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: Why do ABA/State/County Totals on ebird include uncountable birds?  ( 1228 )

Benjamin Murphy

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Is there anyone else that would prefer that ebird not count birds on your life list or state list or county list that you report that are not countable in Illinois or in the ABA?  A friend of mine complained about this recently, and I agree with him.  For example, many of us saw Barnacle Goose in Illinois last year, and I also saw a pair of Whooping Cranes fly over last year.  Also, I read on this forum that ebird is taking information on European Goldfinch sightings.  As I understand, none of these birds are countable in the ABA, or with the IOS.  So why does ebird count them?  This is confusing, and I would prefer not to have to remember to subtract two every time I look at my totals.  However, ebird does not add hybrids or domestic mallards or Muscovy ducks to your numbers though it takes the data.  I hope ebird will change this or allow you to report an uncountable bird without adding it to your totals.


Andrew Aldrich

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eBird is a scientific database on a global scale.  Sure, many use it for listing purposes, but that is not where the priorities lie.  The consensus is that it is important to track population trends when warranted such as the increasing European Goldfinches, as their distribution can change very rapidly.  In the case of Barnacle Goose, it is countable by the ABA but not IOS, so it's up to you to decide whether or not it should be on your ABA list, not eBird.  eBird does not have its own rules for listing as a sport, those are determined by the organizations you are reporting lists to. 

From this discussion: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/973921-what-data-are-appropriate- it does appear that they are working on an option to selectively remove species from your personal lists. 

Also, I've found these forms helpful for keeping track of your Lister's Corner submissions.  http://www.musicbyjoelill.com/LCblanks/

Benjamin Murphy

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Thanks, Andrew.  I was not trying to say that these birds should not be tracked.  That is why I report them on ebird anyway.  I was just saying that it would be preferable if ebird did not add them to our totals as they do not for Brewer's Duck or domestic Mallard.  I know that is not the priority, but they do have totals, and I assume those are to allow people to keep track of their personal lists.

Andrew Aldrich

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I agree, and am curious how some species get the domestic designation while others don't.  If I have something odd (for example, a lovebird or budgerigar escapee) I enter it as a spuh, that way it doesn't "inflate" my totals, but I can keep the effort information until another option is available.  But like you said, you have to make a note to yourself to add or subtract certain species which can be frustrating. 

On the plus side, tracking these in eBird can ultimately end up being a deciding factor as to whether or not they're added to a list in the future (which is hopefully not the case with invasives).  It also raises awareness for local birders to look for signs of nesting with invasives, signs of captivity with vagrants, etc.  Personally, I had no idea how abundant the European Goldfinches were until the issue came up in the other thread.
« : March 25, 2014, 07:03:17 AM Andrew Aldrich »

Josh Engel

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This issue seems to be high on the priority list for the eBird development team. Marshall Iliff, one of the eBird Project Leaders, had this to say on the eBird Regional Editors Google Group about this exact topic:

"We are excited to revisit this, since we know the option to tag some birds as escapees or non-established (or heard only) is important to making eBird a better tool for bird listing. We hope to address those things in the next 6 months or so."

That was, well, about six months ago, so hopefully a fix for this is coming soon.

Josh

 

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