Thank you, Charley.  Yes, I shouldn't say that I was shot down, but the count was truly not accepted by the reviewer - not yet.   

By the way, our count was accompanied by a comment that an effort was made to make an accurate count.  That is not the REAL issue.  

The real issue is that OTHERS need to report the numbers - and accompany that with a comment that an effort was made to make an accurate count and how. That empowers the reviewer. 

It takes all of us to help out the reviewers.  The reviewers on eBird can't approve what seems like a crazy number if others aren't reporting it, there is conflicting data, and/or there are no pics.  It was impossible to get pics of all 62 of the BNST that were spread out over the levee.  It wasn't like they were all hanging out together in one place.  Same with the other shorebirds.  

The most little known fact that I forgot to mention in my initial post - and I'll add it here - is that if one count gets flagged and is not approved, the rest of the report still gets approved.  I think this might help folks.  I think some people think that if a count doesn't get approved, all their sightings that day don't get approved. That's not true.  All your other sightings go through just fine.  

Thanks again,

Andy Reago

St. Louis MO

[log in to unmask]
   

-----------------------------------------

From: "Charles Burwick" <[log in to unmask]>
To:
Cc:
Sent: 13-Jul-2017 19:01:12 +0000
Subject: Re: Reporting accurately on eBird

Nice article Andrew.  I, like most have done the same thing at some time.  I quit chasing the count flag when I understood, it is not being shot down, or non-accepted.  It just means you have exceeded the data ceiling on the computer for that specific area.  If you don't report the data with comments that you did make an effort to accurately count the birds, the computer will never be adjusted to reflect the increase of significant numbers of some species in a specific area.  So don't take it personal, just be determined to beat the computer at its game.

It would be nice if an eBird reporter would write a nice explanatory paragraph on the issue. Never hurts to restate a process, the birding community is in a constant trend of change, and some have never heard of the issue being discussed before.

Our pavement has now melted into oil, just hope you are all keeping cool.

Charley Burwick
Greene County

On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 10:22 AM, Andrew Reago <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We noticed that over the years many of us using eBird put down low counts on birds to avoid being flagged or having to do the work of describing how you made that count.  We have done that, too. We know about other birders doing this, too, because we all talk in the field about this issue with them. We joke about it or talk about our frustrations or our laziness or whatever.  

However, we have made a commitment this year to no longer do that.  

I want to encourage everyone to make this commitment, too.  If everyone starts to be diligent, accurate and have integrity to their eBird reporting, then our flagged counts will eventually get approved  -  and the data will improve. 

What brought this up for us were the many trips made by birders to the Grand Tower Island area to look for the Anhinga around the same time - and all the low counts entered on the Black-necked Stilt in particular.  Chrissy and I counted 62 Black-necked Stilts on our first pass on the levee.  There were actually many more, but to avoid recounting and to keep our count conservative and as accurate as possible, we left it at 62 in our report on eBird.  This did not get approved.  Everyone who went there had to see they were numerous, everywhere and the easiest shorebird to ID with a scope out of the hundreds present.  Still, birders were reporting seriously low numbers like 1 or 3 or 6 or 12 or such on the BNST. Only one other person put down a high count besides us.  (Rhonda Rothrock reported 53 on 6/28/17 and got that approved. We reported 62 on 7/9/17 and got shot down.)  

I understand folks might be looking for the Anhinga and not counting BNST, but when we put down 62 and most others put down something between 1-12, well, it seems a sort of injustice to the bird.  Also, our count, made diligently and accurately, goes unapproved and looks ridiculous, when the low counts are what are inaccurate, not ours.

This is about justice for the bird, not us.  BNST are desperate for good habitat to raise their young, as are most shorebirds.  They found a good area this year at Grand Tower Island.  That seems important to us.  (By the way, the reporting on all shorebirds in this area was equally poor and inaccurate.) 

I think folks can do target birding and accurately represent bird species present.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe folks get in a hurry when they target bird or don't have time.  I am just putting a plea to those who might take the time, to do so.   

We were lucky that the Anhinga flew over us right away when we got there late in the day - and again when we left - but even so, we were enchanted by this new and exciting area to bird and wanted to do justice to reporting all the birds present.  

I hope all birders will consider this and not be afraid of true and accurate reporting.  

Andy Reago

St. Louis MO


The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics

ASM Fall Meeting: September 22-24, 2017 at Lake of the Ozarks Details and Online Registration



The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics

ASM Fall Meeting: September 22-24, 2017 at Lake of the Ozarks Details and Online Registration

<[log in to unmask]>


The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / ASM Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics

ASM Fall Meeting: September 22-24, 2017 at Lake of the Ozarks Details and Online Registration