Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Not Everyone Is On Board With eBird

 Almost everyone who is into birdwatching knows has heard of eBird. It's a great way to keep track of your bird sightings online in a way that you're able to share the information with others. Sounds like a great idea doesn't it? That is why I was surprised when I learned that not everyone in on board with eBird. The word on the street is that there are quite a few eBird haters out there! 

  I've seen evidence of this on some birding-related websites, blogs, daily bird reports, and birders I've talked to while I've been out and about. Some of the objections come from old school birders who started out sharing rare bird sightings by direct phone contact with other birders. It was a sort of grass roots effort that was very exciting and relied on a network of local birders to verify the reports. 

With eBird, rare bird sightings can quietly be entered into the data bank without a lot of fanfare which can be disturbing to those who rely on the daily list-serve to find rare bird reports. eBird also keeps statistics about the top eBirders in different areas. Those who are competitive listers may be concerned that their competition using eBird may not be completely on the level about their bird sightings (stringers). Still others don't always like it when their sightings may be scrutinized. 

 You can't please everyone but I think eBird is a great resource to have available for birders.

9 comments:

prairiebirder said...

I love eBird -- it's such a great citizen science database and when travelling to a new area, it's particularly helpful.

Linda said...

It sounds like a neat resource, Larry. Beautiful photo. :)

Frank said...

You are right Larry, it does rely on the honesty of recording input but certainly a helpful resource.

We have BTO 'BirdTrack' over here but I've also started using e-Bird for my 2015 UK sightings.

Larry said...

I like it for getting information about a new area also. I only input data on specific outings but look at the data quite a bit.

Timothy Abbott said...

Nice photos Larry. I work with a guy who is part of the Mass Audubon Society. He recently spotted a snowy owl and was able to get a picture of it. He and other members go around on nights to try to get a count of the owl population in Mass and came across the snowy owl.

Larry said...

A nice one for them to come across Tim-they're such an awesome bird!

Ron Payne said...

Just addressing two of the problems you mentioned. If you don't like your data being seen by others, there are ways to hide them from public output. And eBird's rarities email alerts are a great way to see the rare birds that aren't getting posted to listservs.

Larry said...

Thanks for the info Ron. I'm still learning about the different features that eBird has to offer.

troutbirder said...

Although relatively new to birding I liked it from the beginning as a near way to keep track of my own outings. I'm not impressed with the competitive nature of some aspects of birding, fishing, hunting etc.