Friday, May 11, 2012

eBird best practices
Bird different places

We previously discussed birding the same area repeatedly throughout the year, and how beneficial that is to eBird data completeness and accuracy.

Birders are creatures of habit, though, and often bird the same places over and over, ignoring other areas. For instance, there are several lowland parks and wetlands in my local county that receive several eBirder visits weekly. But the Coast Range forest is visited much less frequently--primarily in early summer when certain warblers and flycatchers are present. Resident birds such as American Dipper and Gray Jay are very under-reported, making them appear more rare than they really are.

Here are 3 ideas to bird different places:

1) Visit new areas in your home county or anywhere where you haven't birded before. Randomly stop on a trip and make a 5-10 minute survey.

2) Look at eBird bar chart maps of birds in your county. Look for locations where no birds have been located--even though you know they live there. Then go birding there!

3) Bird areas at times of year when not normally visited by bird watchers. Nothing exciting there during that time of year? It doesn't matter. Negative data is recorded by eBird and makes data more accurate. And who knows, you may find there is a good bird there after all.

More information on this topic can be found on the eBird site, eBird county birding and Fill in the gaps (January 2012), and Fill in the gaps (April 2012).

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