc that all of the lists can then use to help teach users, because eBird does have a learning curve. I’d be happy to do the heavy listing on writing it but I think we would need at least a few people from around the state (including some eBird reviewers) willing to help create the content and point me in the right directions.



> On Jan 16, 2018, at 1:57 PM, borodayko <adboro...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> Even then, I have seen the same identified bird pinned to several hotspots some not near where the bird actually was..I wouldn't be surprised if Ebird doesn't collapse someday under it's own weight. Too much information to process.
>


 

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Date: 1/16/18 1:57 pm
From: borodayko <adboro...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Here is my two cents. I rely on Yahoo groups for my birding information. In a short missive, birds and locations are nicely described. The county lists are most important, because I can quickly see what is being viewed and where. Ebird is a giant gorilla that is impractical to use unless one is interested in a specific bird or a specific hotspot. Even then, I have seen the same identified bird pinned to several hotspots some not near where the bird actually was..I wouldn't be surprised if Ebird doesn't collapse someday under it's own weight. Too much information to process.
Regards, Al BorodaykoCypress, CA
 

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Date: 1/16/18 12:41 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
> 2. Local listserves for news and discussions - like this one, actually, and even ones about rarities. Sort of binding and preserving the "birding culture" of a given region.

So a few months ago I did a survey of many of the california lists to try to understand what was considered normal usage and acceptable content. The question for me was whether things like meeting notices and trip reports were acceptable, to most groups, but also the larger content issues. The groups range across a fairly wide variety, from super hard core “sightings only, and only in specific formats” (remember when I asked if the first response a new users was a complaint they were doing it wrong?) to pretty free range to a couple I simply couldn’t figure it if acceptable usage was ever spelled out by anyone.

My suggestion given the growing use of eBird for reporting is that lists should be talking with the members and considering widening their acceptable topics and become more conversation lists rather than strict sighting lists.. My guess is that the lists that are hardest core about sightings only and how they’re submitted are the ones most likely to be seeing reduced traffic and stagnation.

Make the lists more of a social place rather than what they were ten years ago, which were effectively email versions of the bird box phone setups. Times have changed (how many bird box phones are still in use? And is anyone under the age of 60 calling them?)

I’d also suggest taking a close look at list documentation and how accurate and helpful it is. And how accepting and welcoming the list is to new users. Do they get welcomed? Are their first postings received with positive feedback? Or total silence? Or some kind of rebuke or correction? Because if you want them to post a second time, you don’t want their first time to leave a bad feeling.

> 3. Facebook groups for ID issues and sharing photographs (we moderators for Birding CA have had a few threads about the dominance of photos on the site, often just dozens of the same (common) species month in, month out.

This is it’s own long, sad discussion, but basically, that’s Facebook. It’s very graphic-centric, and very shallow in terms of conversations. And it makes it easy for casual sharing, so you’re most likely going to get a lot of casual images. There are ways to maybe make it better, but, well, it’s Facebook and it’ll always be Facebook.

I’ll also note, amusingly, that nowhere in this discussion have we mentioned twitter, which seems an obvious place to build a rare bird announcement network. Except Twitter’s kinda really screwed up these days and not where I’d want to put services I have to depend on…


>
> 4. Summaries/digests (circulated via the listserves, shared elsewhere online) for "less intense" birders who just want to know what's been around in the past week or two.

Which is Sialia in a nutshell. And I wish it had more resources around it and kept permanent archives because the Yahoo archives can be hard to deal with and in case nobody’s noticed, there’s no export function to pull those archives off site and use elsewhere (although there are ways to suck those archives free; I recently did that for SBB to update my external Archive so I didn’t have to worry about that data disappearing or having to solve that problem in a deathmarch). Honestly, this kind of permanent external archive of state lists would be something I’d love to see someone like Audubon take on and support; there’s lots that could be done with it.

> This seems to be the state-of-play 2018. Obviously it'll change. Yahoo (or what's left of it) will quietly vanish one day, hopefully not taking its archive with it. Facebook will fade and be replaced by Faceimplant where messages are beamed directly to our brains. And then, we'll look back and wish we'd just joined Twitter when we had the chance.

Which is sort of where I started in this conversation.

We have a few choices here. We can decide it’s time to start building the next generation of communication for state birders, and then go out and build it and move over to that system and hopefully not have to worry about things for another decade or so.

Or we can just keep using what we have, flaws and all, and probably wake up one day to find out we have 60 days to set up something else because Yahoo Groups is going away, and then we’re in a massive hurry and panic, and that probably means whatever was done on Yahoo Groups becomes a Facebook group because it’s fast and easy (and honestly, Facebook really sucks on mobile and kills your battery)

Or worse, Yahoo Groups might just break hard, and Verizon looks at it and says “not worth fixing”, and we’re done.

I would much prefer that first option because I hate panic projects and death marches, but I’m seeing no real interest in doing anything but talking right now, and that’s okay, and I’m not going to push to make it happen. But keep in mind that leaves us basically with one of those last two options, and on a schedule not of our choosing. Imagine Yahoo Groups shutting down on two weeks notice just as CBC season is gearing up…

If I were going to suggest one thing to do, it’d be this: I’d love to see a new statewide email list, but one in which only a few people have permission to post, optimally one per county. And their job would be to monitor the local sightings and chatter and spread the word to the state list so that these specialties get known quickly and reliably. Because from what I can see, those special sightings don’t get that kind of distribution reliably and in the existing lists get bogged down by chatter about whether they’re still there or how to chase them. That talk should go back to the regional lists, which will only happen if that statewide list is moderated and low volume. (The other thing likely good for this list is when notable birding locations have a status change like having access removed or changed)

(And for what it’s worth, if you’re running a list and you want to talk about ways to improve it, change it or whatever, this is stuff I’ve done for a living and I’m happy to chat and offer my thoughts and help where I can. Just drop me an email).

Take care

chuq


 

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Date: 1/16/18 11:21 am
From: <dan_cooper_90042...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Just chiming in (interesting thread Paul, thanks),

Agree with Chuq and another poster who felt these Yahoo groups/'listserves' are actually complementary rather than competing. It's funny how the various media sort of develop a culture of their own. When ebird started 10 years ago, I don't think it was envisioned as an alert system. But now that people are reporting and reading almost exclusively on phones, it is, and yes, it's very easy compared to dealing with Yahoo.


Since I moderate both a listserve (LACoBirds) as well as a Facebook group (Birding CA) I'll just opine that it seems like it's heading this way:


1. EBird for both alerts as well as archiving sightings/media and conducting/disseminating research (I use it daily for various purposes, and it's only getting better).


2. Local listserves for news and discussions - like this one, actually, and even ones about rarities. Sort of binding and preserving the "birding culture" of a given region.


3. Facebook groups for ID issues and sharing photographs (we moderators for Birding CA have had a few threads about the dominance of photos on the site, often just dozens of the same (common) species month in, month out.


4. Summaries/digests (circulated via the listserves, shared elsewhere online) for "less intense" birders who just want to know what's been around in the past week or two.


This seems to be the state-of-play 2018. Obviously it'll change. Yahoo (or what's left of it) will quietly vanish one day, hopefully not taking its archive with it. Facebook will fade and be replaced by Faceimplant where messages are beamed directly to our brains. And then, we'll look back and wish we'd just joined Twitter when we had the chance.


Ok, go out and bird.


Dan Cooper
Ventura Co.
 

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Date: 1/15/18 8:22 pm
From: 'T.G. Miko' <tgmiko...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
1. Chuck so perfectly stated what I have wanted to write, that I won't
duplicate his effort.
2. There are a lot of people--and this is not age-related--who just don't
want to use/be on eBird.
3. eBird is powerful, there are a lot of good things about it, but it is
also too much, overwhelming, etc.
4. My job randomly sends me to Tennessee, so instead of unsubscribing and
re-subscribing whenever I have a trip coming up, I just stay subscribed. I
can tell my the subject lines of their emails if I want to read them, or
not. The subject lines, alone, give me an idea of what's expected, and
what's rare for Tennessee.
5. Same goes for the fact that I remain subscribed to the two states' email
listserves for my neighbors: Arizona and Nevada. If I lived up north, I
would be subscribed to the Oregon list.
If it was only about data, or Big Data, then scientists would never have
conferences where they get together at a convention center.

Tom Miko (boo, hiss)
Claremont
"City of Trees" (I am allergic to trees; my mother had me tested.)
LA County
909.241.3300

Thomas Geza Miko
http://www.tgmiko.com/
Claremont, Los Angeles County, California
909.241.3300

On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 12:58 PM, Chuck & Lillian <misclists...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Birders:
> Yes, they're still relevant. I read CALBIRDS and LaCoBirds every day. I
> try to post only when necessary. [I have been accused of posting slightly
> off-topic items, an accusation which - IMHO - is lacking a sense of humor..]
>
> I find it very useful for people (it certainly doesn't have to be the
> *same* person) to continue to report on rare birds. I don't get out right
> away on rarities, as some people habitually do, and it might take a week -
> even two - for me to get there. It's nice to know the bird is still there..
> Driving around fruitlessly in Los Angeles or SoCal traffic is hazardous to
> your mental health.
>
> I don't use GPS (no smartphone - Luddites Live!), but many do, and it
> seems silly to possess the exact location info and not share it. Written
> descriptions of location PLUS the GPS coordinates would serve both camps.
> One can always google at home the GPS coordinates and write down where it
> is.
>
> I have found *many many* times that descriptions given on-line will get
> you to the general locale, but then are lacking some crucial detail(s)
> which would get you to the bird, if you had them. Details, please! Put
> yourself in the birding shoes of someone new to the area.
>
> Chuck Almdale
> North Hills, Ca.
>
> At 07:46 AM 1/13/2018, Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] wrote:
>
>
>
> Paul,
>
> You raise some good points (thanks for venting). Your eBird analysis
> raises a slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers me and this seems
> like a reasonable opportunity to share it.
>
> As you point out, eBird hotspots can be quite large. eBird reviewers,
> following eBird instructions, ask people who submit rarities at
> more-precise personal locations to move their observations to the hotspots
> or they create new "stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers to move
> them there. For some reason, there's a desire within eBird to consolidate
> rarity sightings. I feel this consolidation often masks location
> precision that can elucidate valuable movement patterns of these birds, and
> I generally resist these requests (unless the existing hotspot is extremely
> small or my sighting was extremely close to its plotted location), at least
> until the bird is gone.
>
> Perhaps someone can explain why having rarity sightings clumped into
> single locations is worth erasing the precision of personal locations
> plotted exactly where sightings are made, which is especially easy and
> accurate to do on mobile devices.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Ken Burton
> Crescent City
>
> On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
> [CALBIRDS] < <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
> Â
>
> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
> local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
> a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
> feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sitestes such as eBird. Not
> only that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become MORE
> fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
> local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook
> individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
> private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
> actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are
> SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is
> supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
> information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
> listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
> exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
> gets only some scraps, if anything.
>
> Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the number
> of local birders who now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding has
> grown steadily. Most of these folks still happily get information from such
> sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number of these people
> do submit eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is
> it the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from
> the field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any
> smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird
> reports? Is there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to
> eBird is “enough†? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or
> just lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which
> they got information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason,
> recent checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the
> San Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity†alerts coming
> through eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit
> somewhat skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and
> local-birder 2018 “big year†kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple
> rarities mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per
> eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that
> some birds such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted
> Goose at a local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird
> alert—given that it is a flagged species—but that vt virtually nobody would
> dream of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the county
> listserv. Or, over the past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca
> Boobies, a wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and
> state-level rarities locally, has drawn an especially large number of
> California birders from out of town as well as many out-of-state
> birders—few of whom have posting privileges to the San Diego listserv, but
> almost all of them can post to eBird.
>
> In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
> daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
> caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
> source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
> especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
> bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they
> can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
> rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
> even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
> out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see
> the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out
> of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
> him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real Garganey.
> But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of some
> observers to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)
>
> Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information on
> how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A dropped
> pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may just denote
> the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is. Some observers add
> in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also, because many human
> beings (including many birders) are geographically challenged, many
> locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
> MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
> in a number of ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
> correct, the included comments (if any) may say little about the specific
> tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen
> there, origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal
> access issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
> best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past couple
> weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple good posts
> to the listserv dealing with private property issues and homeowner and
> birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk..
>
> Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single
> day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
> just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
> updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
> present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
> information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY
> eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee,
> Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,
> Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
> these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing.
> The question then becomes: “Does it matter?â€
>
> Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
> entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
> what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate chasing
> “other people’s birds,†very rarely do it, but spend almost all their
> time doing “their own†birding. That’s great, too! And most of us
> birders are at some point in the continuum between these two extremes. But
> the bottom line is, a relatively small number of birders find a relatively
> large percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of their
> birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can this large group
> of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
> positive and negative) if they see that such updates have not been made in
> “a reasonable time period,†or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s
> preferred exact site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe include
> a bit more information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include maybe
> where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different from
> “usual..†And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
> ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a photo.Â
> Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of continuing rarities
> without at least some documentation, given that some birds are reported
> long after they actually departed.
>
> If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then
> submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some texting
> or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local listserv to get
> their “chase†information, see the bird, and then rarely or never return
> the favor to birders following behind them—be it for reasons of laziness,
> cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then thhis does seem just a wee
> bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.
>
> Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed (i.e.,
> efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think that my
> concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills. Others may
> sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!
>
> --Paul Lehman, San Diego
>
> Â
>
>
>
>

 

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Date: 1/13/18 10:29 pm
From: Bob Toleno <bob...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] RUSTY BLACKBIRD at MoonGlow Dairy, January 13
This afternoon around 2:30, Logan Kahle and i briefly stopped by MoonGlow
Dairy in Moss Landing, hoping to see some of the recent rarities there.
While birding the cattle pens looking for Cattle Egret or Yellow-headed
Blackbird, we were sorting through the 2-3,000 blackbirds present, when i
noticed one on the ground outside the pens with a distinctly rusty
coloration to its head and back. I realized i had a RUSTY BLACKBIRD in my
view. Logan got on it very quickly and got a few photographs. The bird flew
up and into a farther cattle pen with many other blackbirds. There were
hundreds of Brewer's and starlings, and a few dozens of Red-winged,
Tricolored, and cowbirds, and over a thousand "blackbird sp." Sorting
through the flock could take a while if you aren't as lucky as we were,
especially as the birds move around around a lot while foraging.

We were on our way back from a morning spent at the Big Sur River near Hwy
1, where we successfully chased the continuing Louisiana Waterthrush. It
took over three hours, but we eventually saw the bird on the south bank of
the creek, directly underneath the pedestrian footbridge nearest the
highway. It spent some time moving in the bushes and leaf litter about 50
feet from the water, also, giving great looks.

If you go to MoonGlow Dairy to look for the Rusty and you've never been
before, be sure to follow all guidelines for birding this private property:

http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/moonglow.html

Good birding,
Bob Toleno
Hayward

 

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Date: 1/13/18 5:25 pm
From: Adam James Searcy <serpophaga...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Ken,

Personal locations for rarities that are plotted by observers are often
inaccurate, and one ends up with a cluster of observations that are not
*more* accurate, but less accurate than a single hotspot would be. A mild
example (as most are plotted very close to the yard) is the Broad-billed
Hummingbird currently in a backyard in Santa Barbara. This bird rarely
strays from one lemon tree/feeder in this very small yard, yet the personal
locations are out front, across the street, etc. (some of this might be due
to poor GPS accuracy). On a scale this small, it doesn't matter that these
aren't perfectly accurate. I've seen other examples with rarities in
Ventura Co. of birds that were known to have never strayed far and the
personal locations are, forgive me, all over the map. If one wants to look
at the record in eBird and see the date range and documentation in the
mapping feature, then one would have to click each and every personal
location (which can be challenging if not impossible when you have 10, 20,
75 personal locations in a giant cluster). It is simpler and very often
more accurate in such cases to have a hotspot that all users submit to.

If the rarity in question is moving more widely, e.g., the Ross's Gull in
San Mateo and many other examples, then I agree-- a wide scattering of
personal locations may be more appropriate than a couple of artificially
exact hotspots. Additionally note that many eBird observations aren't
accurate point localities and nor is that the intention--we're more often
submitting traveling counts where almost none of the observations are
plotted exactly.

Adam Searcy

On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 7:46 AM, Ken Burton <shrikethree...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Paul,
>
> You raise some good points (thanks for venting). Your eBird analysis
> raises a slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers me and this seems
> like a reasonable opportunity to share it.
>
> As you point out, eBird hotspots can be quite large. eBird reviewers,
> following eBird instructions, ask people who submit rarities at
> more-precise personal locations to move their observations to the hotspots
> or they create new "stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers to move
> them there. For some reason, there's a desire within eBird to consolidate
> rarity sightings. I feel this consolidation often masks location precision
> that can elucidate valuable movement patterns of these birds, and I
> generally resist these requests (unless the existing hotspot is extremely
> small or my sighting was extremely close to its plotted location), at least
> until the bird is gone.
>
> Perhaps someone can explain why having rarity sightings clumped into
> single locations is worth erasing the precision of personal locations
> plotted exactly where sightings are made, which is especially easy and
> accurate to do on mobile devices.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Ken Burton
> Crescent City
>
> On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
>> local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
>> a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
>> feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird. Not only
>> that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become MORE
>> fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
>> local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook
>> individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
>> private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
>> actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are
>> SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is
>> supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
>> information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
>> listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
>> exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
>> gets only some scraps, if anything.
>>
>> Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the number
>> of local birders who now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding has
>> grown steadily. Most of these folks still happily get information from such
>> sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number of these people
>> do submit eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is
>> it the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from
>> the field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any
>> smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird
>> reports? Is there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to
>> eBird is “enough”? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or
>> just lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which they
>> got information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason,
>> recent checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the
>> San Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming
>> through eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit
>> somewhat skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and
>> local-birder 2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple
>> rarities mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per
>> eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that
>> some birds such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted
>> Goose at a local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird
>> alert—given that it is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would
>> dream of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the county
>> listserv. Or, over the past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca
>> Boobies, a wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and
>> state-level rarities locally, has drawn an especially large number of
>> California birders from out of town as well as many out-of-state
>> birders—few of whom have posting privileges to the San Diego listserv, but
>> almost all of them can post to eBird.
>>
>> In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
>> daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
>> caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
>> source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
>> especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
>> bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they
>> can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
>> rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
>> even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
>> out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see
>> the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out
>> of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
>> him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real Garganey..
>> But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of some observers
>> to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)
>>
>> Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information
>> on how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A
>> dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may just
>> denote the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is. Some
>> observers add in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also, because
>> many human beings (including many birders) are geographically challenged,
>> many locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
>> MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
>> in a number of ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
>> correct, the included comments (if any) may say little about the specific
>> tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen
>> there, origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal
>> access issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
>> best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past couple
>> weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple good posts
>> to the listserv dealing with private property issues and homeowner and
>> birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.
>>
>> Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single
>> day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
>> just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
>> updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
>> present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
>> information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY
>> eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee,
>> Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,
>> Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
>> these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing.
>> The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”
>>
>> Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
>> entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
>> what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate chasing
>> “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend almost all their time
>> doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too! And most of us birders
>> are at some point in the continuum between these two extremes. But the
>> bottom line is, a relatively small number of birders find a relatively
>> large percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of their
>> birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can this large group
>> of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
>> positive and negative) if they see that such updates have not been made in
>> “a reasonable time period,” or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s
>> preferred exact site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe
>> include a bit more information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include
>> maybe where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different
>> from “usual.” And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
>> ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a photo.
>> Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of continuing rarities
>> without at least some documentation, given that some birds are reported
>> long after they actually departed.
>>
>> If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then
>> submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some texting
>> or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local listserv to get
>> their “chase” information, see the bird, and then rarely or never return
>> the favor to birders following behind them—be it for reasons of laziness,
>> cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee
>> bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.
>>
>> Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed
>> (i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think that
>> my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills. Others
>> may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!
>>
>> --Paul Lehman, San Diego
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>



--
Adam Searcy
<serpophaga...>
Camarillo, CA

 

Back to top
Date: 1/13/18 5:20 pm
From: 'Mark Stratton' <zostropz...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Ken, you are so right on with this. I have posted to within a few
feet of where I have seen a bird, only to have someone write me and
tell me to move it to a hot spot, not all that close to where I saw
it. Also, We went on a desert trip two years ago and saw something
like 170 burrowing owls. We didn't estimate, we did the old fence
post tally for every single bird we saw. I'd say the margin for error
was 1 to 2 percent at most, and we were told that out list wouldn't be
allowed because that was more birds than the habbitat would allow. I
mean it, and I really mean it and this is still a very sour spot for
us. We fence posted tallied that many birds, but nobody will ever see
our list. I even invited the person to join us, but got absolutely no
reply. If I had done this on a list serv, it would have gone through
and other could have enjoyed the same success that we did without
being too invasive on these birds. We need our Listservs, just
please, be a little more understanding on them is all I ask. Mark
StrattonSan Diego Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 7:46 AM
From: "Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS]"
<CALBIRDS-noreply...>
To: "Paul Lehman" <lehman.paul...>
Cc: CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
[a bit long]

Paul, You raise some good points (thanks for venting). Your eBird
analysis raises a slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers me
and this seems like a reasonable opportunity to share it. As you point
out, eBird hotspots can be quite large. eBird reviewers, following
eBird instructions, ask people who submit rarities at more-precise
personal locations to move their observations to the hotspots or they
create new "stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers to move them
there. For some reason, there's a desire within eBird to consolidate
rarity sightings. I feel this consolidation often masks location
precision that can elucidate valuable movement patterns of these
birds, and I generally resist these requests (unless the existing
hotspot is extremely small or my sighting was extremely close to its
plotted location), at least until the bird is gone. Perhaps someone
can explain why having rarity sightings clumped into single locations
is worth erasing the precision of personal locations plotted exactly
where sightings are made, which is especially easy and accurate to do
on mobile devices. Thanks. Ken BurtonCrescent City On Fri, Jan 12,
2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
wrote:

It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less
relevant to a large number of birders, as many of these people
have voted with their feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to
other sites such as eBird. Not only that, but bird information
dissemination appears to have become MORE fragmented as time goes
on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the local listservs,
eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook individual
and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and private-group
text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these
services are SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a
text-message group that is supposed to be used for immediate
dissemination of high-end rarity information only, and folks are
supposed to post to it AND to the local listserv in a timely
manner, but instead the former is used almost exclusively and
often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv gets
only some scraps, if anything.

Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the
number of local birders who now rarely if ever post to
SanDiegoRegionBirding has grown steadily. Most of these folks
still happily get information from such sources, but rarely, if
ever, post to it. But a good number of these people do submit
eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is it
the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting
from the field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv
with any smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their
photos to their eBird reports? Is there a widespread belief that
posting rarity news only to eBird is “enough”? Or for some, are
they timid to post publicly, or just lazy, or simply don’t care to
give back to a listserv from which they got information allowing
them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason, recent checks on
many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the San
Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming
through eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30
(albeit somewhat skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby
viewers and local-birder 2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the
potential for multiple rarities mentioned per a single listserv
post but only one species per eBird alert). A little of this
dichotomy can be explained by the fact that some birds such as a
semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted Goose at a
local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird alert—given
that it is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would dream
of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the
county listserv. Or, over the past few weeks, the continued
presence of Nazca Boobies, a wintering Red-throated Pipit, and
many other regional and state-level rarities locally, has drawn an
especially large number of California birders from out of town as
well as many out-of-state birders—few of whom have posting
privileges to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them can
post to eBird.

In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an
almost daily basis, of the continued presence of existing
rarities. (With the caveat that some such reports are erroneous,
as they are through any source, and folks should be careful
following up on some such reports, especially when made many days
after anyone else has reported seeing the bird. Even when some
folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they can mess it
up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly rare,
and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa
Maria to see the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding
couple, also from out of state and chasing the same birds, who
proudly pointed out the bird to him: a female Northern Pintail. He
quickly showed them the real Garganey. But, the bottom line is,
don’t underestimate the ability of some observers to misidentify
even known stakeouts. But I digress…)

Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background
information on how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes,
sometimes no. A dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a
specific spot or may just denote the location of a large park or
marsh where the bird is. Some observers add in exact lat/long
information, but many do not. Also, because many human beings
(including many birders) are geographically challenged, many
locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using
eBird data in a number of ways in general. But even if the general
location is indeed correct, the included comments (if any) may say
little about the specific tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the
best time of day it might be seen there, origin questionable
issues, or information about possible legal access issues, etc.
These specifics, which can be very important, are often best
imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past
couple weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a
couple good posts to the listserv dealing with private property
issues and homeowner and birder behavior involving the Ramona
Harris’s Hawk.

Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every
single day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on
high-end and just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and
then periodic (weekly?) updates that such-and-such long-staying or
returning rarity is still present is also helpful to other
birders. But few local birders supply that information. Recently
here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY eBird updates on
Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee, Thick-billed
Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk, Tricolored
Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding.
Nothing. The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”

Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost
their entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other
people. If that’s what they like doing, then great. Some (but far
fewer) birders hate chasing “other people’s birds,” very rarely do
it, but spend almost all their time doing “their own” birding.
That’s great, too! And most of us birders are at some point in the
continuum between these two extremes. But the bottom line is, a
relatively small number of birders find a relatively large
percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of
their birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can
this large group of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status
update information (BOTH positive and negative) if they see that
such updates have not been made in “a reasonable time period,” or
perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s preferred exact site or
timing of appearance during the day. Maybe include a bit more
information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include maybe
where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different
from “usual.” And if the report substantially extends the
date-span, then ideally including some comment about how it was
identified, or a photo. Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late
reports of continuing rarities without at least some
documentation, given that some birds are reported long after they
actually departed.

If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and
then submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via
some texting or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a
local listserv to get their “chase” information, see the bird, and
then rarely or never return the favor to birders following behind
them—be it for reasons of laziness, cluelessness, or simply
self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee bit galling to
those birders who are finding and sharing.

Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and
speed (i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive
and think that my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting
at windmills. Others may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I
got to vent!

--Paul Lehman, San Diego



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Back to top
Date: 1/13/18 3:50 pm
From: Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Mark,

How many miles did your 170-BUOW list cover? eBird requests that lists
cover no more than five miles (and some would say even that's too much).
Even in the Imperial Valley, I don't think BUOW densities reach 34/mile.

Ken

On Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 3:41 PM, Mark Stratton <zostropz...> wrote:

> Ken, you are so right on with this. I have posted to within a few feet of
> where I have seen a bird, only to have someone write me and tell me to move
> it to a hot spot, not all that close to where I saw it. Also, We went on a
> desert trip two years ago and saw something like 170 burrowing owls. We
> didn't estimate, we did the old fence post tally for every single bird we
> saw. I'd say the margin for error was 1 to 2 percent at most, and we were
> told that out list wouldn't be allowed because that was more birds than the
> habbitat would allow. I mean it, and I really mean it and this is still a
> very sour spot for us. We fence posted tallied that many birds, but nobody
> will ever see our list. I even invited the person to join us, but got
> absolutely no reply. If I had done this on a list serv, it would have gone
> through and other could have enjoyed the same success that we did without
> being too invasive on these birds. We need our Listservs, just please, be
> a little more understanding on them is all I ask.
>
> Mark Stratton
> San Diego
>
> *Sent:* Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 7:46 AM
> *From:* "Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS]" <
> <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
> *To:* "Paul Lehman" <lehman.paul...>
> *Cc:* CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS...>
> *Subject:* Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
> [a bit long]
>
>
>
> Paul,
>
> You raise some good points (thanks for venting). Your eBird analysis
> raises a slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers me and this seems
> like a reasonable opportunity to share it.
>
> As you point out, eBird hotspots can be quite large. eBird reviewers,
> following eBird instructions, ask people who submit rarities at
> more-precise personal locations to move their observations to the hotspots
> or they create new "stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers to move
> them there. For some reason, there's a desire within eBird to consolidate
> rarity sightings. I feel this consolidation often masks location precision
> that can elucidate valuable movement patterns of these birds, and I
> generally resist these requests (unless the existing hotspot is extremely
> small or my sighting was extremely close to its plotted location), at least
> until the bird is gone.
>
> Perhaps someone can explain why having rarity sightings clumped into
> single locations is worth erasing the precision of personal locations
> plotted exactly where sightings are made, which is especially easy and
> accurate to do on mobile devices.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Ken Burton
> Crescent City
>
> On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
>> local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
>> a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
>> feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird. Not only
>> that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become MORE
>> fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
>> local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook
>> individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
>> private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
>> actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are
>> SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is
>> supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
>> information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
>> listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
>> exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
>> gets only some scraps, if anything.
>>
>> Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the number
>> of local birders who now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding has
>> grown steadily. Most of these folks still happily get information from such
>> sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number of these people
>> do submit eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is
>> it the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from
>> the field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any
>> smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird
>> reports? Is there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to
>> eBird is “enough”? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or
>> just lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which they
>> got information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason,
>> recent checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the
>> San Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming
>> through eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit
>> somewhat skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and
>> local-birder 2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple
>> rarities mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per
>> eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that
>> some birds such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted
>> Goose at a local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird
>> alert—given that it is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would
>> dream of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the county
>> listserv. Or, over the past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca
>> Boobies, a wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and
>> state-level rarities locally, has drawn an especially large number of
>> California birders from out of town as well as many out-of-state
>> birders—few of whom have posting privileges to the San Diego listserv, but
>> almost all of them can post to eBird.
>>
>> In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
>> daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
>> caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
>> source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
>> especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
>> bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they
>> can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
>> rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
>> even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
>> out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see
>> the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out
>> of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
>> him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real Garganey..
>> But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of some observers
>> to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)
>>
>> Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information
>> on how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A
>> dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may just
>> denote the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is. Some
>> observers add in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also, because
>> many human beings (including many birders) are geographically challenged,
>> many locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
>> MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
>> in a number of ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
>> correct, the included comments (if any) may say little about the specific
>> tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen
>> there, origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal
>> access issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
>> best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past couple
>> weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple good posts
>> to the listserv dealing with private property issues and homeowner and
>> birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.
>>
>> Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single
>> day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
>> just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
>> updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
>> present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
>> information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY
>> eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee,
>> Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,
>> Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
>> these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing.
>> The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”
>>
>> Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
>> entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
>> what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate chasing
>> “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend almost all their time
>> doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too! And most of us birders
>> are at some point in the continuum between these two extremes. But the
>> bottom line is, a relatively small number of birders find a relatively
>> large percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of their
>> birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can this large group
>> of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
>> positive and negative) if they see that such updates have not been made in
>> “a reasonable time period,” or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s
>> preferred exact site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe
>> include a bit more information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include
>> maybe where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different
>> from “usual.” And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
>> ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a photo.
>> Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of continuing rarities
>> without at least some documentation, given that some birds are reported
>> long after they actually departed.
>>
>> If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then
>> submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some texting
>> or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local listserv to get
>> their “chase” information, see the bird, and then rarely or never return
>> the favor to birders following behind them—be it for reasons of laziness,
>> cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee
>> bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.
>>
>> Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed
>> (i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think that
>> my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills. Others
>> may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!
>>
>> --Paul Lehman, San Diego
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/13/18 3:26 pm
From: Dave Weber <dwbirdster...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
I generally don't join in on 'discussions', but this has concerned me for a while.

Yes! To me, all the lists I am subscribed to, and Sialia.com for the ones I am not, are very relevant and are still more useful than eBird as a rare bird alert. Since the majority of reports are now to eBird, I am subscribed to hourly alerts, also. They can be helpful, but they can also be frustrating for lack of detail. There does seem to be an eBIrd-only obsession (and I have a theory about it) resulting in, I'm sorry to say, sloppy reporting. Some of my issues have already been discussed in others' replies.

I'm not suggesting that anyone stop reporting to eBird, just include some detail. Post to the local list if possible. Post to Calbirds, if necessary - it's not just for mega-rarities. And please do not post only to Facebook.

Dave Weber,
Milpitas


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Date: 1/13/18 1:01 pm
From: Chuck & Lillian <misclists...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant?
Birders:
Yes, they're still relevant. I read CALBIRDS and
LaCoBirds every day. I try to post only when
necessary. [I have been accused of posting
slightly off-topic items, an accusation which -
IMHO - is lacking a sense of humor.]

I find it very useful for people (it certainly
doesn't have to be the *same* person) to continue
to report on rare birds. I don't get out right
away on rarities, as some people habitually do,
and it might take a week - even two - for me to
get there. It's nice to know the bird is still
there. Driving around fruitlessly in Los Angeles
or SoCal traffic is hazardous to your mental health.

I don't use GPS (no smartphone - Luddites Live!),
but many do, and it seems silly to possess the
exact location info and not share it. Written
descriptions of location PLUS the GPS coordinates
would serve both camps. One can always google at
home the GPS coordinates and write down where it is.

I have found *many many* times that descriptions
given on-line will get you to the general locale,
but then are lacking some crucial detail(s) which
would get you to the bird, if you had them.
Details, please! Put yourself in the birding shoes of someone new to the area.

Chuck Almdale
North Hills, Ca.

At 07:46 AM 1/13/2018, Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] wrote:
>
>
>Paul,
>
>You raise some good points (thanks for
>venting). Your eBird analysis raises a
>slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers
>me and this seems like a reasonable opportunity to share it.
>
>As you point out, eBird hotspots can be quite
>large. eBird reviewers, following eBird
>instructions, ask people who submit rarities at
>more-precise personal locations to move their
>observations to the hotspots or they create new
>"stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers
>to move them there. For some reason, there's a
>desire within eBird to consolidate rarity
>sightings. I feel this consolidation often
>masks location precision that can elucidate
>valuable movement patterns of these birds, and I
>generally resist these requests (unless the
>existing hotspot is extremely small or my
>sighting was extremely close to its plotted
>location), at least until the bird is gone.
>
>Perhaps someone can explain why having rarity
>sightings clumped into single locations is worth
>erasing the precision of personal locations
>plotted exactly where sightings are made, which
>is especially easy and accurate to do on mobile devices.
>
>Thanks.
>
>Ken Burton
>Crescent City
>
>On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman
><mailto:<lehman.paul...><lehman.paul...>
>[CALBIRDS]
><<mailto:<CALBIRDS-noreply...><CALBIRDS-noreply...>
>wrote:
>
>
>It is pretty obvious that over the past few
>years that many of the
>local/county/regional/state listservs have
>become less and less relevant to a large number
>of birders, as many of these people have voted
>with their feet.er, fingertips.and moved over
>to other sitestes such as eBird. Not only that,
>but bird information dissemination appears to
>have become MORE fragmented as time goes on,
>rather than less fragmented. We now have the
>local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text
>messaging groups, Facebook individual and group
>sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
>private-group text messaging, and even a handful
>of old-school folks who actually still call
>their friends on the phone! Some of these
>services are SUPPPOSED to complement each other,
>e.g., a text-message group that is supposed to
>be used for immediate dissemination of high-end
>rarity information only, and folks are supposed
>to post to it AND to the local listserv in a
>timely manner, but instead the former is used
>almost exclusively and often for more standard
>bird fare, so the general listserv gets only some scraps, if anything.
>
>Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego
>as an example, the number of local birders who
>now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding
>has grown steadily. Most of these folks still
>happily get information from such sources, but
>rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number
>of these people do submit eBird reports on a
>regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is it
>the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the
>instantaneous reporting from the field? (But
>that is also easy to do to a local listserv with
>any smartphone.) Is it that they can easily
>attach their photos to their eBird reports? Is
>there a widespread belief that posting rarity
>news only to eBird is “enough”? Or for
>some, are they timid to post publicly, or just
>lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a
>listserv from which they got information
>allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the
>reason, recent checks on many days since
>mid-December of the number of posts to the San
>Diego listserv versus the number of county
>“rarity” alerts coming through eBird is
>something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30
>(albeit somewhat skewed by the numbers of
>out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and local-birder
>2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the
>potential for multiple rarities mentioned per a
>single listserv post but only one species per
>eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy can be
>explained by the fact that some birds such as a
>semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater
>White-fronted Goose at a local lake still
>appears daily on the eBird rare-bird alertgiven
>that it is a flagged speciesbut that vt
>virtually nobody would dream of posting its
>continued existence on a regular basis on the
>county listserv. Or, over the past few weeks,
>the continued presence of Nazca Boobies, a
>wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other
>regional and state-level rarities locally, has
>drawn an especially large number of California
>birders from out of town as well as many
>out-of-state birdersfew of whom have posting
>privileges to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them can post to eBird.
>
>In most areas, eBird has become the best way to
>keep track, on an almost daily basis, of the
>continued presence of existing rarities. (With
>the caveat that some such reports are erroneous,
>as they are through any source, and folks should
>be careful following up on some such reports,
>especially when made many days after anyone else
>has reported seeing the bird. Even when some
>folks are chasing known birds at known
>locations, they can mess it up. Posted photos of
>misidentified stakeouts are not overly rare, and
>the number of such erroneous reports without
>photos are likely even greater. Just recently,
>for example, a friend of mine from out-of-state,
>after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa
>Maria to see the tame Garganey. He was greeted
>there by a birding couple, also from out of
>state and chasing the same birds, who proudly
>pointed out the bird to him: a female Northern
>Pintail. He quickly showed them the real
>Garganey. But, the bottom line is, don’t
>underestimate the ability of some observers to
>misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress)
>
>Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed
>background information on how to FIND these
>stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
>A dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not
>signify a specific spot or may just denote the
>location of a large park or marsh where the bird
>is. Some observers add in exact lat/long
>information, but many do not. Also, because many
>human beings (including many birders) are
>geographically challenged, many locations they
>give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED
>or MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious
>problem with using eBird data in a number of
>ways in general. But even if the general
>location is indeed correct, the included
>comments (if any) may say little about the
>specific tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the
>best time of day it might be seen there, origin
>questionable issues, or information about
>possible legal access issues, etc. These
>specifics, which can be very important, are
>often best imparted through posts to the local
>listservs. Just in the past couple weeks, such
>was the case here in San Diego County with a
>couple good posts to the listserv dealing with
>private property issues and homeowner and birder
>behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.
>
>Does one need to post an update on every
>continuing rarity every single day on a local
>listserv? No, although regular updates on
>high-end and just-recently-found rarities are
>very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
>updates that such-and-such long-staying or
>returning rarity is still present is also
>helpful to other birders. But few local birders
>supply that information. Recently here in San
>Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY eBird
>updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit,
>Greater Pewee, Thick-billed Kingbird and
>Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,
>Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc.
>etc., and almost nothing on these birds for well
>over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding.
>Nothing. The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”
>
>Looking at the broad birding community, some
>birders spend almost their entire birding lives
>chasing stakeouts found by other people. If
>that’s what they like doing, then great. Some
>(but far fewer) birders hate chasing “other
>people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but
>spend almost all their time doing “their
>own” birding. That’s great, too! And most
>of us birders are at some point in the continuum
>between these two extremes. But the bottom line
>is, a relatively small number of birders find a
>relatively large percentage of the rare birds.
>And many birders do spend much of their birding
>time chasing previously found birds. So, what
>can this large group of chasers contribute?
>Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
>positive and negative) if they see that such
>updates have not been made in “a reasonable
>time period,” or perhaps any news on changes
>in a bird’s preferred exact site or timing of
>appearance during the day. Maybe include a bit
>more information than the standard "continuing
>bird"? Include maybe where and when the
>continuing bird was seen if possibly different
>from “usual.” And if the report
>substantially extends the date-span, then
>ideally including some comment about how it was
>identified, or a photo. Some eBird reviewers
>avoid confirming late reports of continuing
>rarities without at least some documentation,
>given that some birds are reported long after they actually departed.
>
>If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird
>chasing bird info, and then submit only to
>eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via
>some texting or Facebook group, fine! But if
>they routinely use a local listserv to get their
>“chase” information, see the bird, and then
>rarely or never return the favor to birders
>following behind thembe it for reasons of
>laziness, cluelessness, or simply
>self-centerednessthen thhis does seem just a
>wee bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.
>
>Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with
>the quality and speed (i.e., efficiency) of the
>rare-bird information they receive and think
>that my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely
>tilting at windmills. Others may sympathize
>fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!
>
>--Paul Lehman, San Diego
>
>
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/13/18 11:47 am
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
It varies from list to list, but regional/county listservs aren't
necessarily only for chasing rarities and reporting day lists. They can
serve a very valuable purpose for discussing issues such as development
plans for local parks, announcements of upcoming field trips and
presentations, and equipment recommendations. That's only a sample. ebird
doesn't replace any of this.


--
Elliotte Rusty Harold
<elharo...>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/13/18 7:52 am
From: Ken Burton <shrikethree...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
Paul,

You raise some good points (thanks for venting). Your eBird analysis
raises a slightly off-topic issue with eBird that bothers me and this seems
like a reasonable opportunity to share it.

As you point out, eBird hotspots can be quite large. eBird reviewers,
following eBird instructions, ask people who submit rarities at
more-precise personal locations to move their observations to the hotspots
or they create new "stakeout" hotspots for them and ask observers to move
them there. For some reason, there's a desire within eBird to consolidate
rarity sightings. I feel this consolidation often masks location precision
that can elucidate valuable movement patterns of these birds, and I
generally resist these requests (unless the existing hotspot is extremely
small or my sighting was extremely close to its plotted location), at least
until the bird is gone.

Perhaps someone can explain why having rarity sightings clumped into single
locations is worth erasing the precision of personal locations plotted
exactly where sightings are made, which is especially easy and accurate to
do on mobile devices.

Thanks.

Ken Burton
Crescent City

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
> local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
> a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
> feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird. Not only
> that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become MORE
> fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
> local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook
> individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
> private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
> actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are
> SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is
> supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
> information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
> listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
> exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
> gets only some scraps, if anything.
>
> Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the number
> of local birders who now rarely if ever post to SanDiegoRegionBirding has
> grown steadily. Most of these folks still happily get information from such
> sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it. But a good number of these people
> do submit eBird reports on a regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is
> it the ease of eBird submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from
> the field? (But that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any
> smartphone.) Is it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird
> reports? Is there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to
> eBird is “enough”? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or just
> lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which they got
> information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason, recent
> checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to the San
> Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming through
> eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit somewhat
> skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and local-birder
> 2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple rarities
> mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per eBird alert).
> A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that some birds
> such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted Goose at a
> local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird alert—given that it
> is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would dream of posting its
> continued existence on a regular basis on the county listserv. Or, over the
> past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca Boobies, a wintering
> Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and state-level rarities
> locally, has drawn an especially large number of California birders from
> out of town as well as many out-of-state birders—few of whom have posting
> privileges to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them can post to
> eBird.
>
> In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
> daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
> caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
> source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
> especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
> bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations, they
> can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
> rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely
> even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
> out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see
> the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out
> of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
> him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real Garganey.
> But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of some observers
> to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)
>
> Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information on
> how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A dropped
> pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may just denote
> the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is. Some observers add
> in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also, because many human
> beings (including many birders) are geographically challenged, many
> locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
> MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
> in a number of ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
> correct, the included comments (if any) may say little about the specific
> tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen
> there, origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal
> access issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
> best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past couple
> weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple good posts
> to the listserv dealing with private property issues and homeowner and
> birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.
>
> Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single
> day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
> just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic (weekly?)
> updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
> present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
> information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY
> eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee,
> Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk,
> Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on
> these birds for well over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing.
> The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”
>
> Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
> entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
> what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate chasing
> “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend almost all their time
> doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too! And most of us birders are
> at some point in the continuum between these two extremes. But the bottom
> line is, a relatively small number of birders find a relatively large
> percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend much of their
> birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can this large group
> of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH
> positive and negative) if they see that such updates have not been made in
> “a reasonable time period,” or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s
> preferred exact site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe
> include a bit more information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include
> maybe where and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different
> from “usual.” And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
> ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a photo.
> Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of continuing rarities
> without at least some documentation, given that some birds are reported
> long after they actually departed.
>
> If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then
> submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some texting
> or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local listserv to get
> their “chase” information, see the bird, and then rarely or never return
> the favor to birders following behind them—be it for reasons of laziness,
> cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee
> bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing.
>
> Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed (i.e.,
> efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think that my
> concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills. Others may
> sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!
>
> --Paul Lehman, San Diego
>
>
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/12/18 10:59 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
There are challenges. Many forums aren’t really good to be used on the fly on mobile devices in the field. I think that’s one reason email’s been core to this, although eBird shows how a good online service with increasingly nice mobile apps can do it. Whatever we’d want to do should be easy to use on a bad network on a phone and (unlike eBird) if possible allow local storage of content for those times we’re away from cell towers completely.

An option I’ve used for various things and which is kind of the current “new puppy” is Slack. It can be used mobile as easily as an email client and would be a good option. It’d take some design thought to set it up well (but been there done that) and only some tiers are free, but we can see what “always free” has done for us with Yahoo. That’s one reason I thought working with a group like Audubon California to help pull something together statewide might be a good idea, not (necessarily) to fund it but to have an organization that’d be able to coordinate and keep things running, in return for outreach and PR type stuff. Or coordinate the fund raising, or something like that.

One problem I think the lists have is lack of good coordination on who/when/how to escalate special birds from local lists to regional to state to national alert setups. If we want to look at rethinking this, I’d suggest that there be announce-only statewide and regional (north/south? Maybe four?) lists where the only postings are ones from an agreed upon set of posters; think of it like ebird reviewers being able to spread the word more widely rather than it being random.

We could even keep it in email. A friend of mine is the founder of groups.io <http://groups.io/>, which is a modern email server setup. He’s also the guy who wrote OneGroup, which was bought by Yahoo and was turned into Yahoo groups. Again, only some tiers are free, but I know he’d be willing to talk about options. Like any modern service that involves communicating, it’s actually best thought of as a web forum with really strong email capabilities rather than something like YG or Listserve. When I was actively writing these servers, I was in three efforts to define a next-gen mail server they all hit the “this is a web forum with email” point and died, and Mark (founder of Groups.IO finally went off and built one and it’s pretty good).



> On Jan 12, 2018, at 9:13 PM, Wim van Dam <wim.van.dam...> wrote:
>
> Of course eBird is not suitable for postings about locations, background information, and local lore. For that purpose I would love to see us switch to a proper forum (like for example birdforum.net <http://birdforum.net/>).. Imagine having threaded postings, working search functions, and the option to follow or block specific topics or people. It would be so... 2000.
>


 

Back to top
Date: 1/12/18 9:13 pm
From: Wim van Dam <wim.van.dam...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
I share Chuq's worries about our community's reliance on Yahoo! Groups.
Frankly it is an antiquated system that does not seem very important to
Yahoo!/Verizon. Besides its uncertain future, it has a laughable search
function, limited support for rich content such as photos and recordings,
and user control is near zero. When I submit my observations to eBird I can
include all sorts of information, I can edit it in the future, and I know
it will be part of a scientific database. My postings to my local
newsgroup? I'd be happy if they are still accessible 5 years from now.

Of course eBird is not suitable for postings about locations, background
information, and local lore. For that purpose I would love to see us switch
to a proper forum (like for example birdforum.net). Imagine having threaded
postings, working search functions, and the option to follow or block
specific topics or people. It would be so... 2000.


Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:48 PM, Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> The local list I run (SBB) is as busy as it was five years ago, or busier,
> and it’s membership is growing. It’s 4x when I took it on about ten years
> ago, and about 1/3 larger than it was 18 months ago..
>
> It uses eBird heavily as a resource and a reference. But they don’t see it
> as a replacement.
>
> So I guess the question is whether on other lists anyone’s been working to
> make them interesting and relevant or just letting them idle away on their
> own? Are new members welcomed, ignored or is the first email they get
> something telling them they did it wrong? (And we’re far from perfect here
> but I think we try)
>
> What resources exist to make it useful? Maps? References?
>
> Lists don’t exist without some work; they atrophy or die. With a bit of
> nurturing they can do quite well. One of the things I’ve been talking about
> on the back burner is formally setting up SBB to be affiliated with SCVAS
> rather than independent, in part because I think it makes a lot of sense in
> terms of marketing and outreach in both directions, and to help give it a
> reason for existence to avoid that slow death by being ignored. (And on my
> 2018 list is to completely rewrite the list intro docs to make them
> accurate and useful again).
>
> A couple of years ago I tried to float an idea out to various people about
> a complete re-org and rethink of the state lists, in part because I was
> worried (frankly I still am) the Yahoo might well not want to keep
> Yahoogroups. Now under Verizon I don’t think that worry has changed much,
> and there are still noticeable system issues that you can see if you know
> what to look for (most telling: periods where all messages don’t get
> delivered for hours at a time then all show up in one huge batch). What I
> heard pretty clearly was that nobody really wanted to think about it
> because it wasn’t a crisis, so I dropped it.
>
> I still think we could move beyond what we have and make it a lot better
> (perhaps through use of something like Slack, perhaps with email) but I’m
> not planning on trying to start that discussion again, but I’d be happy to
> join one if it happens.
>
> I still think they’re very much relevant, but that we kind of ignore them
> and take them for granted and don’t really work to make them better or keep
> them healthy. I do think they could be a lot better than they could be. I’d
> love to see some coordinated thing organized through Audubon CA so they’re
> consistent and easily findable and they both outreach birders to the lists
> and list members to Audubon.
>
> And since I’m a community manager by trade and an email list nerd by my
> past, I’d be happy to help people who want to work on their lists or on
> making all of this better.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Jan 12, 2018, at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
> local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to
> a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their
> feet…..er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird.
>
>
>
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/12/18 5:23 pm
From: 'Mark Stratton' <zostropz...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
I do have to say that although, I have really reduced my posts a lot
over the last couple of years, I constanly see on our own local list
serv that we should not continuously post about a bird that everyone
already knows about so naturally, I have been spooked away from
posting about something that has already been posted about 3, 4, 5,
....10 times, even if it is rare. Especially for some of us that
aren't amongst the better birders, we just never quite know where to
draw the line. Do we keep posting or don't we??? It has to be one or
the other or we just really don't know what to do. Especailly some of
the newer birders, I use to have so many people thanking me for my
posts but others that said I posted too much. This is conflicting and
dificult to interprit to the newer birders. So, in closing, we can't
be told that we should keep posting, but then told, if it's already
been posted about 3,4,5 or more times, we don't need to keep posting
because we just honestly, don't know what we are supposed to do. Mark
StrattonSan Diego Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 at 2:18 PM
From: "Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS]"
<CALBIRDS-noreply...>
To: CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a
bit long]

It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less
relevant to a large number of birders, as many of these people have
voted with their feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites
such as eBird. Not only that, but bird information dissemination
appears to have become MORE fragmented as time goes on, rather than
less fragmented. We now have the local listservs, eBird,
WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebook individual and group
sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and private-group text
messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who actually still
call their friends on the phone! Some of these services are SUPPPOSED
to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that is supposed
to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity information
only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local listserv
in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost exclusively
and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv gets
only some scraps, if anything.

Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the
number of local birders who now rarely if ever post to
SanDiegoRegionBirding has grown steadily. Most of these folks still
happily get information from such sources, but rarely, if ever, post
to it. But a good number of these people do submit eBird reports on a
regular basis instead. Why only to one? Is it the ease of eBird
submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from the field? (But
that is also easy to do to a local listserv with any smartphone.) Is
it that they can easily attach their photos to their eBird reports? Is
there a widespread belief that posting rarity news only to eBird is
“enough”? Or for some, are they timid to post publicly, or just lazy,
or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv from which they got
information allowing them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason,
recent checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts
to the San Diego listserv versus the number of county “rarity” alerts
coming through eBird is something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30
(albeit somewhat skewed by the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby
viewers and local-birder 2018 “big year” kickoffs, and by the
potential for multiple rarities mentioned per a single listserv post
but only one species per eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy can
be explained by the fact that some birds such as a semi-tame,
multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted Goose at a local lake still
appears daily on the eBird rare-bird alert—given that it is a flagged
species—but that virtually nobody would dream of posting its continued
existence on a regular basis on the county listserv. Or, over the past
few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca Boobies, a wintering
Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and state-level rarities
locally, has drawn an especially large number of California birders
from out of town as well as many out-of-state birders—few of whom have
posting privileges to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them
can post to eBird.

In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an
almost daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities.
(With the caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are
through any source, and folks should be careful following up on some
such reports, especially when made many days after anyone else has
reported seeing the bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds
at known locations, they can mess it up. Posted photos of
misidentified stakeouts are not overly rare, and the number of such
erroneous reports without photos are likely even greater. Just
recently, for example, a friend of mine from out-of-state, after
seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to see the tame
Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also from out of
state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out the bird to
him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the real
Garganey. But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability of
some observers to misidentify even known stakeouts. But I digress…)

Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background
information on how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes,
sometimes no. A dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a
specific spot or may just denote the location of a large park or marsh
where the bird is. Some observers add in exact lat/long information,
but many do not. Also, because many human beings (including many
birders) are geographically challenged, many locations they give in
their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or MIS-PLOTTED, which is one
potentially serious problem with using eBird data in a number of ways
in general. But even if the general location is indeed correct, the
included comments (if any) may say little about the specific tree(s) a
bird is frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen there,
origin questionable issues, or information about possible legal access
issues, etc. These specifics, which can be very important, are often
best imparted through posts to the local listservs. Just in the past
couple weeks, such was the case here in San Diego County with a couple
good posts to the listserv dealing with private property issues and
homeowner and birder behavior involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.

Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every
single day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on
high-end and just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then
periodic (weekly?) updates that such-and-such long-staying or
returning rarity is still present is also helpful to other birders.
But few local birders supply that information. Recently here in San
Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY eBird updates on Nazca Booby,
Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee, Thick-billed Kingbird and
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk, Tricolored Herons, Nestor
Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on these birds for well
over a week or more on SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing. The question
then becomes: “Does it matter?”

Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost
their entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If
that’s what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders
hate chasing “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend
almost all their time doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too!
And most of us birders are at some point in the continuum between
these two extremes. But the bottom line is, a relatively small number
of birders find a relatively large percentage of the rare birds. And
many birders do spend much of their birding time chasing previously
found birds. So, what can this large group of chasers contribute?
Perhaps rarity-status update information (BOTH positive and negative)
if they see that such updates have not been made in “a reasonable time
period,” or perhaps any news on changes in a bird’s preferred exact
site or timing of appearance during the day. Maybe include a bit more
information than the standard "continuing bird"? Include maybe where
and when the continuing bird was seen if possibly different from
“usual.” And if the report substantially extends the date-span, then
ideally including some comment about how it was identified, or a
photo. Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late reports of
continuing rarities without at least some documentation, given that
some birds are reported long after they actually departed.

If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and
then submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via
some texting or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a
local listserv to get their “chase” information, see the bird, and
then rarely or never return the favor to birders following behind
them—be it for reasons of laziness, cluelessness, or simply
self-centeredness—then this does seem just a wee bit galling to those
birders who are finding and sharing.

Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed
(i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think
that my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills.
Others may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!

--Paul Lehman, San Diego



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Back to top
Date: 1/12/18 2:48 pm
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqvr...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
The local list I run (SBB) is as busy as it was five years ago, or busier, and it’s membership is growing. It’s 4x when I took it on about ten years ago, and about 1/3 larger than it was 18 months ago.

It uses eBird heavily as a resource and a reference. But they don’t see it as a replacement.

So I guess the question is whether on other lists anyone’s been working to make them interesting and relevant or just letting them idle away on their own? Are new members welcomed, ignored or is the first email they get something telling them they did it wrong? (And we’re far from perfect here but I think we try)

What resources exist to make it useful? Maps? References?

Lists don’t exist without some work; they atrophy or die. With a bit of nurturing they can do quite well. One of the things I’ve been talking about on the back burner is formally setting up SBB to be affiliated with SCVAS rather than independent, in part because I think it makes a lot of sense in terms of marketing and outreach in both directions, and to help give it a reason for existence to avoid that slow death by being ignored.. (And on my 2018 list is to completely rewrite the list intro docs to make them accurate and useful again).

A couple of years ago I tried to float an idea out to various people about a complete re-org and rethink of the state lists, in part because I was worried (frankly I still am) the Yahoo might well not want to keep Yahoogroups.. Now under Verizon I don’t think that worry has changed much, and there are still noticeable system issues that you can see if you know what to look for (most telling: periods where all messages don’t get delivered for hours at a time then all show up in one huge batch). What I heard pretty clearly was that nobody really wanted to think about it because it wasn’t a crisis, so I dropped it.

I still think we could move beyond what we have and make it a lot better (perhaps through use of something like Slack, perhaps with email) but I’m not planning on trying to start that discussion again, but I’d be happy to join one if it happens.

I still think they’re very much relevant, but that we kind of ignore them and take them for granted and don’t really work to make them better or keep them healthy. I do think they could be a lot better than they could be. I’d love to see some coordinated thing organized through Audubon CA so they’re consistent and easily findable and they both outreach birders to the lists and list members to Audubon.

And since I’m a community manager by trade and an email list nerd by my past, I’d be happy to help people who want to work on their lists or on making all of this better.






> On Jan 12, 2018, at 2:18 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant to a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with their feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird.


 

Back to top
Date: 1/12/18 2:18 pm
From: Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long]
It is pretty obvious that over the past few years that many of the
local/county/regional/state listservs have become less and less relevant
to a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted with
their feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as eBird.
Not only that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become
MORE fragmented as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now
have the local listservs, eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups,
Facebook individual and group sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and
private-group text messaging, and even a handful of old-school folks who
actually still call their friends on the phone! Some of these services
are SUPPPOSED to complement each other, e.g., a text-message group that
is supposed to be used for immediate dissemination of high-end rarity
information only, and folks are supposed to post to it AND to the local
listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used almost
exclusively and often for more standard bird fare, so the general
listserv gets only some scraps, if anything.

Using my home-county listserv here in San Diego as an example, the
number of local birders who now rarely if ever post to
SanDiegoRegionBirding has grown steadily. Most of these folks still
happily get information from such sources, but rarely, if ever, post to
it. But a good number of these people do submit eBird reports on a
regular basis instead.Why only to one? Is it the ease of eBird
submissions? Is it the instantaneous reporting from the field? (But that
is also easy to do to a local listserv with any smartphone.) Is it that
they can easily attach their photos to their eBird reports? Is there a
widespread belief that posting rarity news only to eBird is “enough”?Or
for some, are they timid to post publicly, or just lazy, or simply don’t
care to give back to a listserv from which they got information allowing
them to see a rare bird? Whatever the reason, recent checks on many days
since mid-December of the number of posts to the San Diego listserv
versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming through eBird is
something on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit somewhat skewed by
the numbers of out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and local-birder 2018
“big year” kickoffs, and by the potential for multiple rarities
mentioned per a single listserv post but only one species per eBird
alert). A little of this dichotomy can be explained by the fact that
some birds such as a semi-tame, multi-year-staying Greater White-fronted
Goose at a local lake still appears daily on the eBird rare-bird
alert—given that it is a flagged species—but that virtually nobody would
dream of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the
county listserv. Or, over the past few weeks, the continued presence of
Nazca Boobies, a wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional
and state-level rarities locally, has drawn an especially large number
of California birders from out of town as well as many out-of-state
birders—few of whom have posting privileges to the San Diego listserv,
but almost all of them can post to eBird.

In most areas, eBird has become the best way to keep track, on an almost
daily basis, of the continued presence of existing rarities. (With the
caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are through any
source, and folks should be careful following up on some such reports,
especially when made many days after anyone else has reported seeing the
bird. Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations,
they can mess it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not
overly rare, and the number of such erroneous reports without photos are
likely even greater. Just recently, for example, a friend of mine from
out-of-state, after seeing Nazca Booby here, drove up to Santa Maria to
see the tame Garganey. He was greeted there by a birding couple, also
from out of state and chasing the same birds, who proudly pointed out
the bird to him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly showed them the
real Garganey. But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the ability
of some observers to misidentify even known stakeouts.But I digress…)

Are eBird reports also good at giving the needed background information
on how to FIND these stakeout rarities? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A
dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific spot or may
just denote the location of a large park or marsh where the bird is.
Some observers add in exact lat/long information, but many do not. Also,
because many human beings (including many birders) are geographically
challenged, many locations they give in their eBird submissions are
MIS-STATED or MIS-PLOTTED, which is one potentially serious problem with
using eBird data in a number of ways in general. But even if the general
location is indeed correct, the included comments (if any) may say
little about the specific tree(s) a bird is frequenting, or the best
time of day it might be seen there, origin questionable issues, or
information about possible legal access issues, etc. These specifics,
which can be very important, are often best imparted through posts to
the local listservs. Just in the past couple weeks, such was the case
here in San Diego County with a couple good posts to the listserv
dealing with private property issues and homeowner and birder behavior
involving the Ramona Harris’s Hawk.

Does one need to post an update on every continuing rarity every single
day on a local listserv? No, although regular updates on high-end and
just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then periodic
(weekly?) updates that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is
still present is also helpful to other birders. But few local birders
supply that information. Recently here in San Diego, there have been
MULTIPLE DAILY eBird updates on Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater
Pewee, Thick-billed Kingbird and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s
Hawk, Tricolored Herons, Nestor Park birds, etc. etc. etc., and almost
nothing on these birds for well over a week or more on
SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing. The question then becomes: “Does it matter?”

Looking at the broad birding community, some birders spend almost their
entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by other people. If that’s
what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer) birders hate
chasing “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend almost all
their time doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too!And most of us
birders are at some point in the continuum between these two extremes.
But the bottom line is, a relatively small number of birders find a
relatively large percentage of the rare birds. And many birders do spend
much of their birding time chasing previously found birds. So, what can
this large group of chasers contribute? Perhaps rarity-status update
information (BOTH positive and negative) if they see that such updates
have not been made in “a reasonable time period,” or perhaps any news on
changes in a bird’s preferred exact site or timing of appearance during
the day. Maybe include a bit more information than the standard
"continuing bird"? Include maybe where and when the continuing bird was
seen if possibly different from “usual.” And if the report substantially
extends the date-span, then ideally including some comment about how it
was identified, or a photo.  Some eBird reviewers avoid confirming late
reports of continuing rarities without at least some documentation,
given that some birds are reported long after they actually departed.

If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird chasing bird info, and then
submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do likewise only via some
texting or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use a local
listserv to get their “chase” information, see the bird, and then rarely
or never return the favor to birders following behind them—be it for
reasons of laziness, cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this
does seem just a wee bit galling to those birders who are finding and
sharing.

Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with the quality and speed
(i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they receive and think
that my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting at windmills.
Others may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to vent!

--Paul Lehman,San Diego


 

Back to top
Date: 1/10/18 3:19 pm
From: Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Orange County Tropical Parula trips
Birders,

Response to the Tropical Parula trips has been overwhelming and we have far
exceeded our allowable trip capacity. Please do not send any more emails at
this time. If you did not get to send an email to request a spot for this
weekend, you will hopefully be able to try again next weekend. We will
provide an update probably around mid-week again when we know if the
property will allow more trips next weekend, and if so, "the request line"
will be opened again.

We will send out emails this evening or tomorrow to those who have spots
reserved. We will also send out emails to those who do not have spots
reserved but will be placed on a wait list. If additional trips are opened
or there are cancellations, people will be contacted from the wait list. If
you don't make it this time, please understand the extraordinary situation
that we are in that birders are being allowed to come in to begin with, and
please wait to hear if there will be more opportunities in the future.

Even though everybody knows it, I feel I cannot stress enough and so will
continue to do so that if you have been told where this bird is and you are
not part of one of these groups, please do not jeopardize future access by
going on your own. The last thing I want to have to do is say that future
access has been shut down because birders were caught without permission on
the property.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to be able to provide more
opportunities next week, although this will of course be up to the property
and its willingness to continue to accommodate people.

Ryan Winkleman
Rancho Santa Margarita

On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:39 AM, Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...>
wrote:

> Birders,
>
> Access to see the Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach has been granted on
> a limited basis. The property manager would like to take access one weekend
> at a time and at this time it will only be on weekends. Future access will
> likely depend on behavior of the birders and tolerance by the residents.
>
> The first round of visits will be this weekend (in a few days). If you are
> interested in trying for the parula, please send an email to
> <OCTRPA...> (OCTRPA at gmail dot com). Please do NOT reply directly
> to this post or email me personally. Please include in your email if you
> are available Saturday, Sunday, or both. Flexibility will obviously be a
> bonus as the specific date and time of each trip will be based on the
> responses we receive. Jeff Bray or I will respond privately with meeting
> details, including the specific meeting time and location, until we run out
> of trip capacity; I don't expect that it will take long to fill up the
> available slots. Because of the sensitivity of the situation and the
> guidelines that have been currently worked out with the property, we will
> not be posting any of these details online.
>
> Again, if you know where the bird is, please do not enter the property
> unless you are part of these groups. Several local SoCal birders worked
> very hard to make this happen and we do not want it to end prematurely
> because somebody decided to not play by the rules and sneak in.
>
> Please also refer to Tom Benson's post this morning regarding how to deal
> with this bird in eBird and on photo-sharing websites:
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OrangeCountyBirding/
> conversations/messages/12454. All it takes is one person to end access
> for everybody. *Do not be that person.*
>
> Thanks.
>
> Ryan Winkleman, Rancho Santa Margarita
> Jeff Bray, Irvine
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/10/18 1:03 pm
From: David Sonneborn <davidsonne...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula trips
Advice from afar.
Bringing something for the people setting this up-a bird book, a gift card for Starbucks creates a lot of good will
DS
In Anchorage


Sent from my iPhone


> On Jan 10, 2018, at 8:39 AM, Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:
>
> Birders,
>
> Access to see the Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach has been granted on a limited basis. The property manager would like to take access one weekend at a time and at this time it will only be on weekends. Future access will likely depend on behavior of the birders and tolerance by the residents.
>
> The first round of visits will be this weekend (in a few days). If you are interested in trying for the parula, please send an email to <OCTRPA...> (OCTRPA at gmail dot com). Please do NOT reply directly to this post or email me personally. Please include in your email if you are available Saturday, Sunday, or both. Flexibility will obviously be a bonus as the specific date and time of each trip will be based on the responses we receive. Jeff Bray or I will respond privately with meeting details, including the specific meeting time and location, until we run out of trip capacity; I don't expect that it will take long to fill up the available slots. Because of the sensitivity of the situation and the guidelines that have been currently worked out with the property, we will not be posting any of these details online.
>
> Again, if you know where the bird is, please do not enter the property unless you are part of these groups. Several local SoCal birders worked very hard to make this happen and we do not want it to end prematurely because somebody decided to not play by the rules and sneak in.
>
> Please also refer to Tom Benson's post this morning regarding how to deal with this bird in eBird and on photo-sharing websites: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OrangeCountyBirding/conversations/messages/12454... All it takes is one person to end access for everybody. *Do not be that person.*
>
> Thanks.
>
> Ryan Winkleman, Rancho Santa Margarita
> Jeff Bray, Irvine
>

 

Back to top
Date: 1/10/18 9:39 am
From: Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula trips
Birders,

Access to see the Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach has been granted on a
limited basis. The property manager would like to take access one weekend
at a time and at this time it will only be on weekends. Future access will
likely depend on behavior of the birders and tolerance by the residents.

The first round of visits will be this weekend (in a few days). If you are
interested in trying for the parula, please send an email to
<OCTRPA...> (OCTRPA at gmail dot com). Please do NOT reply directly to
this post or email me personally. Please include in your email if you are
available Saturday, Sunday, or both. Flexibility will obviously be a bonus
as the specific date and time of each trip will be based on the responses
we receive. Jeff Bray or I will respond privately with meeting details,
including the specific meeting time and location, until we run out of trip
capacity; I don't expect that it will take long to fill up the available
slots. Because of the sensitivity of the situation and the guidelines that
have been currently worked out with the property, we will not be posting
any of these details online.

Again, if you know where the bird is, please do not enter the property
unless you are part of these groups. Several local SoCal birders worked
very hard to make this happen and we do not want it to end prematurely
because somebody decided to not play by the rules and sneak in.

Please also refer to Tom Benson's post this morning regarding how to deal
with this bird in eBird and on photo-sharing websites:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OrangeCountyBirding/conversations/messages/12454.
All it takes is one person to end access for everybody. *Do not be that
person.*

Thanks.

Ryan Winkleman, Rancho Santa Margarita
Jeff Bray, Irvine

 

Back to top
Date: 1/10/18 8:59 am
From: Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Huntington Beach Tropical Parula update - part 1

Hello birders,


The managers of the apartment complex have graciously allowed very limited access to their property for organized groups of birders to look for the parula. Ryan Winkleman will be sending out more details on that shortly. One of the conditions of this access is that the specific location/address of the apartment complex not be publicized. To that end, we encourage observers of the bird (past and future) to use the following guidelines when sharing photos or entering eBird checklists.


1. If you post photos on photo-sharing or social media websites (Flickr, Facebook, etc.), ensure that you remove any location metadata before posting photos on these sites. Many cameras today record the exact lat/long where the photo was taken and embed that information in the image file. If you're not sure if your camera does that, or you don't know how to remove the location metadata, please refrain from sharing photos on these sites.


2. If you enter a checklist for eBird, do not enter it using the mobile app and do not use a personal location. Wait until you get home, enter it on your computer, and use the "stakeout Tropical Parula--Huntington Beach 2018" hotspot. It is located near the intersection of Goldenwest and Yorktown (it was just created, so may not show up until tomorrow; please be patient). Since eBird strips the metadata from image files before displaying them on checklists or the Macaulay Library, it is not necessary to remove location metadata before uploading photos to eBird.


Thank you for your cooperation.


Tom Benson
San Bernardino, CA
(and eBird reviewer for Orange County)

 

Back to top
Date: 1/9/18 2:58 pm
From: <rideout...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] San Diego Pelagics

For anyone interested in San Diego pelagic birding trips, please note our new web address: sandiegopelagics.com. Our old website, SoCalBirding.com, will no longer be active. We have a great schedule of pelagic trips this year, starting off with a 12-hour trip on Sunday, May 20, so check out the new website for all the details. We hope to see you out on the water with us.


Bruce Rideout
La Mesa


 

Back to top
Date: 1/9/18 1:46 pm
From: <thespeckledhatchback...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Recent waterfowl photos
Calbirder -

Since it's still a bit damp around the state, I hope these shots will provide a welcome reminder of what's out there. It'll also get you caught up on
a few shots that I collected towards the end of 2017.

The scoters, mergansers, pelican, and Buffleheads are all from San
Mateo and SF. There are also some shots from British Columbia,
after the December cruise ship pelagic. Info is displayed below each
shot. The other stuff in the gallery is mostly from fall around the Bay
Area and has been linked previously.


http://www.dorianandersonphotography.com/Recent-Work/ http://www.dorianandersonphotography.com/Recent-Work/

Though not from CA, here are some photos I collected in Ecuador
while visiting over Christmas.

http://www.dorianandersonphotography.com/Central-and-South-American-Bir/Ecuador/ http://www.dorianandersonphotography.com/Central-and-South-American-Bir/Ecuador/

Lastly, if you're interested in doing some shooting and birding in Colombia
in June, please get in touch with me. Alvaro Jaramillo and I are finalizing a
10-day photo-birding itinerary through Cali/Manizales/Pereira that should
be really, really cool.


Light has been tough so far in 2018. Hopefully the sun will bust out soon!

Cheers
Dorian Anderson
San Mateo





 

Back to top
Date: 1/7/18 7:53 pm
From: Ryan Winkleman <rswinkleman...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Orange County Tropical Parula access
I realize this is a double-post; I was notified that sometimes when posting
to local listservs and CalBirds in the same email, the CalBirds message may
not go to Sialia, which it appears is the case here. I'm reposting my exact
message from earlier and deleting the original simply so it will hopefully
show up on Sialia this time and more people can see this update.

___________

We are continuing to attempt to gain official access for birders to see the
Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach, which is on private property. After
explaining the significance of the finding to the property's
representative, there appears to be a decent chance that *controlled*
groups of birders *with prior permission from the property management* may
be allowed to continue to see the bird in the future. Birders who do not
have this permission and who are not part of these organized groups will
not be tolerated on the property and may affect future access for all
birders.

We do not know what the timeline for this decision will be, but information
about the bird and the desire for future access has been sent to the
property manager already, and we will provide an update when we have one.
If you happen to know the location of the bird, we ask that you please do
not attempt to enter the complex without permission, as this may affect the
property manager's decision about future access.

If you use eBird, please do not post the bird at this time. Given the
sensitivity of the situation, our Orange County team is still evaluating
the best approach to take, and we will provide an update when we decide
what that is.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation as we attempt to make this
happen.

Ryan Winkleman
Rancho Santa Margarita, Orange County

 

Back to top
Date: 1/7/18 4:16 pm
From: Ronald- Thorn <Tronthorn...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Fwd: [CALBIRDS] Barn Swallows - what is going on?


Yesterday ( Jan. 6 ) Leonie Batkin and I were scanning the ocean at Pescadero Beach in San Mateo County. Low over the beach,
I spotted northbound Barn Swallows. Okay, I have come to expect from ( 1-3 ) northbound Barn Swallows from late December into
January every year since this phenomenon started. What we were shocked to see yesterday was a group of ( 35 ) Barn Swallows!
The Barn Swallows were moving at a fast clip. The first ones I did get on appeared not to be in breeding plumage. The ( 35 ) Barn
Swallows would be an unprecedented number for this time of the year in San Mateo County!

Ron Thorn and Leonie Batkin
Redwood City

-----Original Message-----
From: 'Alvaro Jaramillo' <chucao...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
To: CALBIRDS <CALBIRDS...>
Sent: Mon, Jan 1, 2018 12:02 pm
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Barn Swallows - what is going on?







Happy New year

Here are the 2017 December Barn Swallow records, look at CA all the way up to BC!!
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/barswa?neg=true&env.minX=-172.6069263728831&env.minY=12.276831269796746&env.maxX=-31.981926372883095&env.maxY=57.74002269690968&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=on&bmo=12&emo=12&yr=range&byr=2017&eyr=2017

What is going on? Here in Half Moon Bay, nearly all of the December Barn Swallows this last year were birds or small flocks going north. We have had lots of warm days with offshore winds, which concentrate birds on the move right at the coast. It seems to me that these winter northbound movements of Barn Swallows are becoming more prominent, and are happening earlier and earlier in the season. What I don’t understand is if these are truly northbound migrants, or do they return south before the real push north? Their movements look like migration, and they are consistently northbound in this winter period, yet most birds are not in full breeding garb, suggesting they are young or perhaps adults that have not finished molt. When the real push of birds moving to breeding grounds happens, they look the part.
And why only Barn Swallows, and not other swallows. I have been intrigued by these swallow movements for years, and this past year there were more than ever.
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
<alvaro...>
www.alvarosadventures.com








 

Back to top
Date: 1/6/18 8:38 pm
From: <teasterla...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Nazca Booby and other recent So-cal, rarity images.
Traveled to the good old South last week with Fritz Steurer. We had a good chase trip while also seeing a few rarities in Southern California. Thanks to Dave Povey for getting us out to the Nazca Booby.


Link below if your interested.............




https://www.flickr.com/photos/toddeasterla/with/24671556727/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/toddeasterla/with/24671556727/



Thank You,


Todd Easterla
Eldorado Hills, CA.


 

Back to top
Date: 1/6/18 6:13 pm
From: James Pike <jimpike444...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Tropical Parula in Huntington Beach
I found a male Tropical Parula in an apartment complex in Huntington Beach
yesterday. Viewing is immensely tricky, as it requires accessing one
private community just to get within the (current) vicinity of the bird's
location, which is unfortunately on the opposite side of the high wall of
the adjacent zero-access private community. Finding the bird required
pishing, and the handful of birders that have seen it since have relied on
limited song-playback to lure the bird into relatively brief view. Neither
method will work for long, nor is their any reason to believe that property
management will continue to allow access to their grounds. For that reason,
I'm not going to provide the address for this private apartment complex.
Continued viewing of this bird will require intercession with the
management upon whose property this bird is actually wintering, and that is
in the works. Perhaps a one-time visit can be arranged for next weekend,
although optimism for success might not be warranted. In any event, we'll
do what we can in hopes of securing future access to this bird, and will
report our success or failure in that regard to the birding community.

My pics from Friday: https://www.flickr.com/photos/140329376@N06/

Jim Pike
HB

 

Back to top
Date: 1/1/18 3:14 pm
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] re: northbound Barn and other swallows
Hi all,

I had multiples of both species today at Carmel River mouth:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41513353

Thanks

Brian

On Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 1:58 PM, Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
[CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...> wrote:

>
>
> Actually, there have also been small numbers of northbound TREE
> Swallows as well in warm weather during December and the beginning of
> January the past couple or so years--bee-lining it up the immediate
> coast on a number of occasions, in at least San Diego and Santa Barbara
> counties (mostly in the former). Just small groups of birds (2-6)
> shooting "north" in direct flight up the coast, and not apparently
> lingering. I've seen Trees doing it as much as Barns at this time of
> year here in San Diego County, but in most counties farther north it
> appears to be predominantly Barns, as Alvaro discusses.
>
> --Paul Lehman
>
>
>



--
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

 

Back to top
Date: 1/1/18 1:58 pm
From: Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] re: northbound Barn and other swallows
Actually, there have also  been small numbers of northbound TREE
Swallows as well in warm weather during December and the beginning of
January the past couple or so years--bee-lining it up the immediate
coast on a number of occasions, in at least San Diego and Santa Barbara
counties (mostly in the former). Just small groups of birds (2-6)
shooting "north" in direct flight up the coast, and not apparently
lingering. I've seen Trees doing it as much as Barns at this time of
year here in San Diego County, but in most counties farther north it
appears to be predominantly Barns, as Alvaro discusses.

--Paul Lehman




------------------------------------
Posted by: Paul Lehman <lehman.paul...>
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Back to top
Date: 1/1/18 12:05 pm
From: 'Alvaro Jaramillo' <chucao...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Barn Swallows - what is going on?
Happy New year



Here are the 2017 December Barn Swallow records, look at CA all the way up
to BC!!

http://ebird.org/ebird/map/barswa?neg=true
<http://ebird.org/ebird/map/barswa?neg=true&env.minX=-172.6069263728831&env.
minY=12.276831269796746&env.maxX=-31.981926372883095&env.maxY=57.74002269690
968&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=on&bmo=12&emo=12&yr=range&byr=2017&eyr=2017>
&env.minX=-172.6069263728831&env.minY=12.276831269796746&env.maxX=-31.981926
372883095&env.maxY=57.74002269690968&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=on&bmo=12&emo=1
2&yr=range&byr=2017&eyr=2017



What is going on? Here in Half Moon Bay, nearly all of the December Barn
Swallows this last year were birds or small flocks going north. We have had
lots of warm days with offshore winds, which concentrate birds on the move
right at the coast. It seems to me that these winter northbound movements of
Barn Swallows are becoming more prominent, and are happening earlier and
earlier in the season. What I don't understand is if these are truly
northbound migrants, or do they return south before the real push north?
Their movements look like migration, and they are consistently northbound in
this winter period, yet most birds are not in full breeding garb, suggesting
they are young or perhaps adults that have not finished molt. When the real
push of birds moving to breeding grounds happens, they look the part.

And why only Barn Swallows, and not other swallows. I have been intrigued
by these swallow movements for years, and this past year there were more
than ever.

Alvaro



Alvaro Jaramillo

<mailto:<alvaro...> <alvaro...>

www.alvarosadventures.com




 

Back to top
Date: 12/30/17 8:15 pm
From: 'Michael Bumgardner' <michael.bumgardner...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] White-throated Sparrow at Bonsai Garden near Lake Merritt in Oakland
An adult white-throated sparrow was observed in a small white-crowned
sparrow flock just outside the entrance to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt
in Oakland today at approximately 12:30 pm.



Mike Bumgardner



Bumgardner Biological Consulting

11571 Prospect Hill Drive

Gold River, CA 95670



(916) 638-7368 (office)

(916) 812-2540 (cell)

<mailto:<michael.bumgardner...> <michael.bumgardner...>

<http://www.bumgardnerbio.com/> www.bumgardnerbio.com



PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION
This electronic transmission, and any documents attached hereto, may contain
confidential information. The information is intended only for use by the
recipient named above. If you have received this electronic message in
error, please notify the sender and delete the electronic message. Any
disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents electronic
communication or attachments received in error is strictly prohibited




 

Back to top
Date: 12/29/17 10:01 am
From: 'Tom Leskiw' <tomleskiw...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] follow-up (NEG) on [nwcalbird] Humboldt Co. WW Crossbill 12/21/17
Birders,
Yesterday, 12/28/17, the pvt property owners returned from the holidays and permitted a small (slo-mo) “chase” party onto the property consisting of Gary and Lauren Lester, Gary Bloomfield and myself. Red Crossbill flocks were scarce and difficult to see in dense coastal fog for about an hr and 15 minutes before we received word of John Hunter’s report of a male WW Crossbill from Big Lagoon Campground. Despite being there 15 minutes after hearing the report, the flock was seen flying to the south as we arrived.

So, no luck at either site.

Happy New Year,
Tom Leskiw
Blue Lakeish, Humboldt County


On Dec 22, 2017, at 08:49, 'Tom Leskiw' <tomleskiw...> [nwcalbird] <nwcalbird-noreply...> wrote:



Birders,
Yesterday, on pvt property, north of Big Lagoon I had a female WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL. I deferred reporting this until I could work out some arrangement with the landowner for access. As of 8:20 this morning, I’ve yet hear back from them. I suspect that access, if it’s granted might be for just a few folks, as I’ve only just met them, they have dogs they wish to keep inside during visitations... and there are elk in their meadow where one needs to set up their scope.

I had a rendezvous yesterday with a non-birding friend I’d dropped off at Patricks Point who doesn’t have a cell phone, so yesterday was shot for trying to pursue access further.

I’m participating in tomorrow’s Willow Creek CBC, but I will try give an update later today or late tomorrow.

I suggest that we respect their privacy and our ability to possibly access their place by not trying to find their property at this time.

Tom Leskiw
Blue Lakeish

 

Back to top
Date: 12/29/17 9:27 am
From: John Sterling <jsterling...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Clay colored sparrow in Orange County
Here is the location sent by
----------




Sent from my iPhone

John Sterling
530 908-3836
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

> On Dec 29, 2017, at 8:48 AM, John Sterling <jsterling...> wrote:
>
> Mark Sawyer just sent me photos of a clay colored sparrow with chipping sparrow at Huntington Central Park in a wood pile at north end of an island. That’s all I know.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> John Sterling
> 530 908-3836
> 26 Palm Ave
> Woodland, CA 95695


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------
Posted by: John Sterling <jsterling...>
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Back to top
Date: 12/29/17 8:48 am
From: John Sterling <jsterling...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Clay colored sparrow in Orange County
Mark Sawyer just sent me photos of a clay colored sparrow with chipping sparrow at Huntington Central Park in a wood pile at north end of an island. That’s all I know.

Sent from my iPhone

John Sterling
530 908-3836
26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695


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Back to top
Date: 12/26/17 11:17 am
From: Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
Last update on the wagtail as I am leaving the park...it flew off well to the southwest at 11 AM. At least 10 birders were able to see the bird before it flew, but I was with the last group to depart. It was relatively cooperative from 9-11 AM, being in the spillway almost continuously during that time (it twice flew off briefly for a few minutes before returning).
Tom BensonSan Bernardino, CA
-------- Original message --------From: "Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS]" <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Date: 12/26/17 9:10 AM (GMT-08:00) To: inland county birds <inlandcountybirds...>, <calbirds...> Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park

 









The White Wagtail just flew off too the northwest at 905 AM. It flew off once before and returned, so it may come back again.
Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA
-------- Original message --------From: "Brad Singer <bcsinger...> [inlandcountybirds]" <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> Date: 12/26/17 8:32 AM (GMT-08:00) To: inland county birds <inlandcountybirds...> Subject: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado







Just received a phone call from Howard King who has the White Wagtail at the spillway this am.
Brad Singer

--
Brad Singer


















 

Back to top
Date: 12/26/17 9:39 am
From: Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
Wagtail has returned and been present for 20 minutes as of 930 AM.
Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA

-------- Original message --------From: "Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS]" <CALBIRDS-noreply...> Date: 12/26/17 9:10 AM (GMT-08:00) To: inland county birds <inlandcountybirds...>, <calbirds...> Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park

 









The White Wagtail just flew off too the northwest at 905 AM. It flew off once before and returned, so it may come back again.
Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA
-------- Original message --------From: "Brad Singer <bcsinger...> [inlandcountybirds]" <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> Date: 12/26/17 8:32 AM (GMT-08:00) To: inland county birds <inlandcountybirds...> Subject: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado







Just received a phone call from Howard King who has the White Wagtail at the spillway this am.
Brad Singer

--
Brad Singer


















 

Back to top
Date: 12/26/17 9:11 am
From: Tom Benson <Thomasabenson...> [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply...>
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado Regional Park
The White Wagtail just flew off too the northwest at 905 AM. It flew off once before and returned, so it may come back again.
Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA
-------- Original message --------From: "Brad Singer <bcsinger...> [inlandcountybirds]" <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> Date: 12/26/17 8:32 AM (GMT-08:00) To: inland county birds <inlandcountybirds...> Subject: [inlandcountybirds] White Wagtail at Prado













Just received a phone call from Howard King who has the White Wagtail at the spillway this am.
Brad Singer

--
Brad Singer


















 

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