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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

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eBird Confirmation Frustration

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Melkor    0

Hi birders-

Just what does it take to get eBird to confirm a sighting? Do you always need an A+ picture? 

I recently saw a Red-Headed Woodpecker out here in NH (a very exciting moment for me), and sent in a highly detailed NH Rare Bird Confirmation form and they still snubbed it. Kinda' took the wind out of my sails a bit. 

I've never fancied myself a wildlife photographer, and I don't enjoy carrying around a large camera whilst birding, so can I assume that a sighting sans photo will be brushed aside?

Is it elitism? "They" don't recognize my name from ornithology class? Maybe it's because I don't rub elbows with the birding crowd on group trips? All of these?

You might think someone would look at my past eBird lists and deduce that I'm uber-careful with id's. I only discovered eBird in 2015 (believe it or not) so maybe they don't realize I've been staring at bird books since I was in first grade. Doesn't mean that I'm some sort of "Master Birder" (not close), but I do know the difference between a RHWO and...everything else!

I apologize for venting, this being my first ever post to this forum. Nothing but positivity here on out!

Scott Lemire




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Quartos    593

Every eBird reviewer is going to be different, so it's impossible to speculate on personal reasons why they have not accepted your sighting.  It can sometimes take a while for reviewers to get around to a report.  It's also possible that the reviewer simply doesn't think your description is good enough evidence to confirm your sighting.  How long ago did you submit your sighting? Have you gotten an email from them requesting more information?

If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading through this. It lays out how the eBird review process works: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676-understanding-the-ebird-review-and-data-quality-process

Also: not sure if I'd call this "elitism," but I'm sure that the rare bird reports from locally well-trusted/well-known birders are sometimes taken more seriously than others.  In many cases, I think this is justified.  In some cases, (hopefully not often) maybe there's unfair favoritism.  But as I said, it's not a good idea to speculate too far here, because every situation will be different.  

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guy_incognito    3985

Hey Scott,

You are not alone with your frustrations.  However, I wouldn't react too soon yet.  I checked the NH alerts page, and see that NONE of the flagged reports from the last week have been approved (some have very good pictures).  It is possible that the reviewer is on vacation and hasn't had a chance to look at any reports recently.

Also, even if your report doesn't get approved, it doesn't necessarily mean they think you were wrong.  Some reviewers are very careful, and only want to accept records that are undoubtedly correct.  Sometimes a report may sound pretty good, and they can't say it is wrong, but just may not meet their personal criteria to be accepted to the public database.

Reviewers certainly can have a hard time receiving reports from people they are not familiar with.  There are many reports that are just WAY off, however, there are reports of very good birds that are correct from unknown birders.

The reviewers don't have complete access to other users accounts.  They can only see your other checklists if you have a public profile, and they only have access to as much as any other eBird user.

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Short-eared Owl    1412

Sometimes things take just time. A data reviewer I talked to said that he has had up to 9000 checklists to review on any one day...that takes a lot of time! I normally expect it to take at least two weeks for sighting to be reviewed, often up to a month. Occasionally it will happen within hours, one time it took four months. 

As guy_incognito noted it will happen sometimes that the reviewer may even believe a sighting but not confirm it because it lacks good deals and doesn't fit their personal standards for confirmation. A good description will go a long way to help with this. 

Good luck. 

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