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Andrew — September 21, 07:19PM

Requiring photos

There seems to be a lot of new birders / listers that are contaminating the data with reports of uncommon or rare birds with no evidence. These reports are being accepted by ebird and showing up on searches. Is it possible to require certain species have a photo or audio to validate these records? There was a report of a Short-eared owl in a tree in someones backyard in the suburbs, several Connecticut warbler reports getting accepted outside of breeding habitat with no proof...Listers showing up to an area and posting uncommon species that nobody else saw the same day...It seems to be getting out of control and ruining the data. Just an idea to minimize the noise.

Reggie — September 21, 10:12PM

I agree with this. Until at least one photo is provided a rare bird should not just be accepted. I see it happen in my area a lot. A frequent ebird user will report a rarity and within an hour the regional reviewer has confirmed it based on the person's word alone. I understand after dealing with ebird for years certain names tend to pop-up a lot and be credible, but people are still prone to error and a photo should be at the very least provided before anything is hard confirmed.

Then again I had submitted 3 photos of an already confirmed rare bird that, now 10 months later, is still not confirmed, but many other people's reports of the same bird in that location have been confirmed that same day even with no photo. It's very frustrating.

Up rated: 0 Down
meg — October 04, 03:05PM

Andrew and Reggie,

We certainly agree with the "frustrating" aspects of review. some of our records in review are more than 5 years old, so we have no expectation of acceptance despite descriptions. The more we try to give good descriptions, the less often we apparently use the proper vocabulary. We see accepted records with neither image nor description of the same species we still have in review. The system is "broke" but there does not seem to be an easy fix.

Good birding,


Up rated: 0 Down
James — October 14, 10:04PM

Not everyone can afford a decent camera or is handy with photography. So are birders who submit written records not to be trusted? I don't hink this is a very scientific or equitable way of accepting data into eBird.

Up rated: 0 Down

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