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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
    • Aveschapines

      Found a baby bird or a sick or injured bird?   07/11/17

      Here is a short article with advice for what to do if you find a baby bird or one that appears to be sick or injured. Bird rescue article Please feel free to post here if you have questions or need more help.
HamRHead

Is there any doubt...

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Thanks. That's what I put on eBird. They are listed as rare, but these are continuing birds, which have previously been confirmed.  These were not confirmed. :(

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I don't understand confirmed vs unconfirmed.  I recently had a sighting marked as confirmed with no picture just description and of course,  it is just little ole me.  One of our state birders who birds all day, everyday and has an audobon related job,  put in an observation with pictures,  description,  described vocals and it was unconfirmed. 

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It is a bit curious. I thought about emailing one of the reviewers who I just heard from on another bird. But I know they volunteer and are busy with their own lives, and probably appreciate a chance to go birding themselves.

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3 minutes ago, misspt said:

I don't understand confirmed vs unconfirmed.  I recently had a sighting marked as confirmed with no picture just description and of course,  it is just little ole me.  One of our state birders who birds all day, everyday and has an audobon related job,  put in an observation with pictures,  description,  described vocals and it was unconfirmed. 

Assume you're talking about eBird? Some species are easier to confirm (and identify) than others. Sometimes, like in a year when a wave of some otherwise rare bird comes through, the review may be a little less rigorous. In any case, you must have written a good description, based on a good observation, to get your confirmation. I always try to get photos because that usually eliminates all doubt and it is much easier than writing a good description.

I'm guessing that other example was a very tricky species to ID, even with photos (maybe some Empidonax flycatcher or young bird or?).  And of course, birders being human means that experts, eBird reviewers and everybody else can and does make mistakes.   Bird banders undoubtedly have the highest ID accuracy and maybe even they make the odd wrong ID. 

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44 minutes ago, HamRHead said:

These were not confirmed.

Missed this comment.  I'm really baffled as to why these Dunlin were not confirmed. Assume you attached a photo or two? I think it would only be fair to ask why.

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1 minute ago, douginBC said:

Missed this comment.  I'm really baffled as to why these Dunlin were not confirmed. Assume you attached a photo or two? I think it would only be fair to ask why.

Thanks, misspt and douginBC. I am fairly new to eBird...still learning my way around. Yes I think I included these same photos although I can't check to be sure because eBird is having some issues. I also included a comment. "Feeding angle correct for Dunlin. Typical "sewing machine" probing action."

Maybe there is something I am missing in the process. My sighting went on the eBird Rare Bird List. It was there about five or six days and then was removed from the list. I assumed that meant it was not confirmed. Maybe I don't understand the process.

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8 minutes ago, HamRHead said:

Maybe there is something I am missing in the process

The simplest way to check if they were confirmed is using the map. Narrow the map down to that area, select 'Dunlin' and see what records have been accepted. If they aren't officially confirmed they don't show up on the maps (or other records like Arrivals, etc.) but they still do show up on your personal list(s). 

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Just now, douginBC said:

The simplest way to check if they were confirmed is using the map. Narrow the map down to that area, select 'Dunlin' and see what records have been accepted. If they aren't officially confirmed they don't show up on the maps (or other records like Arrivals, etc.) but they still do show up on your personal list(s). 

Thanks. I did check the species map earlier today and the sighting was not listed. Once the eBird website is back up to speed, I may contact the reviewer. Just out of curiosity, is there a way to know who the reviewers are for a given area?

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11 minutes ago, HamRHead said:

I did check the species map earlier today and the sighting was not listed. Once the eBird website is back up to speed, I may contact the reviewer. Just out of curiosity, is there a way to know who the reviewers are for a given area?

Sometimes it can take a while for reviewed birds to get posted. Current problems may not help. So maybe it will be up shortly?

I don't know of any official channel for finding out who reviewers are.

If all else fails, just look over what you sent in, make sure to add photos and describe all the features and behavior you saw that led you to your (correct) conclusion, and send it in again as a separate checklist. Also note as a P.S. the circumstances and request an explanation for any rejection. That way it will definitely get back to the reviewer and one would hope that they will either accept it or explain why not. 

In the meantime you might want to keep bumping this topic and hopefully get more confirmations.

 

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There's also a wide range of what "rare" means. It may be that the day before, they weren't rare and now they are, in which case the reviewer isn't going to worry much about it. (To be useful, the filters have to be set so that a few migrants come through outside the normal period.) Sometimes you get birds that are expected in a given location, but because they're rare everywhere else in the county, they come up as rare. In those cases, the reviewer's going to take a quick look at the number and the location, and move on. In other cases, the bird may be a once in a lifetime occurrence, in which case the reviewer will want to know a lot about it. And sometimes, there's some back and forth between the reviewer and the observer, and perhaps input from others, before something's confirmed. In some cases (depending upon the state) the reviewer might wait for the local records committee to look at the report before making a decision. (I suspect that some species, especially during breeding season, may be left unconfirmed to protect the birds from harassment, as well.)

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Or the reviewer might only check his queue once a week, and hasn’t had a chance to look at the pictures since the media library was down for a few days. 

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This is all very helpful. Is the reviewer's queue the same as the eBird rare bird report? I thought of another bird that was awaiting confirmation which has also dropped off of the rare bird report. It was previously confirmed for me and for others. If the reviewer is looking at a different list, then with time, and once eBird is working properly again, the situation will likely resolve itself.

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The rare bird report runs for a week -- sometimes something will pop up there, the reviewer will look at it and point out that the ID was wrong, and the observer will change it. That's another way in which things drop off.

I'm not sure about the mechanics of reviewing -- do they show up in an e-mail form, or does a reviewer have an extra button when they log in that shows them pending birds?

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The rare bird report often shows confirmed Birds for a while. If any reviewers are out there and have a chance to comment that would be great. At least one of our reviewers used to show up on the forum occasionally-- @Tony Leukering

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Reviewers must log in to see their review queue. It takes somewhere between a few minutes and a few years for a bird to be confirmed, depending on the report. Some reports just get lost in the pile, especially if they have vague descriptions or are of commonly mis-ID'd species. 

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All:

Yes, the birds are certainly Dunlin.  The eBird report, however, lies unreviewed in the review queue, along with other reports of the species from "Southern Swiss Dairy" from each of the two prior days (4 and 5 Nov).

To respond to other, related, queries in this thread, the review queue is not the same as the rare-bird report, as the former also includes reports that flagged due to higher-than-expected numbers of a given species for the date.  Also, all flagged occurrences drop off the rare-bird report after seven days, whether reviewed or not and whether accurate or not, and this is the only reason that the aforementioned occurrence dropped off the rare-bird report.

 

Tony Leukering

eBird reviewer for Colorado and Wyoming (http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/)

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1 hour ago, Tony Leukering said:

All:

Yes, the birds are certainly Dunlin.  The eBird report, however, lies unreviewed in the review queue, along with other reports of the species from "Southern Swiss Dairy" from each of the two prior days (4 and 5 Nov).

To respond to other, related, queries in this thread, the review queue is not the same as the rare-bird report, as the former also includes reports that flagged due to higher-than-expected numbers of a given species for the date.  Also, all flagged occurrences drop off the rare-bird report after seven days, whether reviewed or not and whether accurate or not, and this is the only reason that the aforementioned occurrence dropped off the rare-bird report.

 

Tony Leukering

eBird reviewer for Colorado and Wyoming (http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/)

Thank you! That is helpful and much appreciated.

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