Thanks, Brad; I'm glad to know that info.

-----Original Message-----
From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Brad Jacobs
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 1:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: No sightings- Ebird

Bryan and MOBIRDers.
Bryan asked a great question that is being asked more and more by scientists
and birders. eBird is really an amazing source for scientists but it has had
its issues with folks that don't think it has any value due to a "lack" of
rigor involved in gathering the data.  Setting the idea of bad data in give
bad data out, from early complaints about birder generated data in general,
we can look to the range of rigors from other birder and science based bird
databases. The Christmas Bird Counts, Breeding Bird Atlases, Breeding Bird
Surveys, North American Migration Counts, CACHE/SPARKS, etc., are all based
on some assumptions that give clues to the use of the data. The birding
competition part is like food at a public meeting. Competitive birding is
just one of the enjoyments for part of the birding world. 

There is a pdf that talks about the use of eBird and Partners in Flight.

A recent example for conservation use:
Within the national Partners in Flight Steering (
Committee and Science Team the eBird data that are generated worldwide by
birders are in fact an amazing almost instantaneous check on current
bird-status-condition indicators worldwide that can be analyzed for use by
conservation partners. One recent example: Ken Rosenberg presented the most
recent Occurrence Maps generated from eBird birder-source data at the Snow
Bird, Utah Partners in Flight V international Bird Conservation Plans
workshop. He was able to show the migration patterns of several western bird
species during the spring migration and fall migration which clearly showed
that most of the records for Townsend's Warbler were on BLM land during
spring migration and on USFS land during fall migrations. This allows
federal land management agencies to know they are stewards of certain
species during certain times of year, and they are responsible for
considering the needs for that species during the time of year.

The list of conservation uses is getting longer as more folks discover the
vastness of the data and the global applications to documenting the effects
of management, illegal hunting, land use changes and global climate change. 

One thing that eBird, CACHE and SPARKS have offered is defined methodologies
for birders to make their birding trip lists useful. The old way was to
leave a short list of birds seen on a conservation area, sometimes with a
date and name of the observer. Now there is a world wide data-collection and
analysis process that is available on eBird with the support of a large
university and its partners. 

As with all of the uses for bird data, the source of the data and the biases
that come along with that are always suspect. Science is plagued with this
problem and has developed ways to handle bias through statistical analysis,
data use restrictions, and observer training.  As Ryan or Josh said, no data
are ever thrown out of eBird, but a lot of data do not get used in the
analysis because of observer biases and data provided that don't meet the
analysis requirements. 

CACHE, SPARKS, and eBird all have been evolving as more is learned about how
to analyze the data and the advent of new uses and needs. eBird is dependent
on all its sources to use a compatible format.  


Brad Jacobs
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-522-4115 ext. 3648

-----Original Message-----
From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of Bryan Prather
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: No sightings- Ebird

Thank You Ryan for the wiki link-very nice!

I've linked and seen the top 100 Ebirders for Mo., ( I'm #58 despite my
rants.  I don't do shorebirds much).
My question is how do the entries by citizen scientists benefit birds?
I want to believe that what I see and photograph and put said photograph on
Ebird(time consuming) will benefit birds.  
It's not time consuming to put photos on Ebird. ( It's time consuming to be
able to format them onto Flickr, etc. and then include them.) So again, how
do the entries benefit birds?
I'm not discounting Ebird but it can be perceived as a competition  rather
than conservation from those who see/hear birds but don't participate.  What
I'm hoping for is a statement saying "Missouri's contribution on Ebird has
provided this."  
I'm not looking for the number of Ebird entries nor folks who have seen the
most.  I want to know how our collective entries have helped birds and
habitat.  Can that be addressed?

No disrespect intended!

Bryan Prather
St.  Louis Co., Mo
Sent from my iPhone

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