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Tom notes that Scotland Co. is "too far for me."  Scotland Co. is a long way from most Missouri birders, and that's the basis of the low number of species reported and the few reports, overall.  Scotland, Schuyler, Mercer, Gentry, Worth-- at the bottom of the list for species and/or number of reports--are northern tier counties away from the northwest corner.  It's a long haul for a lot of us.

If you look at records, you'll see many a trip listed as CACHE/SPARKS. Most of those are Wednesday trips made out of Columbia by Bill Clark's carload, and by others of that carload on additional days.  Bill's efforts since the beginning of the C/S program in late 2005 have generated the bulk of eBird reports for many of Missouri's remote hotspots.  This is a significant contribution to the occurrence data for Missouri.  With a change in eBird entry procedures, such reports now appear by the name of the contributor, rather than CACHE/SPARKS.

The C/S program (agreements with MDC, DNR and ASM) continues as birders go to target sites, often more than 100 miles from home, to add to data and file reports to eBird. 

An additional aspect of the C/S agreement is the production of Birders' Guides for target (and other) sites.  The alphabetical listing of the series is available on the ASM webpage at https://mobirds.org/Locations/SiteGuides.aspx.  You can see the list of guides by county at https://mobirds.org/Locations/CountyGuide.aspx.  There are two guides for Scotland Co.:  Ewing Lake CA and Indian Hills CA.

Take a look at guides available for counties you're interested in birding. The purpose of the guides is to help birders get the most out of a birding trip.  Armed with a birders' guide, your chances of a successful birdfinding trip to an unfamiliar site are improved.

And...if you are familiar with a public site anywhere in the state that doesn't have a birders' guide, please give serious thought to writing one (help is available for the non-birding features of the guide). Email me by reply.

Edge Wade
ASM Conservation Partnership Coordinator
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Jones" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 8:08:30 PM
Subject: Re: eBird and Merlin (no sighting)

James, I haven't used Merlin but I couldn't agree with you more about how neat e-Bird is.  I think it is no exaggeration to say it has revolutionized birding.  There are too many neat features to go into, but I find it indispensable when traveling.  In the Rio Grande Valley in the spring, I used e-Bird to get a list of the target species I needed for my U.S. list that I was most likely to see in Hidalgo County, TX, at that time of year.  I used e-Bird's "explore a region" feature to see what was being seen in Hidalgo county each day or at each of the "hotspots" in the county.  I also carried along a fine printed guide to birding in the Rio Grande Valley (2008) but found I was using e-Bird much, much more than the guide.  

I especially like the "explore a region" feature, which is full of fun facts.  Birders have put more than 21,000 lists into e-Bird in Missouri so far this year and e-Birders have recorded 299 species so far for the year in Missouri (compared to just under 21,000 lists for far less populous Kansas and 352 species so far this year; but who's comparing?).  You can see which counties get the most birding activity, at least by e-Birders.  Another fun fact from e-Bird:  The only county in Missouri that hasn't had an e-Bird list entered so far this year is Scotland; 26 other counties have had fewer than 20 lists entered.  Maybe e-Bird needs to add a "target county" feature.  Would somebody please get up to Scotland county soon!  It's too far for me.

Western Kingbirds nesting on a telephone-pole transformer on a fairly busy side road just north of Zona Rosa.  Also neat.

Tom Jones
Platte County
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html
ABA Birding Code of Ethics
http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html

------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html
ABA Birding Code of Ethics
http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html