The Atlas and eBird

To: Michael Ramsey <>
Subject: The Atlas and eBird
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 10:57:39 +0000
The reason that Cornell Lab uses eBird, is that it is a joint project between 
CLab and the Audubon Society. I think it runs on servers at CLab.

Carl Clifford

> On 18 Jun 2015, at 7:46 pm, Michael Ramsey <> wrote:
> Agree with Martin here, some comments have been all about the inaccuracies if 
> eBird data. A 2 minute search of Birdata data today revealed White-throated 
> Honeyeaters, White-browned Treecreepers and Splendid Fairy-wrens in the 
> eastern suburbs of Melbourne, completely out of range. When or will ever this 
> inaccuracies be fixed by Birdata. They have been there at least 10 years to 
> my knowledge. At least eBird has a dedicated and passionate group of 
> reviewers that are consistently trying to ensure accurate data. Sure some 
> things slip through but in large it's pretty accurate. Birdata and the atlas 
> to remain clunky and old in technology terms. EBird has just released a new 
> app that is easy to use. Birdata and Birds Australia are not using a valuable 
>  resource here by not using Ebird data. Cornell use eBIRD it in the USA, why 
> can't Birds Australia?
> Michael
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On 18 Jun 2015, at 19:22, Martin Butterfield <> wrote:
>> There are also errors which creep in to Atlas data.  I remember in
>> particular noticing a record of Black Currawong in the Goulburn NSW area
>> some time back.  As I type the Birdata list for postcode 2620 (some rural
>> parts of the ACT and Queanbeyan NSW)  contains records for Red-winged
>> Parrot, White-browed Treecreeper, Red-browed Pardalote, and Yellow-throated
>> Scrubwren .  To my knowledge all of these are just about impossible in the
>> COG Area of Interest (roughly Cooma to Goulburn to Yass with Canberra more
>> of less central).   There are also a much larger of species that I don't
>> recollect ever being reported to COG from postcode 2620 - although have
>> been recorded once or twice in other parts of the ACT - and are thus just
>> about possible in the area.
>> My point is not to dump on the Atlas but to point out that in any huge data
>> set there are going to be a few outliers and its up to users to approach
>> them with caution!
>> Thinking about this and others matters to do with eBird and other data
>> systems in Australia birding led me to compile a rather lengthy blogpost
>> <http://eBird and other birding data> on the topic.
>> Martin
>> Martin Butterfield
>>> On 18 June 2015 at 10:31, Peter Shute <> wrote:
>>> Because the observer names are recorded, there's probably nothing stopping
>>> researchers from excluding records from people who have entered what they
>>> consider to be incorrect ids, or only using records from people they
>>> consider to be reliable.
>>> Peter Shute
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Birding-Aus
>>>>  On Behalf Of
>>>> Mick Roderick
>>>> Sent: Thursday, 18 June 2015 8:09 AM
>>>> To: Graeme Stevens; 
>>>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] The Atlas and eBird
>>>> I think you've hit the nail on the head Graeme. It is more of
>>>> a recreational birders' tool and not one with any scientific
>>>> rigour for data analysis. I mean, it just can't be really and
>>>> I don't know if that has ever been its intention.
>>>> eBird is also very attractive to 'travelling' birders and I
>>>> am constantly seeing erroneous records appearing in lists. I
>>>> assume these are most often made by birders in unfamiliar
>>>> territory because it is often things like Corvids that get
>>>> misidentified. Just this week we've seen someone reporting
>>>> Masked Woodswallow from Sydney's Eastlakes Golf Course
>>>> (single bird in winter). I've seen this many times on other
>>>> eBird lists where the bird was obviously a Black-faced
>>>> Cuckoo-shrike. The same person has entered Olive Whistler and
>>>> Banded Stilt from Western Sydney in the past week. Clearly
>>>> they are misidentifications. In the Hunter I constantly see
>>>> Little Ravens reported from places I know only Aussie Ravens
>>>> occur. It must be very difficult for the very few moderators
>>>> to keep on top of it all.
>>>> I think the duplication of data issue has been discussed here earlier.
>>>> Yes, the BirdLife portal is currently being developed and is
>>>> advancing. Funding assistance has been provided from the NSW
>>>> Twitchathon funds from last year. As far as I know it is
>>>> still being decided how the eBird data will be used.
>>>> Mick
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