Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 16:04:42 -0700
Reply-To: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Big improvements to ebird in GA!
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
I just wanted to say a very loud, public "thank you" to Joel and Jared for a LOT of hard work on this important project. I know they both spent a lot of time on it. I was priveleged to see an earlier draft of the filters, and I can say that they are a giant improvement.
There are going to be growing pains, for sure. Birds that were entered months or even years ago may now get flagged; please understand that nobody is questioning you! It's just that the database is "smarter" now. The good news is that some things will NOT be flagged anymore. Jared and Joel have also added in some things that were missing, such as "accipiter species".
So please bear with us through the next couple months as Joel has a lot more work to do - he will personally check every observation that is flagged! You can imagine how many that will be, so please forgive him as it may take time to get to your personal observation.
And next time you see Joel, give him a pat on the back. He deserves it!
Georgia IBA Coordinator
--- On Fri, 8/28/09, Joel McNeal <j.mcneal@YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> From: Joel McNeal <j.mcneal@YAHOO.COM>
> Subject: [GABO-L] Big improvements to ebird in GA!
> To: GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Date: Friday, August 28, 2009, 2:41 PM
> To all Georgia birders,
> I'm happy to announce that new filters are in place for
> ebird in Georgia thanks to initiative by Jared Fisher.
> What does that mean? When you submit data to ebird,
> you are given a list of 'Most Probable Species,' where you
> can enter quantities of species you saw on your birding
> adventure. The 'Rare Species' list includes truly rare
> birds as well as species that would be out-of-range or
> out-of-season. There are separate filters in place for
> the Coast, Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Western Mountains, and
> Eastern Mountains. This means that if you want to
> enter a dozen Western Sandpipers seen on Jekyll island in
> December, you'll be able to do so immediately. If you
> want to enter a dozen Western Sandpipers from Phinizy Swamp,
> E.L. Huie, or Brasstown Bald in December, you'll have to go
> to the 'Rare Species' list to find and report them.
> A bird reported from the 'Rare Species' list on ebird will
> immediately go into your own personal data, but before it
> enters the public record on ebird it must be reviewed.
> Something as odd as an inland White-tailed Tropicbird would
> have to have documentation; you can list pertinent
> information that will be available to the reviewer in the
> 'Notes' section of your ebird report, such as field marks
> observed, who all observed the bird, photo links, hurricane
> weather, etc. A second way a record will be flagged is
> an unusually high count- 4 Cerulean Warblers from Kennesaw
> Mountain in April is fine, but 40 Ceruleans would be flagged
> and reviewed. Even if a sighting isn't eventually
> accepted into the public record, it always remains in your
> personal data.
> Another change you will see if you've used ebird before is
> that some species will have multiple, more detailed options
> in which to enter your count. For Palm Warbler, you
> can enter your data simply under Palm Warbler or be more
> specific and enter under Palm Warbler (Western) or Palm
> Warbler (Yellow) to get even more detail into your
> report. You will also see more options, such as
> Empidonax sp., Accipiter sp., and Short-billed/Long-billed
> Dowitcher, so that you can submit data even if you couldn't
> be positive on an ID to species.
> If you are already using ebird, you may notice some of your
> past records are currently missing from publicly viewable
> maps, bar charts, early/late dates, arrivals/departures,
> etc. All of the existing data has been put through the
> new filters, so any birds flagged under the new system are
> currently invisible to the public (even if they were
> well-documented and/or previously reviewed). Please be
> patient as we slog through all the existing data and sort
> out the wheat from the chaff as accurately as we can.
> Most importantly, keep submitting your sightings to ebird,
> or, if you've never used ebird, give it a try the next time
> you bird. It has improved by leaps and bounds in just
> the past year and will only continue to get better as more
> valid sightings are added. Unlike when you keep your
> lists in personal software or a spreadsheet, ebird records
> are public and searchable, making your sightings more
> valuable to both the birding community and the birds.
> It's the best way to compile data from multiple observers
> for GA's Important Bird Areas (IBAs), targeted bird surveys
> (such as the annual spring Rusty Blackbird Blitz),
> etc. Ebird is also the easiest way for new or visiting
> birders to see where to find birds in the state and what to
> expect at given locations. More folks are getting the
> most out of their bird lists (and giving the most to others)
> by using ebird- don't be the last person on the block to
> start ebirding!
> Go to http://ebird.org to get started right away.
> For a tutorial on using ebird, go to: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/tutorial
> For examples of how you can use ebird to generate bar
> charts for determining what birds you can expect to see at a
> given location at a given time of year, go to
> Henderson Park (all data): http://tinyurl.com/kjdm4t
> State Botanical Garden (all data): http://tinyurl.com/mh2vhz
> State Botanical Garden (2009 only): http://tinyurl.com/nrfgqw
> To see an example of how you can generate a distribution
> map for a species (in this case, Seaside Sparrow), go to: http://tinyurl.com/m7f7j5
> If you have any questions on entering data or exploring the
> many features of ebird, don't hesitate to email me.
> Good (e)birding,
> Joel McNeal
> Winterville (Athens-Clarke Co.), GA
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