Thanks for that suggestion Kevin. I just tried it. Much quicker than eBird. Thanks.
Linda Orkin Sent from my iPhone > On Apr 20, 2018, at 8:35 PM, Kevin J. McGowan <k...@cornell.edu> wrote: > > I've still got a few Fox Sparrows, too. I can't ever remember waking up to > them singing in my yard for over a week before. It always seemed that a few > would be present a few days in the spring and fall, and that was it. > > No doubt our lingering winter is to blame. They don't go far south for the > winter, but they go pretty far north to breed, so it makes sense that they > should be aware of local weather and be cautious before they make the final > move. > > A fun new addition to the Merlin app (free!) for your phone is that when you > browse birds in a specific area, you see bar charts of the likelihood of > occurrence for the whole calendar year. You can find the same information in > eBird, but it takes more finagling to find it there. In Merlin, go to > "Explore Birds" from the main screen, go up to the icon at the top that looks > like lines and spots, click "Likely Birds," then filter by your current > location and date. I suggest using "Family - Most Likely." That puts all the > sparrows together, all the ducks, etc. Scroll down to the sparrows, and > there, 11th on the list is Fox Sparrow. You can see by the bar chart that > it's never abundant, but that it's usually seen in March and April, and that > we're getting to the end of the narrow window when they normally occur. > > If you browse the sparrows, you see that the next most/least likely sparrow > here this time of year is White-crowned. But, comparing the two bar charts > shows that Fox Sparrows should be on their way out, while White-crowns should > just be coming in. > > Also interesting, if you browse farther down the list, is that we have just > gone through the peak time of Vesper Sparrow reports. And, unlike the other > two species, they breed here! But, apparently they show up more on eBird > checklists during April as they arrive and can't get to their breeding > grounds yet, what with the snow and all, and show up in parking lots and > roadsides the way they have done this last week or two. There have been > dozens of Vesper Sparrow reports all over the county this last week and a > half, and that perfectly reflects the bar chart in Merlin based on ebird > checklists. > > I've been a half-hearted endorser of Merlin over the last few years because, > frankly, I don't need the help identifying birds. But, the app is becoming > much more than what it started as, and it's growing all the time. It's now > one of the fastest and easiest portals to finding what birds are to be > expected at a specific time of year, pretty much everywhere in the world. > Soon it is going to be a reference source for birds all over the world, with > photos, songs, and maps. Already it covers all of the US and Canada, Mexico, > and most of Central America, as well as parts of Colombia and northwestern > Europe. And it's growing every day. > > I did a West Coast business trip in February, and I used Merlin to tell me > what birds to expect in the places I visited. I went to Oregon, and Merlin > told me that Acorn Woodpeckers would be common in Medford, west of the > Cascade Mountains, but would be rare in Klamath Falls, east of the mountains. > It told me that I'd be seeing California Quail all along most of my drive to > San Diego, but when I went to Joshua Tree National Park, I would be seeing > Gambel's Quail. > > So, just a head's up to the birding community. The Cornell Lab's Merin app is > not just some cute toy for beginners. (Although, it did get my bird-averse > sister to start liking looking at birds.) It's becoming a powerful tool for > traveling birders to use all over the world. Currently, it only has photos, > maps, and information for the areas I mentioned above. But, it already can > give you a list of the most likely birds you will see anywhere on earth. > Well, anywhere there are eBird checklists. But, every eBird checklist you put > in from some exotic locale helps the program refine its results and improve > the accuracy of its predictions. And, every photo you upload to an eBird > checklist from a foreign location gets Merlin closer to being able to > identify that species from photos, and closer to having photos available in > the app. > > Latin America has an avid and active birding presence, so we can expect big > strides there in the near future. But, it also has the most diverse and > complex suite of birds on the planet, so, that's a hurdle. I personally hope > that southern and eastern Europe will be covered completely soon (I have a > trip there scheduled in late June), but it seems that India is going to jump > ahead in the line ahead of other expected regions. > > Indian birders have enthusiastically embraced eBird the last couple of years, > and they're pumping sightings and photos into the database. I spoke to > someone in Oregon at the bird festival I was attending (Winter Wings) who was > from India. He wanted to show me his photos from birding in India (very > nice), and I told him to put them into checklists in eBird because every > photo uploaded for a species (especially good ones like his) put Merin a step > closer to getting the identification program to being able to ID it, but also > that every photo gets the bird guide portion closer to being able to offer it > to the regular folks. He responded that he thought that was awesome, and that > he knew that the people in the bird clubs in India would be excited to > contribute. > > So, as New Yorkers say, Excelsior! Ever upward! Honestly, I've been birding > since the lat 1960s and early 1970s, about 50 years. There has never been > such a great time to be a birder as right now. You can get spectacular > binoculars and scopes for relatively cheap. Birding references are abundant > (including the courses I've created at > https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/course-list/). You can find out almost > real-time information about what rare birds are where. You have information > on your phone about what birds are likely anywhere on earth, and you can > actually have your phone make a tentative identification from a photo you > took with that phone. As he said in the Princess Bride, "Inconceivable!" We > may very well be living in the best of all conceivable worlds. > > Kevin > Ithaca, NY > Learn More About Birds with These Courses | Bird Academy ... > academy.allaboutbirds.org > Learn More About Birds with These Courses. Broaden your understanding of > birds with courses for all knowledge levels. Learn everything—from birding > basics to comprehensive ornithology > > > From: bounce-122493967-3493...@list.cornell.edu > <bounce-122493967-3493...@list.cornell.edu> on behalf of Carol Keeler > <carolk...@adelphia.net> > Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 6:58 PM > To: CAYUGABIRDS-L > Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Fox Sparrows > > I now have 2 Fox Sparrows! They’ve been here for two days now. I had one > about five years ago which stayed for minutes. I don’t get great numbers of > birds like you do in the Ithaca area. I’m delighted. > I also just had a flock of Cedar Waxwings sitting in a tall maple. Now and > then they would hawk insects . > > Sent from my iPad > > -- > > Cayugabirds-L List Info: > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm > > ARCHIVES: > 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html > 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds > 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html > > Please submit your observations to eBird: > http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ > > -- > > -- > Cayugabirds-L List Info: > Welcome and Basics > Rules and Information > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > Archives: > The Mail Archive > Surfbirds > BirdingOnThe.Net > Please submit your observations to eBird! > -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --