As I have been known to do, I am about to dig myself a hole here. This is an interesting discussion. My only caution is that we must all recognize ebird, as well as the CBC's, and similar efforts, for what they are: lightly vetted databases that are useful to academic researchers mainly due to their sheer volume, which tend to mask many of the errors that inevitably creep into the data. This is the definition of Citizen Science. Ebird isn't Science, or Nature, or any of the many highly peer-reviewed journals (and even they retract research papers on occasion), and will never be. let's all beware of the dangers of driving citizen scientists away from this great endeavor.
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