Some thoughts about eBird & non-standard reports: EBird has more than one 

Certainly ornithologists want usable data, and that means lots of reports made 
in the same way. That’s why eBird promotes “complete” checklists of a certain 
length and time, which can be thrown in the same pile for statistical purposes. 
Reports which don’t meet those standards must be easily separated by how they 
are labeled. But that doesn’t mean they should not be in eBird at all. Perhaps 
the query about reports long after they were submitted was to find out whether 
they were usable for a particular study. 

The reason eBird can collect enough data to use for statistical purposes is 
because birders find the program useful and fun. Promoting awareness of birds 
and conservation issues, which I hope includes birding, are functions the Lab 
of O and eBird program. To me as a birder, eBird is great for a couple of 

First, I can keep track of what I’ve observed and include all my obscure and 
excruciating notes and terrible photos (See if you can make use of *that*, 
Merlin!). And my lists are not all statistically usable data for many 
ornithological purposes. I have modified my birding to try to help the 
ornithologists with standard complete lists, but when I find an interesting 
bird even though I wasn’t doing a formal timed birding session, I try to do an 
“incidental” eBird report. 

Second, I can find out what other people have found, including their notes, 
photos, & audio. To me this is interesting and satisfying whether or not I want 
to chase it. Especially for species which I have seen before, I can enjoy 
someone else’s photo instead of burning gasoline and destroying the climate by 
chasing it. When Dave Kennedy makes a local trip to Montezuma and puts his 
fantastic photos in eBird, I have *less* need to drive 100miles. I would love 
to see “camera trap” photos and would support their inclusion in eBird. That’s 
how we learned that a Crested Caracara showed up to feed on carrion in Wayne 
County in 2018. I enjoy the audio from night flight calls (NFCs), even though 
my hearing isn’t good enough to detect them. I use eBird to find out what has 
been found in the Cayuga Lake Basin. I use eBird to learn about the ranges of 
“our” species when they are not here. I use eBird to learn about species I will 
never personally see because I expect never to fly again, and even trips more 
than a couple counties away (let alone south Texas!) have huge questions now. 
My birding this spring has been almost exclusively where I walk and bike, but 
eBird and CayugaBirds-L keep me connected. 

- - Dave Nutter


Cayugabirds-L List Info:


Please submit your observations to eBird:


Reply via email to