Kevin et al, It sounds fantastic, but even though I'm no Luddite, I am clinging to my flip phone as if my life depends on it, reluctant to have a smart phone and yield to the mind-control powers of the big tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple.
I will be traveling and would love to avail myself of the benefits you described, but I fear my birding will be constrained by my fear of big brother. Still no Fox Sparrows (satisfying bird content protocol). On Fri, 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 ... > <https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/course-list/> > 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://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/ > > -- > > -- > *Cayugabirds-L List Info:* > Welcome and Basics <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> > Rules and Information <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> > *Archives:* > The Mail Archive > <http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html> > Surfbirds <http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> > BirdingOnThe.Net <http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> > *Please submit your observations to eBird > <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>!* > -- > -- asher -- 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/ --