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What is a Random Count?

Observations made at a randomly selected location over period of at least five minutes. This protocol relates to how the location was selected. For other eBird protocols, the birder selects the location, but the eBird Random Count is different in that the birder randomly selects the location, thus eliminating the bias inherent when birders select areas that they deem to be 'good for birds'. To find a random location travel 3 or 5 miles in any direction from the last location you selected. Choose 3 or 5 miles depending on how much ground you intend to cover for the day, and try to avoid double-counting birds from a previous birding location (i.e., travel farther in open habitats than in forested ones). Stop at the first available, safe, location and conduct your count for at least five minutes, keeping track of duration and distance. Required Date/Effort fields: Date, Start Time, Duration, and Distance Covered. Distance can be zero (i.e., a 'stationary count').
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