Weird!  Thanks for sharing this.

It would be very interesting, informative and good public relations for Cornell's eBird gurus to share their reasoning for EACH species listed and for the areas chosen to mask these.

Barred Owl is a curious example for me--what do I not know about Barred Owl ranges/occurrence that would place it on the list?

And Whooping Cranes?  Yes, the Crane foundation is in Wisconsin, but why only there for masking the sightings?

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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----- Original Message -----
From: "David Rogles" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:25:26 PM
Subject: FYI ebird policies

From a post on the South Dakota bird lists.
Subject: eBird - "Sensitive Species" taxon
Date: Thu Nov 23 2017 9:27 am
From: sd-birds-noreply AT
Just curious what people thought of how eBird is now treating "sensitive

species". It must be relatively new, since I do the "explore data" thing on

eBird occasionally. I was interested in seeing if anyone was seeing owls up

at Sax-Zim bog, so checked Northern Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, and Boreal

Owl, to see if any sightings have occurred recently. For Boreal Owl, it

still lets you zoom in to an exact location of a sighting. For both Northern

Owl and Great Gray Owl, it now only shows the general area, but not specific

location. They said they're now doing this for "sensitive species", species

potentially susceptible to "capture, targeted killing, or significant

disturbance". It says "While targeted killing and disturbance are risks for

some species, the exploitation of wild birds for the pet trade is the most

significant risk for the majority of species."

Clearly the latter point isn't the threat for Great Gray and Northern Hawk

Owls, so it must be the "significant disturbance" risk. So the most

information you can get is what 20 x 20 km grid cell a bird was seen. It

also says observations of those birds are "Hidden from checklist views,

except to observers on the checklist".  It's interesting what species were

chosen as "sensitive".  There aren't many in the U.S.  Some are kind of

weird (see below how they treat Whooping Crane).

And I guess what I do find somewhat irritating.I can see masking exact

locations for recent sightings. But they mask ALL sightings for a species.

I'm not sure what the point is to mask a 20-year old observation to protect

an individual bird from capture or disturbance. Here's the list of US birds

treated as "sensitive".  There's not many. It is interesting why just those

owls were chosen. Barred I can see, yes, but it seems there's a heavy US

influence on the masking of sightings for Great Gray and Northern Hawk Owl.

They're not exactly rare or anything in Canada, Alaska. Seems like the

blocking of those is probably because of the rarity and uproar they cause

sometimes when sighted in the US.

*	Great Gray Owl

*	Northern Hawk Owl

*	Barred Owl

*	Gyrfalcon

*	Gunnison Sage Grouse

*	Lesser Prairie Chicken

*	Whooping Crane.but ONLY sightings in Wisconsin!  Exact locations are

shown everywhere else, but once you get to the state boundary of Wisconsin,

exact locations aren't shown (again, including all historical sightings as

well as current)

Terry Sohl

American Birding Podcast

--I find this interesting. And hidden from view?

St. Louis

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