Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 14:21:06 -0800
Reply-To: Joel McNeal <j.mcneal@YAHOO.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Joel McNeal <j.mcneal@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: January 2011 eBird summary
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First off, for those of you who don't regularly visit the eBird homepage, there are animated maps for more species recently posted. As always, these maps are ridiculously cool, and the descriptions accompanying each species are well worth reading. All the currently available animated maps can be found at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/occurrence-maps/occurrence-maps .
Secondly, again for those of you who don't visit the eBird homepage, the taxonomy in eBird has been updated to reflect recent AOU changes (including the Winter/Pacific Wren split). For a list of changes, how they were handled by eBird, and some interesting comments on the probable upcoming split of Yellow-rumped Warbler into as many as 4 (!) different species, see http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/taxonomic-update-january-2011 .
Because we now are well into the 'eBird era' and have 3 years with over 500 checklists for the month of January, I decided to do the January 2011 eBird summary a little bit different while comparing data over the past 3 years. First, the basic statistics:
January all-time: 259 species
January 2009: 199 species + 2 in GCRC review, 653 checklists
January 2010: 212 species + 3 in review, 1620 checklists
January 2011: 210 species + 2 in review, 2061 checklists
Next is a comparison of the month of January between 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here are the species that were reported to eBird in only one of those three years:
Species unique to January 2009:
Long-billed Curlew (really?)
Species unique to January 2010:
Species unique to January 2011:
American Tree Sparrow
While nothing as exciting as an Ivory Gull showed up this January, it sure was a great month for grebes and sparrows!
Roseate Spoonbill and Grasshopper sparrow were the only species reported in both January 2009 & 2010 but missed in January 2011. Up until recently, spoonbills were quite a find in midwinter, so this year was more a regression to the historical usual than anything. Grasshopper Sparrows probably were in the state and probably would have been found with some concentrated effort. They aren't exactly an easy bird to pin down in mid-winter, and this year was likely just bad luck. There really were any glaring species misses in eBird this January, and there were certainly some great highlights.
Please remember that the official Rusty Blackbird Blitz continues through Sunday ( http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/rubl-survey-2010 ), and that your eBird sightings of Rusty Blackbirds (and all other species as well) are valuable data year-round whether it's the blitz period or not.
Athens-Clarke Co., GA
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