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Location issue

Reviewers have tagged some eBird checklists as having location issues; these checklists show this message at the top:

Location issue. This checklist has been flagged because there is a problem with the location, such as an incorrect or imprecise location or a Traveling Count that covers a very long distance. This checklist and its observations do not appear in public eBird outputs. More information.

To display publicly in eBird, checklists must be plotted accurately in a way that adequately represents the area where the birds were seen. While all checklists should accurately report distance covered, we do not display checklists with distances of 25 kilometers (15 miles) or greater in public output. Distances this long, or greater, can misrepresent bird ranges on our maps.


Locations that cover a long distance (here, for example, inland from the coast for a mostly-coastal species like Least Tern), can paint an incorrect picture for where the species actually occurs: masking the real inland records that are notable for the species.

In addition, eBird reviewers may flag checklists as having an location issues, including covering multiple habitats, multiple elevational zones, distances that far exceed the boundaries of a hotspot, or other concerns. All public eBird data are available through Species Maps, which display precise locations of reported species. For observations at a broad spatial scale (e.g., county-level or broader), any single point could misrepresent the range and habitat preferences for that bird.

Site-specific checklists that cover shorter distances, preferably less than 8 kilometers (5 miles), are ideal for eBird data entry.

Checklists that do not appear in public eBird output are also not used for science. To learn more please see our Public and Non-public Checklists for more information on how checklists are displayed and Understanding How to Plot your Location to learn best practices for locations in eBird.
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