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: European Goldfinch Sightings  ( 4239 )

Nat Carmichael

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European Goldfinch Sightings
« : March 17, 2014, 08:42:24 AM »
I checked the European Goldfinch sightings at Waukegan Beach on Ebird today and most of the past sightings are not being pulled in the search.  In fact, the search now shows only 3 sightings, my most recent one from yesterday and two from Al Stokie in August of 2013. 

Here is a sighting of mine from last year that is not coming up:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13848081

I know I've seen a bunch more when I've done this search in the past.  There have been discussions on this board in the past about escapee Euro Goldfinches but there has been a growing population of these escapees in the Great Lakes region which should be tracked to determine is they have been breeding in a particular area like Waukegan Beach.  I think there was a consensus that these birds should be logged into ebird.

Besides "the tick" there are other reasons why some would like to find this bird and it would be nice to see all previous sightings in searches. 

Andrew Aldrich

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #1 : March 17, 2014, 10:54:19 AM »
Hi, Nat.  Apologies for the confusion, a couple of records slipped through the cracks there.  The stance of eBird is to remove all sightings from the public database of exotic species as introduced until a self-sustaining population has been confirmed.  We definitely encourage keeping track of these sightings, as the data are still accessible by eBird & Cornell, just not by the general public.  Since this species is not established anywhere in North America, I would believe a ruling by the AOU and IORC would be in order for eBird reviewers to start treating them as such in Illinois.

As for the tick, it will remain in your eBird records as a species and you will just have to keep a note to yourself that it doesn't "count".  Some species, like Graylag Geese, can have the "domestic" designation which is not recognized in eBird as a full species (and thus, no tick).  It would be nice to have this option for exotics like European Goldfinch too.  If you do NOT want the added tick, you can enter as "finch sp." until another option is available, but then the data would not be searchable "behind the scenes".
 


Nat Carmichael

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #2 : March 17, 2014, 12:17:38 PM »
I don't really follow the rationale of removing all sightings of exotic species from the public view since many times these introduced species can be of public interest like red-masked and monk parakeets which now have established populations in the US.  If ebird/Cornell encourages keeping track of these exotic sightings, then why erase any trace?  Why is this data kept a secret?  The birding community is aware of these birds and know they are not yet official.  What confusion would there be?

I think this approach would lead to drastic under reporting as compared to other species.  Kind of brushing the problem under the rug.  Something of local interest to me was keeping tabs on the Waukegan Euro Goldfinch population.  Now I only have the benefit of my own lists and can't get an overall picture of how this is trending.  How many sightings over how many years?

Anyways... enough of my rambling!  Come to Waukegan Beach and see the bird that shall not be named!

European Goldfinch by Natcarm, on Flickr

Josh Engel

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #3 : March 17, 2014, 01:06:23 PM »
This exact issue (European Goldfinches being invalidated in northeast Illinois) was raised by Michael Retter on the eBird Reviewers Google Group in 2012. This is the "official" response, from Chris Wood:

"I'd like to encourage everyone to read the section on exotics in the review tool and filter instructions.  We lay out general guidelines for the US and Canada. Realizing that there are specific species of interest in particular regions, we have the following statement, which seems relevant here. "If an expanding exotic species warrants tracking with eBird, please do search for those records and validate them. And please encourage reporting of exotics in your region". In this case, if you believe that Eurasian Goldfinch warrants tracking with eBird, then I encourage you to add that species to the checklist for those regions of Illinois where relevant."

I see one of eBird's great strengths as being able to track the spread of exotics (e.g., http://ebird.org/content/camerica/news/coming-soon-to-a-birding-spot-near-you-eurasian-collared-dove/?lang=en) and by invalidating records like the Waukegan European Goldfinches observers might be discouraged from entering them in the first place.

Apparently a flock of 20 was seen in Racine County, Wisconsin, just a week ago: http://net-results.blogspot.com/2009/01/european-goldfinch.html (see the comments all the way at the bottom).

And thanks to Andrew and all of the other Illinois reviewers for doing such a great job quickly dealing with flagged records.

Josh
« : March 17, 2014, 01:40:22 PM Matthew Cvetas »

Matthew Cvetas

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #4 : March 17, 2014, 01:41:33 PM »
Heh, we just got our wires crossed on this one. In fact, we had been validating and tracking this species since their release in McHenry County. You will find them back in the public output shortly.
Nobody loves me but my mother, and she could be jivin' too.
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KimVH

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #5 : March 18, 2014, 07:33:48 PM »
Thanks Nat!  I saw two of them at Waukegan Beach today.

Andrew Aldrich

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #6 : March 19, 2014, 11:37:49 AM »
OK!  We are all on the same page and got the OK from Chris Wood to start validating European Goldfinches in Illinois.  All appropriate records going back to 2002 have been validated, and should now be visible in the public database.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Nat!

Josh Engel

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #7 : March 25, 2014, 07:19:34 AM »
Thanks for updating those records, Andrew. This is the European Goldfinch map in eBird for the Midwest. Does this mean that Michigan and Indiana reviewers are invalidating those states' records? Or are they actually not being seen there?

Josh

Matthew Cvetas

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #8 : March 25, 2014, 07:26:48 AM »
Thanks for updating those records, Andrew. This is the European Goldfinch map in eBird for the Midwest. Does this mean that Michigan and Indiana reviewers are invalidating those states' records? Or are they actually not being seen there?

I'm afraid all goldfinch records were invalidated across the midwest. IL and WI reinstated them after conversation with the eBird project leader. We have not had a dialogue with IN and MI on this.
Nobody loves me but my mother, and she could be jivin' too.
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Karma girl

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #9 : April 08, 2014, 07:58:40 AM »
I spotted one on our thistle feeder over the winter.   Then on Sunday (4/6), I spotted these two about 3 blocks from home at the base of an apple tree.  How cool!   They are stunning and stand out vividly!  I'm in Mundelein.

Susan Szeszol

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Re: European Goldfinch Sightings
« #10 : April 08, 2014, 04:47:52 PM »
Great, Karma :)
I'm always hoping that some will show up at my feeder.

Susan  8)
My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive Godís guidance and protection.
Saint Francis of Assisi

 

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