21 May 2012

eBird Protocol Type Example

eBird "travelling" counts: from their website:

"How do I record distance traveled when I back-track on traveling counts?
Good question! In this case the total time you spent birding is the most critical component. You should only record the distance traveling in one direction, but you should record the total time you spent traveling both out and back on the trail. This way you are sampling a distinct area over a certain amount of time. Only record birds on the return trip if you suspect that they are new. Be conservative!"

So, if I dawdle on the way "out" along Pighin Rd, then zip back, I submit ONE checklist, with the single distance, not the doubled distance, BUT with the total amount of time to get to the end and back. On the zip back, I usually only record new species or adjust numbers of species seen.

If I dawdle equally both on the way out and then on the way back, putting the same amount of effort both ways, I submit TWO travelling checklists with the corresponding amount of time. (I am an expert dawdler -- any hour birding is worth at least 3 doing chores)

But what usually happens is that I dawdle on the way out, turn around with the intention of zipping back, but encounter something interesting and spend some time at one spot. So, I do a travelling count, as per my first example, and include everything NOT at the dawdle spot; AND I do a stationary count, IF I have recorded all the species at the dawdle spot - subtracting the stationary count time from the travelling count time.

Fortunately, the eBird database does not recognize that I can do more than one count type at the same time. I hope they don't change that ... Also, I like being multiple places at once and overlapping my time on Earth when I am having fun.

05 May 2012

Dusky Grouse Displaying - Animation

Or try this link:

Dusky display on youtube

I must learn to give myself more time to get places. Afterall, you never know when you will see something interesting, and now that I am in the habit of usually having my camera with me, I am more likely to stop and try to capture the moment. Take this Dusky (aka Blue) Grouse male, for example.

This poor male was being lead back and forth across a country road by his "intended" while vehicles went by every so often.  He kept puffed up like this the whole time I watched the pair.  She was strutting nervously in the brush but fluttered off, keeping low to the ground, whenever he charged too close for her comfort. Guess she wasn't quite ready.

Not being sure how long the pair would stick around when I approached, I opted to take still photos rather than use movie mode.  Since I got several photos in a series, I decided to brush up on my animation skills in my old Photoshop CS4 extended.  That was fun!

I hope he got what he was looking for!

02 May 2012

eBird Tips - For Your Eyes Only

Screenshot of eBird tools - found on the right side of your screen while viewing a checklist

Want to put a sighting on eBird but don't want to share it with the rest of the world?

Rather than entering false data (inaccurate location, numbers, whatever) then putting hints about the REAL data in your comments, just use the "HIDE" tool!

Just click the box beside "Hide from eBird Output" found at the bottom of the list of tools on the right-hand side of your screen when you are viewing a checklist.

Command path: My eBird < Manage My Observations < View or edit (the checklist in question) < Hide from eBird Output

The sighting data will show up on your personal lists but NOT show up on maps and bar charts. You may change this box at anytime (check / uncheck it).

It is NOT recommended by eBird, of course, but several reasons may occur to you, which I will leave to your imagination, but at least you will have your own lists and data available to you.