Bri — March 12, 06:04PM
Should I recommend golf courses as hotspots?
My main dilemma is whether or not I should recommend private & resort golf facilities as hotspots (because I don't think there is an issue with a public/municipal course being listed as one). I work with these properties a lot to establish educational programs and birdwatching data and I have found that, oftentimes, there are multiple members already submitting private data to ebird for the location. And in some cases, they partner with local Audubon chapters to invite them for birdwatching walks or allow them access for things like the Christmas Bird Count. However, this only amounts to a comparatively small group of people with regular access to the location. I think it would be nice to have them listed as hotspots to aggregate data from the small group who are using the property, as well as to use the information for research and educational purposes. However, I am not sure if this is fully contrary to what a hotspot is supposed to be?
Krista — March 12, 02:39PM
Bri, you can suggest it as a Hotspot (restricted access) e.g. https://ebird.org/hotspot/L472193
It will be up to the Hotspot Editor as to whether to create the Hotspot. Good luck!
Bri — March 12, 02:56PM
Thank you Krista! I was not sure if that was taboo or not. I guess I will wait for the Hotspot Editor to decide!
Karl Curtis — March 12, 08:33PM
Why not ask the manager of the golf if they are OK with it ?
Joe Roller — March 14, 11:11AM
I agree that it is up to the hotspot reviewer to decide. Although it may
seem reasonable to ask the manager if they are OK with it, managers
and policies can change over the decades long life-span of a hotspot.
For public golf courses, I usually accept them when I review in Colorado.
Private courses may have "(private)" after the course name. Most
birders realize that at any hotspot, be it a state park or golf course,
that there are various restrictions that apply, (eg hours of operation, stay on the paths, entrance fee) and know that if a golf course is a hotspot, they are not free to roam around any part of it at will. Similar rules for ski
areas in CO.
Albert — March 31, 04:04PM
My opinion is a private or members only golf course should not be listed as a hotspot so as not to encourage random people showing up there when they are not allowed to get in. I imagine the members would also appreciate not having to deal with a slew of people showing up and disrupting their games. I used to work at a resort that was open seasonally. I was filling in during the off season when it was closed and still reported my bird sightings to eBird. It had already been marked as a hotspot with no indication it was closed to the public for half the year. Instead of submitting my lists under the hotspot name, I just made separate lists and included the tag (Restricted Access) after the name to indicate to people it was closed to the general public and there was no point in visiting. You could put that or something similar, I have seen hotspots that say that, though in my opinion it is best to leave a private place off the hotspot list entirely. Bird people are crazy and will swarm to hotspots regardless of whether they can get in or not, so it's best to just leave the private golf course to their members :)