Matt Brooks — May 13, 07:16PM
regarding reporting non-countables and personal lists
I can't seem to locate a discussion on this topic on any of the various eBird forms that has satisfactory answers. What is eBird's current policy for dealing with reported non-countable species in regards to personal lists? For example, in the past I've reported the nesting Monk Parakeets from Casa Grande here in Arizona. They now appear on my eBird Arizona list (and therefore on my ABA list, N.A. list, etc) even though they aren't considered a countable, established bird in Arizona. I don't want them to appear on my various lists if they aren't a countable species, but I do want to continue to input them for documentation purposes. In addition to the citizen science aspect of eBird, a large part of the enjoyment of having all of my data here is to keep easy track of my various lists. However, if I can't rely on the output to be correct, it becomes much less useful to me. I'd appreciate any and all discussion on this matter.
Brian Sullivan — May 13, 05:45PM eBird Staff
This is a highly complex problem for us, and that’s part of the reason it hasn’t been tackled yet. Allowing the end-user to count (or not count) exactly what they want on their various lists is a really complicated process, and it’s one that greatly reduces the performance of the various queries that run behind eBird. Right now, if you report a species-level taxon in eBird, it will show up on your lists. We know this isn’t ideal. It is on our medium-term development agenda to tackle this issue, but given how difficult it’s proven to be, we can’t promise any time horizon for it. I will say, however, that we know that this is the single biggest impediment to those wishing to keep their lists in eBird. And from a science perspective we don’t want people to leave off introduced exotics from their checklists, as eBird is an incredible tool for tracking these things. So, we know it’s an issue, and we will fix it. In the meantime, please bear with us while we work through our current development tasks.
John Saba — May 18, 08:04AM
If I were to report non-countable birds in eBird, it would greatly pad my totals. I might be willing to report such if I could also add a special entry that would decrement my relevant totals by 1 each time I add it.
Dave Davis — May 19, 05:28PM
All of us who are looking to eBird as our primary listing mechanism have faced this problem. For a while, I was also keeping a list on AviSys but I went over to a Mac a couple years ago, and AviSys doesn't have a Mac version (and no plans to develop one). Eventually I stopped using AviSys entirely since I couldn't deal with taxonomic updates except manually (my Windows stuff isn't internet connected). While it's a somewhat 20th Century solution, I just prepared a typed list of species that I either need to add or subtract from my eBird total to get my real Lifer total. The additions are birds I saw long ago, but didn't have specific date and place, so they aren't in eBird. The subtractions are the species like the other posters reported, usually exotics that aren't yet countable for ABA-type purposes, but included in eBird. I've only done this for my World list, but it could be done--with more effort--for other levels of listing.
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