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Last 5 Posts:
· RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] (Jan 19, 2018)
· Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] (Jan 18, 2018)
· Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] (Jan 18, 2018)
· Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] (Jan 18, 2018)
· Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] (Jan 17, 2018)
  1. RE: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 19, 2018 @ 3:03pm, 1 day(s) ago
    Or, instead of contacting the person, who may be already frustrated, display the name of the reviewer on the checklist and contact him or her about ID or other issues on the list (reviewer contacts are broadly available). The reviewer, who is more experienced, ‘thicker-skinned’ and has already gone over the list, will be accountable for the final appearance of the list unless some provision is communicated that issues on the list are pending a response from the list owner. When this requirement is filled the list is no longer under provision.
    
    Geoffrey L. Rogers
    
    San Diego, CA
    
    From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of kyri@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:19 PM
    
    To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
    
    Cc: Anonymous Freeman; CALBIRDS; Jim Lomax; Brian Sullivan; Bruce Barrett; Gjon Hazard
    
    Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant [a bit long]
    
    In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you
    
    are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
    
    but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
    
    eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms I'm not sure.
    
    The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
    
    specify clearly where the bird was.
    
    In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
    
    some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
    
    absolutely have to be a photo) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
    
    perhaps questionable species What data do the reviewers want to see I
    
    want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
    
    that is expected is the same for everyone.
    
    So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
    
    perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
    
    rare/unusual reports That would be helpful and would reduce any
    
    appearance of inequity.
    
    Kyri Freeman
    
    Barstow, CA
    
    > 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
    
    > want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
    
    > information. The specific information might be different things at
    
    > different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
    
    > all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
    
    > in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
    
    > them
    
    > where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
    
    > 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
    
    > pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing.." Then,
    
    > when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
    
    > I
    
    > always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
    
    > assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
    
    > 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    > requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    > local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    > the ordinary accepted."
    
    > Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
    
    > frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
    
    > competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
    
    > that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
    
    > your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
    
    > you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules There
    
    > is
    
    > no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
    
    > about
    
    > it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
    
    > people
    
    > who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
    
    > honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
    
    > composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
    
    > but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
    
    > if
    
    > I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
    
    > the
    
    > room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
    
    > lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
    
    > to
    
    > apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
    
    > should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
    
    > (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors.
    
    > If
    
    > you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
    
    > some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
    
    > Tom Miko
    
    > LA County
    
    > Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
    
    > 909.241.3300
    
    >
    
    >
    
    > On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, " kyri@... [CALBIRDS] " <
    
    > CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >> My .02:
    
    >>
    
    >> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
    
    >> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
    
    >> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
    
    >> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
    
    >> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
    
    >> good.
    
    >>
    
    >> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
    
    >> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
    
    >> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
    
    >> bird again.
    
    >>
    
    >> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    >> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    >> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    >> the ordinary accepted.
    
    >>
    
    >> Kyri Freeman
    
    >> Barstow, CA
    
    >>
    
    >> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
    
    >> am
    
    >> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
    
    >> when
    
    >> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
    
    >> the
    
    >> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
    
    >> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
    
    >> > committees under any circumstances.
    
    >> > Leonie Batkin
    
    >> >
    
    >> > Sent from my iPhone
    
    >> >
    
    >> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    >> >> < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
    
    >> Committee
    
    >> >> The answer is firmly NO.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are
    
    >> improving. I
    
    >> >> hope it works out.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> Jim
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... >
    
    >> >>> wrote:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Hi All,
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
    
    >> can
    
    >> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
    
    >> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
    
    >> process
    
    >> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
    
    >> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
    
    >> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
    
    >> valuable
    
    >> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
    
    >> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
    
    >> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
    
    >> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
    
    >> provisionally
    
    >> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
    
    >> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
    
    >> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
    
    >> bird
    
    >> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
    
    >> tirelessly
    
    >> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
    
    >> all
    
    >> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
    
    >> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
    
    >> always
    
    >> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
    
    >> number
    
    >> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
    
    >> usability..
    
    >> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
    
    >> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
    
    >> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
    
    >> this
    
    >> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
    
    >> >>> eBird here:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
    
    >> >>> every day.
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Thanks
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Brian
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@...
    
    >> >>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
    
    >> same
    
    >> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
    
    >> side,
    
    >> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
    
    >> not
    
    >> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
    
    >> of
    
    >> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
    
    >> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
    
    >> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
    
    >> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
    
    >> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
    
    >> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
    
    >> Indeed,
    
    >> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
    
    >> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
    
    >> that
    
    >> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
    
    >> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
    
    >> >>>> reviewers to consider.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
    
    >> so
    
    >> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>>> capture their reports.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
    
    >> a
    
    >> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
    
    >> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
    
    >> >>>> management, etc.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
    
    >> does
    
    >> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
    
    >> >>>> adjusted.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Bruce Barrett
    
    >> >>>> San Jose, CA
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@...
    
    >> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
    
    >> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
    
    >> don’t care
    
    >> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for
    
    >> someone else
    
    >> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    >> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the
    
    >> birding in
    
    >> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Jim Lomax
    
    >> >>>>> From No Particular Place
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@...
    
    >> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
    
    >> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> -Gjon
    
    >> >>>>>> San Diego County
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >
    
    >>
    
    >> --
    
    >> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
    
    >> on
    
    >> Amazon. Print copies also available.
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >
    
    --
    
    My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
    
    Amazon. Print copies also available.
    
    
  2. -back to top-
  3. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 18, 2018 @ 10:09pm, 2 day(s) ago
    eBird now has a "profile" option and people can put basically whatever they want there.  Maybe they/we should be encouraged to provide contact information.  I think it would be very useful - but it should be completely optional.
    
    Ken Burton
    Crescent City
    
    On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:19 PM, kyri@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
      In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you
    
    are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
    
    but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
    
    eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms I'm not sure.
    
    The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
    
    specify clearly where the bird was.
    
    In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
    
    some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
    
    absolutely have to be a photo) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
    
    perhaps questionable species What data do the reviewers want to see I
    
    want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
    
    that is expected is the same for everyone.
    
    So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
    
    perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
    
    rare/unusual reports That would be helpful and would reduce any
    
    appearance of inequity.
    
    Kyri Freeman
    
    Barstow, CA
    
    > 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
    
    > want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
    
    > information. The specific information might be different things at
    
    > different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
    
    > all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
    
    > in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
    
    > them
    
    > where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
    
    > 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
    
    > pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing.." Then,
    
    > when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
    
    > I
    
    > always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
    
    > assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
    
    > 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    > requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    > local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    > the ordinary accepted."
    
    > Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
    
    > frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
    
    > competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
    
    > that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
    
    > your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
    
    > you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules There
    
    > is
    
    > no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
    
    > about
    
    > it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
    
    > people
    
    > who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
    
    > honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
    
    > composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
    
    > but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
    
    > if
    
    > I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
    
    > the
    
    > room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
    
    > lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
    
    > to
    
    > apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
    
    > should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
    
    > (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors.
    
    > If
    
    > you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
    
    > some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
    
    > Tom Miko
    
    > LA County
    
    > Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
    
    > 909.241.3300
    
    >
    
    >
    
    > On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, " kyri@... [CALBIRDS]" <
    
    > CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >> My .02:
    
    >>
    
    >> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
    
    >> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
    
    >> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
    
    >> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
    
    >> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
    
    >> good.
    
    >>
    
    >> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
    
    >> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
    
    >> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
    
    >> bird again.
    
    >>
    
    >> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    >> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    >> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    >> the ordinary accepted.
    
    >>
    
    >> Kyri Freeman
    
    >> Barstow, CA
    
    >>
    
    >> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
    
    >> am
    
    >> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
    
    >> when
    
    >> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
    
    >> the
    
    >> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
    
    >> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
    
    >> > committees under any circumstances.
    
    >> > Leonie Batkin
    
    >> >
    
    >> > Sent from my iPhone
    
    >> >
    
    >> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    >> >> < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
    
    >> Committee
    
    >> >> The answer is firmly NO.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are
    
    >> improving. I
    
    >> >> hope it works out.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> Jim
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... >
    
    >> >>> wrote:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Hi All,
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
    
    >> can
    
    >> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
    
    >> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
    
    >> process
    
    >> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
    
    >> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
    
    >> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
    
    >> valuable
    
    >> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
    
    >> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
    
    >> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
    
    >> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
    
    >> provisionally
    
    >> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
    
    >> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
    
    >> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
    
    >> bird
    
    >> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
    
    >> tirelessly
    
    >> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
    
    >> all
    
    >> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
    
    >> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
    
    >> always
    
    >> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
    
    >> number
    
    >> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
    
    >> usability..
    
    >> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
    
    >> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
    
    >> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
    
    >> this
    
    >> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
    
    >> >>> eBird here:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> http://help.ebird.org/ customer/portal/articles/ 1055676
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
    
    >> >>> every day.
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Thanks
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Brian
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@...
    
    >> >>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
    
    >> same
    
    >> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
    
    >> side,
    
    >> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
    
    >> not
    
    >> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
    
    >> of
    
    >> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
    
    >> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
    
    >> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
    
    >> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
    
    >> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
    
    >> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
    
    >> Indeed,
    
    >> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
    
    >> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
    
    >> that
    
    >> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
    
    >> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
    
    >> >>>> reviewers to consider.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
    
    >> so
    
    >> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>>> capture their reports.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
    
    >> a
    
    >> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
    
    >> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
    
    >> >>>> management, etc.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
    
    >> does
    
    >> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
    
    >> >>>> adjusted.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Bruce Barrett
    
    >> >>>> San Jose, CA
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@...
    
    >> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
    
    >> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
    
    >> don’t care
    
    >> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for
    
    >> someone else
    
    >> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    >> >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the
    
    >> birding in
    
    >> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Jim Lomax
    
    >> >>>>> From No Particular Place
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@...
    
    >> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
    
    >> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> -Gjon
    
    >> >>>>>> San Diego County
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >
    
    >>
    
    >> --
    
    >> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
    
    >> on
    
    >> Amazon. Print copies also available.
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >
    
    --
    
    My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
    
    Amazon. Print copies also available.
  4. -back to top-
  5. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 18, 2018 @ 9:19pm, 2 day(s) ago
    In terms of contacting the person: in a very quick survey on eBird, you
    
    are correct; clicking on a checklist gets you some personal information
    
    but not a way to contact the person. Is there a role for commenting on
    
    eBird, or would that open a whole can of worms I'm not sure.
    
    The exact location: That's not a good job of reporting if they didn't
    
    specify clearly where the bird was.
    
    In terms of standard for eBird reports, what would be helpful to me is
    
    some kind of rubric. What level of detail is requested (or does it
    
    absolutely have to be a photo) for a rare, unseasonal, or otherwise
    
    perhaps questionable species What data do the reviewers want to see I
    
    want a high standard of data to be upheld. But I would hope the reporting
    
    that is expected is the same for everyone.
    
    So, to make a long post a bit shorter, what about having a linked rubric,
    
    perhaps individualized by county, clarifying exactly what is expected of
    
    rare/unusual reports That would be helpful and would reduce any
    
    appearance of inequity.
    
    Kyri Freeman
    
    Barstow, CA
    
    > 1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it: sometimes I
    
    > want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some
    
    > information. The specific information might be different things at
    
    > different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are
    
    > all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of
    
    > in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask
    
    > them
    
    > where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.
    
    > 2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a
    
    > pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing." Then,
    
    > when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics,
    
    > I
    
    > always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The
    
    > assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
    
    > 3. "I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    > requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    > local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    > the ordinary accepted."
    
    > Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major
    
    > frustration that I have with eBird: sure, there are some incredibly
    
    > competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying
    
    > that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why
    
    > your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when
    
    > you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules There
    
    > is
    
    > no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know
    
    > about
    
    > it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different
    
    > people
    
    > who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be
    
    > honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have
    
    > composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are,
    
    > but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job
    
    > if
    
    > I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in
    
    > the
    
    > room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking
    
    > lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt
    
    > to
    
    > apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there
    
    > should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics
    
    > (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors.
    
    > If
    
    > you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you
    
    > some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire.
    
    > Tom Miko
    
    > LA County
    
    > Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic during the day.
    
    > 909.241.3300
    
    >
    
    >
    
    > On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, " kyri@... [CALBIRDS]" <
    
    > CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >> My .02:
    
    >>
    
    >> I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
    
    >> formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
    
    >> more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
    
    >> prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
    
    >> comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
    
    >> good.
    
    >>
    
    >> I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
    
    >> newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
    
    >> correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
    
    >> bird again.
    
    >>
    
    >> I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    >> requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    >> local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    >> the ordinary accepted.
    
    >>
    
    >> Kyri Freeman
    
    >> Barstow, CA
    
    >>
    
    >> > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I
    
    >> am
    
    >> > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records
    
    >> when
    
    >> > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in
    
    >> the
    
    >> > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
    
    >> > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
    
    >> > committees under any circumstances.
    
    >> > Leonie Batkin
    
    >> >
    
    >> > Sent from my iPhone
    
    >> >
    
    >> >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    >> >> < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records
    
    >> Committee
    
    >> >> The answer is firmly NO.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> All this other discussion is nice and Iââ¬â˘m glad things are
    
    >> improving. I
    
    >> >> hope it works out.
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >> Jim
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... >
    
    >> >>> wrote:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Hi All,
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I
    
    >> can
    
    >> >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
    
    >> >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review
    
    >> process
    
    >> >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
    
    >> >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
    
    >> >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly
    
    >> valuable
    
    >> >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
    
    >> >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
    
    >> >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
    
    >> >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird
    
    >> provisionally
    
    >> >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
    
    >> >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
    
    >> >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare
    
    >> bird
    
    >> >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work
    
    >> tirelessly
    
    >> >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate
    
    >> all
    
    >> >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
    
    >> >>> eBird would cease to exist..
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is
    
    >> always
    
    >> >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a
    
    >> number
    
    >> >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and
    
    >> usability..
    
    >> >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
    
    >> >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
    
    >> >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on
    
    >> this
    
    >> >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
    
    >> >>> eBird here:
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
    
    >> >>> every day.
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Thanks
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>> Brian
    
    >> >>>
    
    >> >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@...
    
    >> >>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the
    
    >> same
    
    >> >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one
    
    >> side,
    
    >> >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does
    
    >> not
    
    >> >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount
    
    >> of
    
    >> >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
    
    >> >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
    
    >> >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
    
    >> >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
    
    >> >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
    
    >> >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC.
    
    >> Indeed,
    
    >> >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
    
    >> >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet
    
    >> that
    
    >> >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
    
    >> >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
    
    >> >>>> reviewers to consider.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK,
    
    >> so
    
    >> >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just
    
    >> to
    
    >> >>>> capture their reports.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides
    
    >> a
    
    >> >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
    
    >> >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
    
    >> >>>> management, etc.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently
    
    >> does
    
    >> >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
    
    >> >>>> adjusted.
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>> Bruce Barrett
    
    >> >>>> San Jose, CA
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>
    
    >> >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@...
    
    >> >>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
    
    >> >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or
    
    >> donââ¬â˘t care
    
    >> >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but donââ¬â˘t mind asking for
    
    >> someone else
    
    >> >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    >> >>>>> people to sort through all the ââ¬Ĺclaims" would keep the
    
    >> birding in
    
    >> >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>> Jim Lomax
    
    >> >>>>> From No Particular Place
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@...
    
    >> >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
    
    >> >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>>>>> -Gjon
    
    >> >>>>>> San Diego County
    
    >> >>>>>>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >>
    
    >> >
    
    >>
    
    >> --
    
    >> My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle
    
    >> on
    
    >> Amazon. Print copies also available.
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >
    
    --
    
    My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
    
    Amazon. Print copies also available.
  6. -back to top-
  7. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 18, 2018 @ 6:51pm, 2 day(s) ago
    1. The mechanism for this may exist, but I'm not aware of it:  sometimes I want to ask one of the people who have entered a bird into eBird for some information. The specific information might be different things at different times, but there's always a good reason why. However, there are all these people who enter sightings into eBird, who I have never heard of in my life. I do not have contact information for them, so I can't ask them where exactly in that 200-acre park they saw the bird I'm interested in.  2.Typically the information about that I am seeking is hidden underneath a pile of 30 entries in which 29 of the observers wrote "continuing." Then, when I write an email to the appropriate email list asking for specifics, I always get the one email that says "the info is there on eBird." The assumption is that I am lazy, and didn't do my homework.
    3. "I  am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    the ordinary accepted."  Kyrie, a lot of us have had that bad experience. This is a major frustration that I have with  eBird: sure, there are some incredibly competent and thoughtful people like Kimball Garrett, and I'm not saying that to kiss up to him, who are reliable and very good at teaching (why your bird is not this species, but the other species). But what about when you are dealing with an eBird editor who makes up their own rules There is no appeals process that I'm aware of. If there is, please let me know about it. This is actually a big problem. I have had a couple of different people who have eBird authority make some incredibly unscientific, and let's be honest, unprofessional statements to me (while stuck in traffic I have composed a long angry emails to them letting them know how dumb they are, but never actually bothered to sit down and type these rants). In my job if I made these types of statements that they make, the crowd of people in the room with me who all have science degrees would drag me out to the parking lot and beat me senseless. I appreciate that there is a vigorous attempt to apply scientific rigor to this process, but in that case perhaps there should be restriction that only people with degrees in biology or physics (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or chemistry are allowed to be eBird editors. If you think this is a baseless rant, contact me offline and I will tell you some stories that will make your hair spontaneously catch on fire. 
    Tom Miko
    LA County
    Claremont at night, somewhere in traffic  during the day.
    909.241.3300
    
    On Jan 16, 2018 10:11 PM, " kyri@... [CALBIRDS]" < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
      My .02:
    
    I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
    
    formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
    
    more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
    
    prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
    
    comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
    
    good.
    
    I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
    
    newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
    
    correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
    
    bird again.
    
    I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    the ordinary accepted.
    
    Kyri Freeman
    
    Barstow, CA
    
    > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I am
    
    > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when
    
    > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the
    
    > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
    
    > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
    
    > committees under any circumstances.
    
    > Leonie Batkin
    
    >
    
    > Sent from my iPhone
    
    >
    
    >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    >> < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >>
    
    >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee
    
    >> The answer is firmly NO.
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >> All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I
    
    >> hope it works out.
    
    >>
    
    >> Jim
    
    >>
    
    >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... >
    
    >>> wrote:
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Hi All,
    
    >>>
    
    >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can
    
    >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
    
    >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process
    
    >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
    
    >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
    
    >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable
    
    >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
    
    >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
    
    >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
    
    >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally
    
    >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
    
    >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
    
    >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird
    
    >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly
    
    >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all
    
    >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
    
    >>> eBird would cease to exist..
    
    >>>
    
    >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always
    
    >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to
    
    >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number
    
    >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability.
    
    >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
    
    >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
    
    >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this
    
    >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
    
    >>> eBird here:
    
    >>>
    
    >>> http://help.ebird.org/ customer/portal/articles/ 1055676
    
    >>>
    
    >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
    
    >>> every day.
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Thanks
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Brian
    
    >>>
    
    >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@...
    
    >>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
    
    >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for..
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side,
    
    >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not
    
    >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of
    
    >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
    
    >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
    
    >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
    
    >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
    
    >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
    
    >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed,
    
    >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
    
    >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that
    
    >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
    
    >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
    
    >>>> reviewers to consider.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so
    
    >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to
    
    >>>> capture their reports.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a
    
    >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
    
    >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
    
    >>>> management, etc.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does
    
    >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
    
    >>>> adjusted.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Bruce Barrett
    
    >>>> San Jose, CA
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@...
    
    >>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
    
    >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care
    
    >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else
    
    >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    >>>>> people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in
    
    >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>> Jim Lomax
    
    >>>>> From No Particular Place
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@...
    
    >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
    
    >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>>>>> -Gjon
    
    >>>>>> San Diego County
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >
    
    --
    
    My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
    
    Amazon. Print copies also available.
  8. -back to top-
  9. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 4:25pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Yahoo doesn’t have any option to export the archives. If you go searching the net, there are various tools to do it. I found almost all of them broken in one way or another. I finally had a friend who did it for me as a favor for SBB.
    
    One option that I believe would work would be to create a mailing list on groups.io , and it will port over the archives (I’m pretty sure), and from there you could export them. But that’s fairly byzantine and not really why that site exists if you aren’t going to just move the list off Yahoo.
    
    It is one of the reasons I’ve thought it time to either get off Yahoo or bulk up Sialia or something. A lot of data at risk to the whim of (now) Verizon being willing to pay to keep the site running.
    
    On Jan 17, 2018, at 9:50 AM, Jennifer Rycenga gyrrlfalcon@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    Important discussion of many issues so far here. I was perturbed, though, by the idea that the Yahoo Groups ARCHIVES might disappear. To me, these are valuable site-specific resources,that I use to help construct species lists for our online site guide in San Mateo county. If there are ways to download, store, or even print those archives, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later, I’d think.
  10. -back to top-
  11. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 9:50am, 3 day(s) ago
    Important discussion of many issues so far here. I was perturbed, though, by the idea that the Yahoo Groups ARCHIVES might disappear. To me, these are valuable site-specific resources,that I use to help construct species lists for our online site guide in San Mateo county. If there are ways to download, store, or even print those archives, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later, I’d think.
    
    eBird, eBird reviewers, local listservs, and state-wide records committees strike me as reinforcing systems that helpto check each other, and that have some valuable differences in personnel overseeing them, which also helps to check excesses. Nothing needs to disappear from our current bird-media environment, near as I can tell.
    
    Jennifer Rycenga
    San Mateo, CA
    visit http://birding.sequoia-audubon.org/
    The San Mateo County Birding Guide
  12. -back to top-
  13. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 1:43pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Many cameras have GPS, but many do not. Even if your camera has GPS, my understanding is that Ebird strips out the photo metadata, which includes the GPS coordinates, before it displays the photo in your checklist. I don't know why it does that - wouldn't geotags that didn't match the location of the sighting help reviewers weed out spurious records Ebird maestros: please correct me if I've got that wrong.
    Glen Tepke Oakland On January 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM "Doug Shaw dougshaw09@... [CALBIRDS]" wrote:
    
    I would think any photographer documenting a rare bird would have the GPS features active on the camera. I understand this may be an issue on private property. I have not posted many photos on Ebird so I am not sure if the coordinates are always visible.
    Doug Shaw
    Santa Rosa, CA, Sonoma County
  14. -back to top-
  15. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 12:53pm, 3 day(s) ago
    On Jan 17, 2018, at 12:05 PM, Chuck & Lillian misclists@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
     I appreciate the
    necessity and usefulness of having a "second pair
    of eyes" checking my data, despite the occasional
    feeling engendered of "How DARE they question my sighting!!!”
    
    I have only once felt talked down to by an eBird reviewer, and I know from my own experience how often I get an ID wrong for the best of reasons. Almost always they help me see what I missed because they understand the areas better than I do. I really appreciate that feedback and try to learn from it.
    
    And then there are those - as Jim mentions - who
    don't even own a field guide, or they bird by
    photo, without binoculars. There's something just
    plain weird and backwards about that.
    
    Not everyone takes it as seriously as we do (myself making the assumption you aren’t on this mailing list unless you’re pretty serious about this stuff). But one positive side effect of the eBird reviewers is that when notable species are reported, if they can’t get the kind of data they need to feel the sighting is confirmed, those sightings are left uncomfirmed so they don’t trigger alerts or muck with the data.
    
    And we forget that a big aspect of eBird is that the crowdsourcing of the data helps self-correct the data, so for common sightings that’s perfectly fine. And for those rare notable ones, that’s why there are ebird reviewers reviewing them. They don’t need do review the common stuff, the data self polices itself.
  16. -back to top-
  17. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 12:05pm, 3 day(s) ago
    In support of Jim Lomax (reproduced below):
    
    Having cause some ebird errors myself - (black)
    
    Brant, Carrion Crow - Common Teal - AND having
    
    been a accountant all my life, I appreciate the
    
    necessity and usefulness of having a "second pair
    
    of eyes" checking my data, despite the occasional
    
    feeling engendered of "How DARE they question my sighting!!!"
    
    Some people, believing themselves beyond error,
    
    just can't stand being questioned or having their
    
    work checked. But just as "one bad apple spoils
    
    the barrel" and "bad money drives out good" and
    
    other ancient yet appropriate adages, it's better
    
    to step on a few toes and catch errors with
    
    reviews than to wind up with a database so
    
    riddled with rubbish that it becomes unreliable and useless.
    
    Even 99.9% accuracy - which is better than the
    
    typical accountant can muster on the first pass
    
    through the data - when faced with 10 million
    
    eBird records per month, yields 10,000 errors per
    
    month and 120,000 errors a year. Think about it.
    
    And then there are those - as Jim mentions - who
    
    don't even own a field guide, or they bird by
    
    photo, without binoculars. There's something just
    
    plain weird and backwards about that.
    
    Chuck Almdale
    
    North Hills, CA
    
    At 06:02 PM 1/16/2018, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] wrote:
    > Considering the huge number of erroneous
    
    > ebird reports, some even documented with
    
    > photos, from people either too lazy or donât
    
    > care enough to study a bird guide but donât
    
    > mind asking for someone else to identify their
    
    > birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    > people to sort through all the âclaims" would
    
    > keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >Jim Lomax
    
    > From No Particular Place 
  18. -back to top-
  19. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 17, 2018 @ 11:00am, 3 day(s) ago
    I would think any photographer documenting a rare bird would have the GPS features active on the camera. I understand this may be an issue on private property. I have not posted many photos on Ebird so I am not sure if the coordinates are always visible.
    Doug Shaw
    Santa Rosa, CA, Sonoma County On January 16, 2018 at 7:32 PM "Leonie Batkin leonie.batkin23@... [CALBIRDS]" wrote:
    
      Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds..  I am not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the record.  If they question the submitter and there is no response that record should be eliminated.  We should never replace the state record committees under any circumstances.   Leonie Batkin 
    
    Sent from my iPhone
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
      The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee The answer is firmly NO.
    
    All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I hope it works out.
    
    Jim
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... > wrote:
    
    Hi All,
    
    As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird information. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would cease to exist.
    
    One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability. With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on eBird here:
    
    http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
    
    It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every day.
    
    Thanks
    
    Brian
    
    On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
     
    
    Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
    
    Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
    
    I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
    
    It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture their reports.
    
    Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
    
    eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
    
    Bruce Barrett
    San Jose, CA
    
    On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
      Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    Jim Lomax
    From No Particular Place
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    -Gjon
    San Diego County
    
     
    
     
    
     
  20. -back to top-
  21. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are regional/county list servs still relevant - YESSS LINK
    DATE: Jan 16, 2018 @ 9:36pm, 4 day(s) ago
    Hi all
    
    If one is subscribed to the listserv, the “good deed” approach is to report a rarity to the listserv along with their Ebird entry. Be a good and courteous birder.The Listserv has been used for many years and it comes inhandy when one is preparing for a trip. It’s a good and quick overview for bird reports. Keep the tradition and this wealth of information coming in.
    
    Cheers!
    
    Mary Freeman
    Glendale, CA
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:33 PM, Kathleen kamnick@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
  22. -back to top-
  23. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 16, 2018 @ 7:15pm, 4 day(s) ago
    While I was living in Ohio a few years ago there was some concern that the Birding Ohio facebook group was competing with the state listserv. 
    
    I compared some data from the Facebook group with the monthly number of posts to the listserv, and looking over a few years of those data it appeared that (at the time) the listserv activity was chugging along at a pretty steady pace:
    
    https://mostlybirds.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/too-many-birding-forums-in-ohio/
    
    After discussing those results with others, we largely concluded that the Facebook group wasn't competing so much as it was just additional information. Good in that more birds were being reported, but bad in that we could no longer turn to just one resource to monitor those reports. 
    
    In CO, the birding community has come up with a nice partial solution: two organizations "sponsor" (I'm unclear on what that means, exactly) someone to to do regular (daily!) compilations of rarities reported to the list, eBird etc. and submit summaries to the state listserv, CObirds. 
    
    Aggregating information is tricky, but probably the way to go if the problem is that information is scattered across multiple communication platforms. Guiding people towards using these different outlets properly is also a great idea, as others have mentioned, to keep up the quality of that information.
    
    Good birding,
    Paul Hurtado
    Reno, NV
    
    On Jan 12, 2018 2:18 PM, "Paul Lehman lehman.paul@... [CALBIRDS]" < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
      It is pretty obvious that over the past few
    years that many
    of the local/county/regional/state listservs have become less
    and less relevant
    to a large number of birders, as many of these people have voted
    with their
    feet….er, fingertips….and moved over to other sites such as
    eBird. Not only
    that, but bird information dissemination appears to have become
    MORE fragmented
    as time goes on, rather than less fragmented. We now have the
    local listservs,
    eBird, WhatsApp/GroupMe text messaging groups, Facebookindividual and group
    sites, personal Flickr sites, personal and private-group text
    messaging, and
    even a handful of old-school folks who actually still call their
    friends on the
    phone! Some of these services are SUPPPOSED to complement each
    other, e.g., a
    text-message group that is supposed to be used for immediate
    dissemination of high-end
    rarity information only, and folks are supposed to post to it
    AND to the local
    listserv in a timely manner, but instead the former is used
    almost exclusively
    and often for more standard bird fare, so the general listserv
    gets only some
    scraps, if anything. Using my home-county listserv here in San
    Diego as an
    example, the number of local birders who now rarely if ever post
    to
    SanDiegoRegionBirding has grown steadily. Most of these folks
    still happily get
    information from such sources, but rarely, if ever, post to it.
    But a good
    number of these people do submit eBird reports on a regular
    basis instead.   Why only
    to one Is it the ease of eBird
    submissions Is it the instantaneous reporting from the field
    (But that is
    also easy to do to a local listserv with any smartphone.) Is it
    that they can
    easily attach their photos to their eBird reports Is there a
    widespread belief
    that posting rarity news only to eBird is “enough”   Or for some, are they timid
    to post publicly,
    or just lazy, or simply don’t care to give back to a listserv
    from which they
    got information allowing them to see a rare bird Whatever the
    reason, recent
    checks on many days since mid-December of the number of posts to
    the San Diego listserv
    versus the number of county “rarity” alerts coming through eBird
    is something
    on the magnitude of 1 to 20 or 30 (albeit somewhat skewed by the
    numbers of
    out-of-town Nazca Booby viewers and local-birder 2018 “big year”
    kickoffs, and
    by the potential for multiple rarities mentioned per a single
    listserv post but
    only one species per eBird alert). A little of this dichotomy
    can be explained
    by the fact that some birds such as a semi-tame,
    multi-year-staying Greater
    White-fronted Goose at a local lake still appears daily on the
    eBird rare-bird
    alert—given that it is a flagged species—but that virtually
    nobody would dream
    of posting its continued existence on a regular basis on the
    county listserv.
    Or, over the past few weeks, the continued presence of Nazca
    Boobies, a
    wintering Red-throated Pipit, and many other regional and
    state-level rarities
    locally, has drawn an especially large number of California
    birders from out of
    town as well as many out-of-state birders—few of whom have
    posting privileges
    to the San Diego listserv, but almost all of them can post to
    eBird. In most areas, eBird has become the best way
    to keep track,
    on an almost daily basis, of the continued presence of existing
    rarities. (With
    the caveat that some such reports are erroneous, as they are
    through any
    source, and folks should be careful following up on some such
    reports,
    especially when made many days after anyone else has reported
    seeing the bird.
    Even when some folks are chasing known birds at known locations,
    they can mess
    it up. Posted photos of misidentified stakeouts are not overly
    rare, and the
    number of such erroneous reports without photos are likely even
    greater. Just recently,
    for example, a friend of mine from out-of-state, after seeing
    Nazca Booby here,
    drove up to Santa Maria to see the tame Garganey. He was greeted
    there by a birding
    couple, also from out of state and chasing the same birds, who
    proudly pointed
    out the bird to him: a female Northern Pintail. He quickly
    showed them the real
    Garganey. But, the bottom line is, don’t underestimate the
    ability of some
    observers to misidentify even known stakeouts.  
    But I digress…) Are eBird reports also good at giving the
    needed background
    information on how to FIND these stakeout rarities Sometimes
    yes, sometimes
    no. A dropped pin at a hotspot may or may not signify a specific
    spot or may
    just denote the location of a large park or marsh where the bird
    is. Some
    observers add in exact lat/long information, but many do not.
    Also, because
    many human beings (including many birders) are geographically
    challenged, many
    locations they give in their eBird submissions are MIS-STATED or
    MIS-PLOTTED,
    which is one potentially serious problem with using eBird data
    in a number of
    ways in general. But even if the general location is indeed
    correct, the included
    comments (if any) may say little about the specific tree(s) a
    bird is
    frequenting, or the best time of day it might be seen there,
    origin
    questionable issues, or information about possible legal access
    issues, etc. These
    specifics, which can be very important, are often best imparted
    through posts
    to the local listservs. Just in the past couple weeks, such was
    the case here
    in San Diego County with a couple good posts to the listserv
    dealing with
    private property issues and homeowner and birder behavior
    involving the Ramona
    Harris’s Hawk.. Does one need to post an update on everycontinuing rarity
    every single day on a local listserv No, although regular
    updates on high-end
    and just-recently-found rarities are very helpful, and then
    periodic (weekly) updates
    that such-and-such long-staying or returning rarity is still
    present is also
    helpful to other birders. But few local birders supply that
    information.
    Recently here in San Diego, there have been MULTIPLE DAILY eBird
    updates on
    Nazca Booby, Red-throated Pipit, Greater Pewee, Thick-billed
    Kingbird and
    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Harris’s Hawk, Tricolored Herons,
    Nestor Park birds,
    etc. etc. etc., and almost nothing on these birds for well over
    a week or more on
    SanDiegoRegionBirding. Nothing. The question then becomes: “Does
    it matter” Looking at the broad birding community, some
    birders spend
    almost their entire birding lives chasing stakeouts found by
    other people. If
    that’s what they like doing, then great. Some (but far fewer)
    birders hate
    chasing “other people’s birds,” very rarely do it, but spend
    almost all their
    time doing “their own” birding. That’s great, too!   And most of us birders are
    at some point in
    the continuum between these two extremes. But the bottom line
    is, a relatively
    small number of birders find a relatively large percentage of
    the rare birds.
    And many birders do spend much of their birding time chasing
    previously found
    birds. So, what can this large group of chasers contribute
    Perhaps
    rarity-status update information (BOTH positive and negative) if
    they see that such
    updates have not been made in “a reasonable time period,” or
    perhaps any news
    on changes in a bird’s preferred exact site or timing of
    appearance during the
    day .
    M aybe include a bit more information
    than the
    standard "continuing bird" Include maybe where and when the
    continuing bird was seen if possibly different from “usual.”
    And if the report
    substantially extends the date-span, then ideally including
    some comment about
    how it was identified, or a photo.  Some eBird reviewers
    avoid confirming
    late reports of continuing rarities without at least some
    documentation, given
    that some birds are reported long after they actually
    departed. If folks use only eBird for their rare-bird
    chasing bird
    info, and then submit only to eBird, then fine. If they do
    likewise only via
    some texting or Facebook group, fine! But if they routinely use
    a local
    listserv to get their “chase” information, see the bird, and
    then rarely or
    never return the favor to birders following behind them—be it
    for reasons of
    laziness, cluelessness, or simply self-centeredness—then this
    does seem just a
    wee bit galling to those birders who are finding and sharing. Perhaps most birders are perfectly happy with
    the quality
    and speed (i.e., efficiency) of the rare-bird information they
    receive and
    think that my concerns are unfounded and mostly merely tilting
    at windmills.
    Others may sympathize fully. In any case, at least I got to
    vent! --Paul Lehman,  
    San
    Diego  
  24. -back to top-
  25. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 16, 2018 @ 7:56pm, 4 day(s) ago
    My .02:
    
    I am in favor of all sorts of information. More, not less. Different
    
    formats work for different people. I find the search function of eBird
    
    more helpful than Yahoo groups, but I also find the phone app clunky and
    
    prefer to take written field notes and do my eBird report later. When it
    
    comes to information, as long as accuracy is there, I think variety is
    
    good.
    
    I find that listservs often are overly censorious when dealing with
    
    newbies and newcomers to specific areas. It is possible, in theory, to
    
    correct an error without making the person never, ever want to report a
    
    bird again.
    
    I am, however, extremely frustrated with the eBird reviewer unspoken
    
    requirement that one must have an expensive camera or be a member of the
    
    local ruling cabal to have records of anything even very slightly out of
    
    the ordinary accepted.
    
    Kyri Freeman
    
    Barstow, CA
    
    > Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds. I am
    
    > not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when
    
    > they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the
    
    > record. If they question the submitter and there is no response that
    
    > record should be eliminated. We should never replace the state record
    
    > committees under any circumstances.
    
    > Leonie Batkin
    
    >
    
    > Sent from my iPhone
    
    >
    
    >> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS]
    
    >> < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >>
    
    >> The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee
    
    >> The answer is firmly NO.
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >> All this other discussion is nice and Iâm glad things are improving. I
    
    >> hope it works out.
    
    >>
    
    >> Jim
    
    >>
    
    >>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... >
    
    >>> wrote:
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Hi All,
    
    >>>
    
    >>> As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can
    
    >>> assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work
    
    >>> done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process
    
    >>> employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very
    
    >>> important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized
    
    >>> decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable
    
    >>> in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam
    
    >>> dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review
    
    >>> decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily
    
    >>> identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally
    
    >>> accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird
    
    >>> records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a
    
    >>> broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird
    
    >>> information.. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly
    
    >>> and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all
    
    >>> their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them,
    
    >>> eBird would cease to exist..
    
    >>>
    
    >>> One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always
    
    >>> evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to
    
    >>> achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number
    
    >>> of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability.
    
    >>> With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the
    
    >>> time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process
    
    >>> works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this
    
    >>> front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on
    
    >>> eBird here:
    
    >>>
    
    >>> http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
    
    >>>
    
    >>> It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it
    
    >>> every day.
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Thanks
    
    >>>
    
    >>> Brian
    
    >>>
    
    >>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@...
    
    >>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same
    
    >>>> clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side,
    
    >>>> what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not
    
    >>>> - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of
    
    >>>> time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as
    
    >>>> fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast
    
    >>>> Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be
    
    >>>> subsequently cleaned out.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the
    
    >>>> noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings
    
    >>>> faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed,
    
    >>>> every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for
    
    >>>> which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that
    
    >>>> on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than
    
    >>>> ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the
    
    >>>> reviewers to consider.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so
    
    >>>> until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to
    
    >>>> capture their reports.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a
    
    >>>> degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of
    
    >>>> introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base
    
    >>>> management, etc.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does
    
    >>>> not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be
    
    >>>> adjusted.
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>> Bruce Barrett
    
    >>>> San Jose, CA
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>
    
    >>>>> On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@...
    
    >>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>> Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even
    
    >>>>> documented with photos, from people either too lazy or donât care
    
    >>>>> enough to study a bird guide but donât mind asking for someone else
    
    >>>>> to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable
    
    >>>>> people to sort through all the âclaims" would keep the birding in
    
    >>>>> California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>> Jim Lomax
    
    >>>>> From No Particular Place
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>
    
    >>>>>> On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@...
    
    >>>>>> [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>>>>> At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird
    
    >>>>>> Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>>>>> -Gjon
    
    >>>>>> San Diego County
    
    >>>>>>
    
    >>
    
    >>
    
    >
    
    --
    
    My dark fantasy and historical fiction novels are available for Kindle on
    
    Amazon. Print copies also available.
  26. -back to top-
  27. Are regional/county list servs still relevant LINK
    DATE: Jan 16, 2018 @ 7:33pm, 4 day(s) ago
    I belong to a large horse/equine list that moved off of Yahoo groups to IO.. I was not involved in the move, but apparently it was relatively painless with all members being moved to the new format. I just offer this as something to consider if, in fact, Yahoo goes belly up. The rumor of that happening was partly why the equine list moved.
    
    I would be sorry to see the county list servs go away. I live in Sonoma County and keep an eye on the SF list and the East Bay list and CALBirds. While I belong to ebird, I rarely post on it. I just haven’t taken the time to become familiar and comfortable with it.
    
    This is a good discussion, I think...giving folks the opportunity to consider how and why changes may happen. For now, I hope we can maintain all the choices.
    
    Thank you all.
    
    Kathleen Mugele
    
    Sonoma
  28. -back to top-
  29. Re: [CALBIRDS] Are Regional/County Listservs Still Relevant? [a bit long] LINK
    DATE: Jan 16, 2018 @ 7:32pm, 4 day(s) ago
    Do not eliminate the list-serves and improve the quality of eBirds.I am not in favor of eBird reviewers being forced to accept photo records when they cannot confirm those photos were even taken in the location in the record.If they question the submitter and there is no response that record should be eliminated.We should never replace the state record committees under any circumstances.
    
    Leonie Batkin
    
    Sent from my iPhone
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
     The question is: Should ebird replace the California Records Committee The answer is firmly NO.
    
    All this other discussion is nice and I’m glad things are improving. I hope it works out.
    
    Jim
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM, Brian Sullivan < heraldpetrel@... > wrote:
    
    Hi All,
    
    As someone who has worked closely with the eBird team since 2005, I can assure you that we, and everyone at the Lab, greatly value the work done by regional bird records committees. The stringent review process employed by records committees is perfect for consideration of very important records, and eBird policy is to adhere to these finalized decisions. The bird records committee process is also highly valuable in situations where the details and evidence aren't exactly a 'slam dunk', and a more thoughtful and careful committee-based review decision is necessary. If there are great photos of an easily identified rarity (e.g., adult Ross's Gull etc.), eBird provisionally accepts the record pending formal acceptance by the relevant bird records committee. This allows the information to get out there in a broader way to the community of people looking to eBird for rare bird information. eBird's nearly 3000 global data reviewers work tirelessly and often thanklessly on a volunteer basis. We greatly appreciate all their hard work, input, and commitment to the project--without them, eBird would cease to exist.
    
    One thing worth pointing out is that the eBird review process is always evolving, and hopefully becoming more refined over time. It strives to achieve a high level of accuracy in the data while balancing a number of other considerations, not least of which being scale and usability. With more than 10 million records a month passing through eBird, the time is near for a complete overhaul of the way the review process works. Look for continued improvements in the next 12-18 months on this front. For now, you can read about how the review process works on eBird here:
    
    http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676
    
    It ain't perfect, that's for sure. But we're working to improve it every day.
    
    Thanks
    
    Brian
    
    On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM, Bruce Barrett coddler@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
    
    
    Perhaps you are mixing two objectives Jim.
    
    Long-term accuracy: The eBird review system aims at producing the same clean data-base of rare sightings that any RBC strives for.
    
    Put another way, and putting the is it "countable" issue to one side, what does the average RBC provide that a well-reviewed eBird does not - or could not - especially if each RBC member put the same amount of time into reviewing eBird sightings
    
    Front-end Speed: In the meantime, let's get the information out as fast as possible - warts and all. Surely one accurate and fast Tropical Parula report is worth a lot of noise that must be subsequently cleaned out.
    
    I suggest that the very same unfiltered front-end that allows the noise also encourages everyone to submit their rare bird sightings faster and more frequently than most of us ever do to the RBC. Indeed, every California RBC report seems to contain notes of sightings for which they have not received a single report. I'm willing to bet that on eBird the average rare bird gets a lot more data submitted than ever gets sent to the RBC, so there is a lot more evidence for the reviewers to consider.
    
    It has been noted that not everyone is yet a member of eBird. OK, so until eBird is truly universal, provide an RBC-like portal - just to capture their reports.
    
    Another benefit of migrating RBC's to eBird is that eBird provides a degree of national consistency, for example, in the treatment of introduced birds, information required for inclusion, data base management, etc.
    
    eBird is by no means perfect, so pointing out where it currently does not fully replace RBC's is fair game, but surely it should/can be adjusted.
    
    Bruce Barrett
    San Jose, CA
    
    On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM, Jim Lomax sdrib@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
     Considering the huge number of erroneous ebird reports, some even documented with photos, from people either too lazy or don’t care enough to study a bird guide but don’t mind asking for someone else to identify their birds, I think having a panel of knowledgeable people to sort through all the “claims" would keep the birding in California a lot more credible than ebird.
    
    Jim Lomax
    From No Particular Place
    
    On Jan 16, 2018, at 5:41 PM, Gjon Hazard gjon_hazard@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups. com > wrote:
    
    At the risk of being branded a heretic (again), I wonder if Bird Records Committees are still relevant in the age of eBird
    
    -Gjon
    San Diego County
  30. -back to top-


-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.