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Hey!  Those were half of my Lifers!!  

I like the April 1st checklists.  Usually a respected birder, so you have to double-take on it.  I fell for one a few years ago.  I’ve forgotten the bird, but it was a doozy.  Almost grabbed my stuff

HA! Now we know who that guy is! Shoulda guessed. 

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Well get things in VT like that sometimes. The eBird reviewers usually take care of it. Every once in a while someone who grew up in the south with report an anhinga (although there is one confirmed report). I remember being so surprised to see someone report several alcids and other unheard of birds for Vt, then realized that someone was reporting from there house, and just changing the name to where they saw it. 

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Yeah, inherent in citizen science projects is the issue that most people generating data are far from experts, so there is some sloppy data. Luckily, eBird filters and volunteer reviewers do a LOT to clean up stuff like that.

What’s worse than that is when people knowingly abuse eBird, not just making innocent mistakes, such as the following checklist:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S75804132

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I’ve seen checklists like those get deleted from public view a few times. There once was one in the city, that had 3 types of owls and a wack of other things not seen within city limits for the last 30 years.  Though, it’s rare. 
I’ve also seen people put the personal location in the wrong spot, but think that was more a miss click than anything else. 
 

Worst part I think is that the common species don’t go through a filter unless it’s a high count. I’ve had one person add Red-necked grebe to a hotspot I bird daily and I’m 99% sure he misidentified it by looking at the horned grebe that was there. Also had one guy add 3 new species, all of which are very uncommon, to another location I bird daily. The duration, timing, lack of comments/photos, and missing several of the common 100% species just doesn’t add up. Though of course there’s no way of knowing for sure. 

I never trust checklists that don't at least provide some sort of comment or photo when dealing with birds other than your typical everyday ones. 

 

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There is a person that birds around here that I don't totally trust. Conveniently, he finds at least one rare bird every time he goes birding. And almost never has photos of them, but he dose of the common birds...

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On 1/1/2021 at 7:31 PM, AlexHenry said:

Yeah, inherent in citizen science projects is the issue that most people generating data are far from experts, so there is some sloppy data. Luckily, eBird filters and volunteer reviewers do a LOT to clean up stuff like that.

What’s worse than that is when people knowingly abuse eBird, not just making innocent mistakes, such as the following checklist:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S75804132

This checklist has been deleted.

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On 1/2/2021 at 11:54 AM, Kevin said:

There is a person that birds around here that I don't totally trust. Conveniently, he finds at least one rare bird every time he goes birding. And almost never has photos of them, but he dose of the common birds...

😣  It's easy to copy a great description of a rarity out of a field guide!  SIGH...

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I like the April 1st checklists.  Usually a respected birder, so you have to double-take on it.  I fell for one a few years ago.  I’ve forgotten the bird, but it was a doozy.  Almost grabbed my stuff to run out there.  

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On this subject. I'm planing on heading to Costa Rica later this year, and while doing research, I've found that there are lots of sketchy reports run central america,  species are often way out of range and in the wrong habitat. Anyone else noticed this?

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8 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

On this subject. I'm planing on heading to Costa Rica later this year, and while doing research, I've found that there are lots of sketchy reports run central america,  species are often way out of range and in the wrong habitat. Anyone else noticed this?

No, but could it be from migration? It’s a bottleneck

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1 minute ago, Avery said:

No, but could it be from migration? It’s a bottleneck

Most of these birds are sedentary species, and I don't find that it's often reported in migration, these are usually reported around Christmas time and/or February, the high time for tourists.

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21 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

On this subject. I'm planing on heading to Costa Rica later this year, and while doing research, I've found that there are lots of sketchy reports run central america,  species are often way out of range and in the wrong habitat. Anyone else noticed this?

What area are you planning on going to?

When I was there, in the Guanacaste province the ebirding was more or less non existent around me. Though a few people did submit a few here and there but all were believable ones. I usually check the area daily just to see what I’m missing.

However, one guy has been submitting posts every couple months with odd species, over a long distance, and time without any comments, photos, and is also on a private account. Though I haven’t really been paying attention to other areas.


I’d assume most people would be more likely to fake species they see when visiting an area that they’re unlikely to return to or spent a lot of money on. Costa Rica also has lots of endemics so I guess that gives people more reason to cheat. I can see how someone could spend $$$$$ to travel to go see the resplendent quetzal and never actually see one, but put it on their life list anyway so they don’t leave empty handed. South America also has way more bird species, so maybe the higher amount of cheaters are due to the increased competition? 

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5 minutes ago, Aaron said:

What area are you planning on going to?

When I was there, in the Guanacaste province the ebirding was more or less non existent around me. Though a few people did submit a few here and there but all were believable ones. I usually check the area daily just to see what I’m missing.

However, one guy has been submitting posts every couple months with odd species, over a long distance, and time without any comments, photos, and is also on a private account. Though I haven’t really been paying attention to other areas.


I’d assume most people would be more likely to fake species they see when visiting an area that they’re unlikely to return to or spent a lot of money on. Costa Rica also has lots of endemics so I guess that gives people more reason to cheat. I can see how someone could spend $$$$$ to travel to go see the resplendent quetzal and never actually see one, but put it on their life list anyway so they don’t leave empty handed. South America also has way more bird species, so maybe the higher amount of cheaters are due to the increased competition? 

I"m heading to a few places, one in Guanacaste and two in Alajuela. I have a good sense of what I can get, with a little luck, and couple days with a guide 250-300 seems possible to me.

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@Connor Cochranei think those posts are unavoidable since eBird is open to everyone. There will always be those who are wanting to report rare things, or add things to their life lists. But there are also people who are unfamiliar with the species of the area, and misidentify them. I think (hope) the majority of the posts you are seeing, since it is in a highly touristy area, are people misidentifying the local birds

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1 minute ago, Avery said:

@Connor Cochranei think those posts are unavoidable since eBird is open to everyone. There will always be those who are wanting to report rare things, or add things to their life lists. But there are also people who are unfamiliar with the species of the area, and misidentify them. I think (hope) the majority of the posts you are seeing, since it is in a highly touristy area, are people misidentifying the local birds

I'm not necessarily in a high tourist area, but I do agree with you. It's probably due to the lack of reviewers for the area. Up here, anything out of the ordinary would be flagged and put up for review, but I know they are struggling with reviewers down there. I don't think there are enough people down there on the review team. Talking to a good acquaintance of mine who was down there not too long ago, the ebird review team is really slow, and even when rare birds that would flag the filter are put forward with documentation, it takes awhile for them to be accepted. No imagine having to go through many other records of unflagged species in the Provence. Its not going to happen unless they get a larger review team.

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11 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

I"m heading to a few places, one in Guanacaste and two in Alajuela. I have a good sense of what I can get, with a little luck, and couple days with a guide 250-300 seems possible to me.

Yeah that’s definitely possible, especially if you get to the more wetter areas. 
I was there for ten days and got to 80 species, but those were just what I saw with my eyes (no sounds), and all were in the same town. Looking back, probably should have gotten way over 100. 
 

In regards to eBird reviewers, I submitted a recording labeled as bird sp. about 2 months ago to a checklist and that was flagged as rare for whatever reason and has been left unconfirmed ever since. 

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Someone posted 12 Garganey in an area between Seattle and Portland (Ridgefield  NWR).  We have had several sightings over the years but almost certainly not a flock of twelve. 

 x - Garganey - Clark - S Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge Rd, Ridgefield US-WA 45.80813, -122.74529 - Jan 10 11:10 -

It's speculated that they were probably pintails.  Ridgefield is a very popular area for birders (we currently have a white faced ibis) and no one else has reported seeing these. 

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On 1/6/2021 at 1:15 PM, Aaron said:

In regards to eBird reviewers, I submitted a recording labeled as bird sp. about 2 months ago to a checklist and that was flagged as rare for whatever reason and has been left unconfirmed ever since. 

This often the case. Bird sp. has zero scientific value, which is why I think eBird flags it. Try switching it to passerine sp. if you have absolutely no idea what it could. That shouldn't come up as rare.

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27 minutes ago, DLecy said:

This often the case. Bird sp. has zero scientific value, which is why I think eBird flags it. Try switching it to passerine sp. if you have absolutely no idea what it could. That shouldn't come up as rare.

passerine sp. and a few other of the ‘sp.’ are also flagged as rare. I always use passerine sp. for my checklists when need be, but in this case, I could not spell it for the life of me, so went with the easy ‘bird sp.’ 
Initially it was just supposed to be a temporary placeholder so I could upload the recording and view the sonogram to ID it easier, but after going through the 700 or so species I didn’t get much luck. 
It’s part of an incidental checklist, so I’m eventually going to delete it entirely, but might give it one last hoorah on figuring it out.   

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1 hour ago, Aaron said:

passerine sp. and a few other of the ‘sp.’ are also flagged as rare. I always use passerine sp. for my checklists when need be, but in this case, I could not spell it for the life of me, so went with the easy ‘bird sp.’ 
Initially it was just supposed to be a temporary placeholder so I could upload the recording and view the sonogram to ID it easier, but after going through the 700 or so species I didn’t get much luck. 
It’s part of an incidental checklist, so I’m eventually going to delete it entirely, but might give it one last hoorah on figuring it out.   

Interesting. That must be an individual choice by your regional reviewer. Many of the 'sp.' around here are flagged as rare too, but 'passerine sp.' isn't.

As for the recording, have you put it out to this group already? If so, can you shoot me the post so I can take a listen? I may have already taken a crack at it, but am not sure if I did or not. Thanks.

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