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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 10 Feb 2019 (Sunday) 21:50
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Grizz1
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Feb 10, 2019 21:50 |  #1

I'm curious to know how many on this forum are members of eBird and if so do you use it to record your sightings, explore for rare birds in your area or possibly find the local hot spots while near home or traveling to new areas?
While using this forum I've noticed posts from members not a great distance away of birds that are seldom or not seen near my home. At the same time someone may post a photo of a bird they find rare in their area and my farm may be over ran with them, with a short distance in between.
On eBird there is an area that is quite popular 10 miles from my home and many birds have been seen and even photographed there that I've not encountered in my time of watching birds.


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jm4ever
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Feb 11, 2019 06:07 |  #2

Steve I've been on eBird for a few years now. I find it a great resource to locate species of interest to me. It's exciting to find that something I've been wanting to see is living only a short drive from me.

Jim




  
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sogs
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Feb 11, 2019 17:18 |  #3

Great resource for what birds are in a given area. I use it all the time.




  
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Gregsiem
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Feb 11, 2019 20:55 |  #4

I use it a lot....and contribute sightings (mainly Snowy Owls) when I think that particular bird has mot already been recorded recently.


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Grizz1
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Feb 11, 2019 21:53 |  #5

Gregsiem wrote in post #18809390 (external link)
I use it a lot....and contribute sightings (mainly Snowy Owls) when I think that particular bird has mot already been recorded recently.

I've been hoping to see a Snowy Owl in my area, haven't seen any reported though. We have had a severe winter (for us) and I thought I might get to see some rare sightings such as a Snowy. Hope this means they are doing well without having to travel so far South.


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Gregsiem
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Feb 12, 2019 19:24 |  #6

Grizz1 wrote in post #18809421 (external link)
I've been hoping to see a Snowy Owl in my area, haven't seen any reported though. We have had a severe winter (for us) and I thought I might get to see some rare sightings such as a Snowy. Hope this means they are doing well without having to travel so far South.


We seem to have had quite a lot around here this year within an hour and a half of Toronto. I just haven’t had much joy in making the killer shots this year between gloomy weather and boring poses on power lines posts.

But they are still such a pleasure just to see !


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Feb 14, 2019 00:47 |  #7

I’ve been a member for over ten years. As others have mentioned it’s a great resource. I use it to find particular birds in the area (whether at home or traveling), keep track of migration, reporting sightings, find popular areas, among other things. The Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up in a few days.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 15, 2019 16:17 |  #8

Grizz1 wrote in post #18808773 (external link)
I'm curious to know how many on this forum are members of eBird and if so do you use it to record your sightings, explore for rare birds in your area or possibly find the local hot spots while near home or traveling to new areas?

.
I am a member, as in I registered to the site.

However, I don't post my bird sightings there. . Why? . Well, a few years ago when I first joined, I wanted to post a sighting, but it wouldn't let me enter the location information the way I wanted to. . I forget the details, but I knew exactly the way I wanted to enter the location, but it wouldn't allow me to enter it the way I wanted. . Instead, it tried to force me to enter it by selecting the location from a menu instead of entering text written the way I wanted to write it. . So I just never bothered with entering the sighting, and I don't believe I have ever bothered to use eBird again.

If I can't do it the way I want, then forget it. . I'm not going to play by other people's rules when it is MY sighting. . So they can just do without any of the info that I have to offer.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Capn ­ Jack
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Feb 15, 2019 17:27 |  #9

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18811793 (external link)
.
I am a member, as in I registered to the site.

However, I don't post my bird sightings there. . Why? . Well, a few years ago when I first joined, I wanted to post a sighting, but it wouldn't let me enter the location information the way I wanted to. . I forget the details, but I knew exactly the way I wanted to enter the location, but it wouldn't allow me to enter it the way I wanted. . Instead, it tried to force me to enter it by selecting the location from a menu instead of entering text written the way I wanted to write it. . So I just never bothered with entering the sighting, and I don't believe I have ever bothered to use eBird again.

If I can't do it the way I want, then forget it. . I'm not going to play by other people's rules when it is MY sighting. . So they can just do without any of the info that I have to offer.

.

I'm sure the database could handle free-form location data, so the location could be entered in any format. :rolleyes:




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 16, 2019 11:26 |  #10

.

Capn Jack wrote in post #18811876 (external link)
I'm sure the database could handle free-form location data, so the location could be entered in any format. :rolleyes:

I just got back on eBird again. . They do not seem to allow free-form location data. . They have a template that you are to fill in, and the categories are City / County / State / Country.


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So, if you want to enter something other than one of those 4 categories, such as a geographic region, they do not facilitate that. . For instance, if I wanted to enter "the Delmarva Peninsula" or "Omak Flats", or "Nockamixon State Park", or "the Mission Mountains", that does not fit their template. . This was the problem I had years ago, and it seems that it has not been fixed.

You can also enter the location using the map, but this results in a very pin-point, specific spot, which I certainly do not want to divulge.


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Capn Jack wrote in post #18811876 (external link)
:rolleyes:

Why did you use the "roll eyes" emoticon? . If that is used to express some frustration with me, then I find that offensive. . It's typically considered rude and disrespectful to roll eyes.

If you did not use it to express any negativity toward me, then please forgive me taking offense.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Capn ­ Jack
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Feb 16, 2019 18:55 |  #11

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18812219 (external link)
.

I just got back on eBird again. . They do not seem to allow free-form location data. . They have a template that you are to fill in, and the categories are City / County / State / Country.
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by Tom Reichner in
./showthread.php?p=188​12219&i=i10491471
forum: Bird Talk


So, if you want to enter something other than one of those 4 categories, such as a geographic region, they do not facilitate that. . For instance, if I wanted to enter "the Delmarva Peninsula" or "Omak Flats", or "Nockamixon State Park", or "the Mission Mountains", that does not fit their template. . This was the problem I had years ago, and it seems that it has not been fixed.

You can also enter the location using the map, but this results in a very pin-point, specific spot, which I certainly do not want to divulge.

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by Tom Reichner in
./showthread.php?p=188​12219&i=i47218493
forum: Bird Talk

.

Why did you use the "roll eyes" emoticon? . If that is used to express some frustration with me, then I find that offensive. . It's typically considered rude and disrespectful to roll eyes.

If you did not use it to express any negativity toward me, then please forgive me taking offense.

.

I'm sorry- the roll-eyes was an attempt to convey sarcasm- it was the closest fit I could find. It wasn't intended to indicate frustration at you. I was trying to avoid offending you with a basic explanation of databases, and I just wanted you to think about why such free-form data is difficult in this situation.

In general, databases don't handle free-form information well, simply because there's too many variations that may refer to the same thing. The data can be entered, but it can't be easily retrieved. As a real-world example, The University of Texas at San Antonio has been entered into a database as:
"University of Texas at San Antonio"
"University of Texas San Antonio"
"University of TX San Antonio"
"UTSA"
"Univ of TX San Antonio"
"University Texas San Antonio"
"U of T San Antonio"
"U of T SA"
You and I can see they all refer to the same place but they are all different to a computer. One would need to use many "wild card" variations to retrieve all of those combinations. Although the locations where you take your pictures are very distinct to you, the same place may be called something else by other people, even if the name isn't correct.
"Nockamixon State Park" shows simply as "Lake Nockamixon" on my charts (It is a useful landmark when flying between Reading, PA and several NJ airports), and I would tend to call the environs by that name. It could also be called: "State Game lands 157" or even as "3 mile run", or simply "Nockamixon" and "Nockamixin" when you include spelling errors.

I suggest using the pin-point and mark the park entrance. I can see protecting a unique bird from a lot of people who may disturb it, on the one hand. On the other hand, I also consider it a bit selfish to prevent others from being able to and photograph observe birds or other critters. From a scientific point-of-view, it is nice to see where a picture was taken (animal, plant, or landscape) so that changes may be better documented, and even our photographs can provide useful information in that regard. Pinpointing the park entrance (or the center of the park) should provide enough information to indicate the area while not divulging the location too closely.




  
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Grizz1
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Feb 16, 2019 22:34 |  #12

Tom, I've not used ebird long so I'm still learning and this is the reason I started this thread,appreciate every ones opinion,
Some of my thoughts are: I enjoy feeding and watching birds when time allows during the winter months. I would not hesitate to record the number of Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Juncos etc, at my exact location and date. If a Snowy Owl should appear I probably would not report the exact location or more likely to post it late.I would not want it to be disturbed because it would definitely be a rare sighting, seldom visiting my area. I probably would call my local Wildlife agent or Land use coordinator as I work with them through out the year with habitat development and Wildlife protection.
Sharing my exact location and time of the forty some Cardinals in my yard is not a concern to me.

It is accurate reporting by others though that would help me to monitor the migration that may cause me to take a day trip for photography. An example,just over an hours drive is a NWR that has a few hundred geese, swans, several hundred ducks, not a high number right now. As spring arrives there will be days where the geese should number 200,000 +, a few hundred Swans, several thousand ducks. When the numbers reported reach an extreme high and if I can get away than a road trip can be planned. Photographing or viewing birds at the NWR does not have a negative impact, they are used to the traffic and have a huge area that is a refuge not accessible by the public.
By viewing the reports on ebird and comparing them to my personal observations it's interesting to see the different concentration levels of birds sometimes a short distance apart. Not sure why the numbers can be so different from year to year or from one location to another. Last year I had about 15 Tufted Titmouse in my yard all day, every day, this year 2 or 3 may show once in awhile. Others though are reporting good numbers of them.

I do not think myself aggressive when photographing birds and definitely try to avoid disturbing them. I do like to take a vacation each year and check to see which birds and wildlife are native to the area planned to visit so that I can be on the lookout for them. Getting a good pic of a Road Runner in New Mexico at Bosque del Apache was a treat for me, would be a common sighting for local residents.

I also enjoy good photographs of birds posted on ebird and think most members on this forum could make great contributions, some photos posted on ebird are very poor quality.


Steve
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited 4 days ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Feb 17, 2019 09:38 as a reply to  @ Capn Jack's post |  #13

.
What you say makes a lot of sense if one looks at eBird as a global database designed to amass information.

I think that I wasn't considering this bigger picture view - I kind of looked at eBird from a purely self-centered perspective; .how can I show off a special sighting or two, and how can I use other's sightings to further my own photographic objectives. . That's probably why I am frustrated with it - because I am wanting to use it in a way that isn't consistent with its purpose.

With popular social media sites and online discussion forums, we can pretty much post whatever we want, however we want. . "It's all about me!" . I think I brought this same attitude / expectation with me when I joined eBird, and therefore was disappointed when I wasn't able to use the site the way I wanted to, in that "all about me" kind of way.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 17, 2019 09:53 |  #14

Grizz1 wrote in post #18812598 (external link)
It is accurate reporting by others though that would help me to monitor the migration that may cause me to take a day trip for photography.

An example, just over an hours drive is a NWR that has a few hundred geese, swans, several hundred ducks, not a high number right now. As spring arrives there will be days where the geese should number 200,000 +, a few hundred Swans, several thousand ducks. When the numbers reported reach an extreme high and if I can get away then a road trip can be planned.

I've done the same type of thing when planning my visits to Klamath NWR. But instead of using eBird, I used the government's website, where they posted official aerial surveys that are done on a frequent basis. . Once there are around 100,000 Ross' Geese on the refuge, then I know it's time to go spend a week at Klamath!

I guess I just trust the aerial surveys, conducted by a trained biologist, more than I trust eBird postings.

I wonder if the refuge near you has official surveys done that could help you pinpoint the timing of your visits, and if that would be more useful info than what you garner from eBird.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Grizz1
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Feb 17, 2019 22:34 |  #15

Tom, yes they do surveys and seems to be more helpful in the fall when hunting season is open, or more up to date and in timely fashion I should say.
It seems I can often learn more from local residents, I know several people in that area, my son drives through it almost daily so my search may need to be close to but not on the NWR but a few miles in another direction. I'm probably not the best at researching either, a cell phone in the hands of a Grandson usually trumps all my efforts.
Swan Lake NWR, is the area close to me that I might visit. There are other areas however that the birds can move to in short amount of time.
Missouri may be one of a kind in the states, you may be familiar with it and how our Conservation dept operates. The Conservation Dept, owns a tremendous amount of land funded by a 1/8% sales tax. Each area is managed for the terrain and wildlife that thrive in that area.
In the Swan Lake NWR area there are also state CAs, they can have food and water that can draw birds away from the NWR . I often feel the state out competes federal when it comes to wildlife. The river system in that area also impacts the waterfowl along with the location and weather .
I live in the most Northern portion of the state where the weather can differ greatly in a few miles North to South. Seventy miles South West near the NWR and it's two weeks gain on the growing season, both spring and fall. Many times in the spring migration Waterfowl will congregate near these CAs and NWR, fly towards my place to feed then fall back South to open water and better temps on a daily basis. They do this a few times and then one day my farm becomes fly over country and they are gone. In the fall, on their Southern flight they like to fly over my place at high altitude and set their wings for the NWR and CAs that are ready and waiting for them.


Steve
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