Four easy tips for eBirders

To: Canberra birds <>
Subject: Four easy tips for eBirders
From: Kim Farley via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2021 05:20:55 +0000
Since lots of COG members are also eBirders I thought I'd share a few tips.  These are some of the things I used to wonder about before I was an eBird reviewer.

Tip no 1 - All observations are reviewed.
eBird uses automated filters to review every observation submitted. The local eBird reviewer, in consultation with more senior eBird folk, sets the filters to reflect the range of species in an area and their expected frequency across the year. Anything that falls outside those limits is manually reviewed by the local reviewer. You are likely to get an email from a reviewer if you report something rare or unexpected but have not provided enough information to allow confirmation of the sighting. Don't be alarmed about this. It is all part of eBird's data quality process.

Tip no 2 - Incidental Lists. 
eBird allows you to submit an Incidental list, but personally I dislike them. Data in Incidental lists is not included in data exports used by researchers, and therefore seems a waste of our effort. Instead, as a minimum, I suggest you choose a Stationary List. These can be as little as 3 minutes and could include just one species. But do add further species if you saw them. 

Tip no 3 - Distances in Travelling Lists.
Report the full distance if travelling in a loop, but if you take the same path 'there and back' then the distance you report should be one way only. If you use the eBird app on your smartphone, the app will measure the distance for you.

Tip no 4 - Don't just report the exceptional!
It is just as useful to know what isn't in a place as what is there. If you only create a list when you have seen a special bird, then the data for a place will not reflect the real picture of what birds are present over the whole year.

Tip no 5 - Who uses eBird?
Individual birders in Australia and around the world, researchers, and organisations such as COG!

Cheers, and please write to me if you have further questions. 

ACT eBird reviewer
More info about eBird Australia

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