Jump to content
Whatbird Community

What is up with ebird...?


Clip
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, as to photos never being confirmed, I don't think that is quite so, sorting all the unconfirmed photos in Wakulla County by oldest first, there are only two birds that have not been confirmed(One of which is obviously wrong, and the other I don't know about.), not counting the last 11 days. So in other words, all the unconfirmed photos where uploaded in the last 11 days, except for two birds. 

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?sort=obs_date_asc&regionCode=US-FL-129&includeUnconfirmed=T,O

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Clip said:

https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35605

Now this person has confirmed 3 of the American Flamingo (not the one with a photo) sightings and nothing else. Not even others with photos. Which means all the people who have photos have their photos flagged for no reason. @Charlie Spencerso to answer your question this means that if I go and I get photos they will be flagged and they will remain flagged until this reviewer gets around to confirming it. It kind of looks like he won't get around to it. While I do not pay directly for ebird I do contribute to it volunteerly. In fact, I contribute a lot so do many others. Ebird would likely not exist if not for people like me sharing with them. In return they should do their JOBS correctly. My interest is the Henslow Sparrow with great photos. Though I would like to get better photos of the Flamingo. If I do apparently it will be flagged and will remain so.....which means not visible to the public and I probably won't be able to share it here or anywhere directly from ebird... I will actually probably not share my photo in this case because I don't want it to remain flagged. Which is automatic on rare birds. Ebird spends a lot of time asking people to share their photos and Audios. Seems wrong some how to then dis the people who do at least in this county (sadly probably others).

You can still share unconfirmed photos.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/13/2021 at 6:25 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

with an outcome that has minimal effect on my life

I'm glad you clarified. I guess that means you do have standards for those that do impact your life.

Edited by Clip
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/13/2021 at 9:07 AM, Kevin said:

Okay, as to photos never being confirmed, I don't think that is quite so, sorting all the unconfirmed photos in Wakulla County by oldest first, there are only two birds that have not been confirmed(One of which is obviously wrong, and the other I don't know about.), not counting the last 11 days. So in other words, all the unconfirmed photos where uploaded in the last 11 days, except for two birds. 

https://ebird.org/media/catalog?sort=obs_date_asc&regionCode=US-FL-129&includeUnconfirmed=T,O

I wonder why the Bald Eagles are Flagged? They are rare so they shouldn't be automatically flagged. I can kind of see the immatures being flagged by a novice but there is an adult too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Clip said:

I wonder why the Bald Eagles are Flagged? They are rare so they shouldn't be automatically flagged. I can kind of see the immatures being flagged by a novice but there is an adult too.

Being that they are all on one checklist I would guess someone flagged one of them(probably one of the young birds), which causes all of them to show up as unconfirmed.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S97240986

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Clip said:

I'm glad you clarified. I guess that means you do have standards for those that do impact your life.

EDITED FROM ORIGINAL POST.

Yep, but I don't apply the exact same standards to everything.  For things that truly impact my life, I don't rely on volunteers providing a free service.  Contrarily, if I'm waiting on volunteers to find the time, whatever I'm waiting on probably doesn't truly impact my life.  Having a bird left unconfirmed and driving over an unsafe highway bridge don't have the same consequences; I see no value in holding them to the same standards.  If somehow my approach to birding reaches that level of concern, I'll find another, less stressful hobby.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

EDITED FROM ORIGINAL POST.

Yep, but I don't apply the exact same standards to everything.  For things that truly impact my life, I don't rely on volunteers providing a free service.  Contrarily, if I'm waiting on volunteers to find the time, whatever I'm waiting on probably doesn't truly impact my life.  Having a bird left unconfirmed and driving over an unsafe highway bridge don't have the same consequences; I see no value in holding them to the same standards.  If somehow my approach to birding reaches that level of concern, I'll find another, less stressful hobby.

I simply believe if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well. Does this person not doing their job well impact my life or my ability to bird NO and I never said it did. You assume that it did because I did think it worth mentioning. Stressed about it not at all. But boy folks get up in arms if you have the audacity to point out that ebird reviewers don't walk on water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Clip said:

But boy folks get up in arms if you have the audacity to point out that ebird reviewers don't walk on water.

From what I have read in this thread, it feels like you expect too much from your reviewer...especially if you're expecting them to walk on water.  ? The "Job" standards that you're expecting might just be a little different than the reviewer's standards for his or her "Hobby". Just saying. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

From what I have read in this thread, it feels like you expect too much from your reviewer...especially if you're expecting them to walk on water.  ? The "Job" standards that you're expecting might just be a little different than the reviewer's standards for his or her "Hobby". Just saying. 

 

Sorry but when you become an ebird reviewer it stops being just a hobby. I never said I expected them to walk on water never even implied it. I just pointed out that they don't though a few folks here seem to think they do. I have a flagged photo in my county that remains flagged from September. I know the id is correct. It was confirmed by an ebird reviewer from another region but still my reviewers have not removed the flag nor have they contacted me about it. Do I care not really except that as I have said already if you are going to do a job you should do it well. I had one photo flagged for 19 months here and no one contacted me about it until after I contacted them. I had another photo flagged as the wrong species by the reviewer where I had it right but the flag wasn't removed for over a year and then by the district ebird reviewer. But, only after I brought it to that persons attention. So they don't walk on water but it does kind of seem like they get put on pedestal by the birding community, which in turn seems to go straight to their heads. With this being the case nothing improves. I have been doing this birding thing as a hobby for a long time and it has not improved. I would even say it has gotten worse and because there seems to be no set "standards" no bottom of the barrel so to speak I don't think it will ever improve. Shouldn't that always be the goal in a worth while endeavor. The study of birds is worth while yes? But, it is a science and science has to have standards to be of use.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to thank all of you, for keeping this thread civil and for the most part polite. It makes my job a lot easier. I hope it stays that way.....

Mod hat off for the moment now, looking at the Wakulla alerts, and some of the sighting have been confirmed. I can't seem to find a reason why some were, or were not confirmed, other than probably the reviewer just did not get too all of them yet. 

https://ebird.org/alert/summary?sid=SN35605&sortBy=taxon&o=asc

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've shared Clip's viewpoint in the past, getting frustrated at a regional reviewer who was way behind on confirming records, or confirming records in an inconsistent manner. Sometimes I'd be interested in chasing an uncommon but resident species (e.g., King Rail) that was reported over a week ago, but couldn't find any information because the records were stuck in "review limbo."

At the time, our reviewer was simply overloaded, and Georgia's new system (having 2+ reviewers for each region (~6 multi-county regions)) vastly improved the quality and rate of the review process. 

I'd say the system in that part of Florida likely needs to be improved. The backlog of records to review is probably at no fault of the reviewer, but moreso the volunteer set-up Florida reviewers have established.

That said, I want to emphasize something. Reviewers exist firstly as a quality assurance measure, to ensure the data that eBird is receiving is accurate and research-grade. This does not necessitate a quick turn-around time for confirming records. After all, eBird is firstly a citizen-science database. However, reviewers should be held to a certain standard - to be efficient and competent at a certain level - because at the end of the day, what most people use eBird for is to share and explore bird sightings, track life lists, and share and explore bird media. If erroneous records are slipping through the cracks, or if useful data are stuck in "review limbo" for extended periods of time, then the reviewer isn't doing their job correctly. I think records should generally be reviewed no later than 1wk from submission, because after that they fall into "review limbo" and are not accessible to the public eye (you can access the unreviewed records if you find the specific checklist, but that can be challenging). But I understand that some reviewers are dealing with more submissions than they can handle, and should consider sharing the load with other vetted volunteers.

Personally, I suggest cutting reviewers slack unless their incompetency (regarding identification ability, phenology & distribution knowledge etc.) or negligence is egregious. If you feel they are being overly negligent or are incompetent, you can submit a support ticket and let eBird handle it internally.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a review tidbit - if a reviewer requests you add additional information to the checklist about the species/count in question and you do not provide the requested information, the submission will automatically be unconfirmed within 14 days of the deferment unless the reviewer reaches out again. 

Please please please add useful information to your checklists if you are reporting a flagged bird. Information about its identification specifically are helpful, including habitat clues, morphology, vocalization, and behavior. If it's a count, explain how you counted or estimated the number of birds you are reporting.

This makes it so much easier for reviewers and really accelerates the review process. We can't read your minds and we weren't there when you saw the flagged bird, so it is essential to include this information. I know it can be irking to receive an email from regional reviewers ("how dare they doubt me!"), so including essential identification and count information can save you a lot of grief.

The only exceptions are when it's a continuing bird, or a well-known location for a species.

I know this is somewhat tangential to the main focus of this thread, but I think it's an important subject and definitely could mitigate some of the disgruntled attitudes towards reviewers.

That said, I doubt anyone on here other than @meghann, @Charlie Spencer, and @HamRHead will be submitting checklists in my review region, so it might not help me out much in the long run. ?

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/15/2021 at 11:29 AM, Liam said:

reviewers should be held to a certain standard

I agree! And while they are volunteers they also get something out of it namely they can add the experience to there curriculum vitae should they desire employment in an ornithology field.

One of the other things that has frustrated me over the years is inconsistency in ebird reviewers expectations. For example, I saw one person's description say unmistakable and gave very little additional information. His rare bird reports were confirmed each time I saw him use the word unmistakable. Whether the bird was unmistakable actually up for debate. I thought I'd use "unmistakable" too and gave a little more description. When my sighting wasn't confirmed I contacted the reviewer asking why. I was told by using "unmistakable" I was being over confident. This was long enough ago I do not remember the bird just the "over confident" response. More recently I have been told after using 98 percent sure or something to that effect (not wanting to sound "over" confident) my submission not confirmed. Response on why "not confident enough"! Different reviewers even different States but mixed messages just the same. I see the word unmistakable used often in descriptions and in some cases it is probably accurate to use but...Any way just one example of inconsistencies.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Clip said:

I agree! And while they are volunteers they also get something out of it namely they can add the experience to there curriculum vitae should they desire employment in an ornithology field.

One of the other things that has frustrated me over the years is inconsistency in ebird reviewers expectations. For example, I saw one person's description say unmistakable and gave very little additional information. His rare bird reports were confirmed each time I saw him use the word unmistakable. Whether the bird was unmistakable actually up for debate. I thought I'd use "unmistakable" too and gave a little more description. When my sighting wasn't confirmed I contacted the reviewer asking why. I was told by using "unmistakable" I was being over confident. This was long enough ago I do not remember the bird just the "over confident" response. More recently I have been told after using 98 percent sure or something to that effect (not wanting to sound "over" confident) my submission not confirmed. Response on why "not confident enough"! Different reviewers even different States but mixed messages just the same. I see the word unmistakable used often in descriptions and in some cases it is probably accurate to use but...Any way just one example of inconsistencies.

It could be the person that was doing that was well know as a really good birder. It would kind of be like me saying I saw a bird, and the reviewer deciding I didn't know what I really saw. But if @Tony Leukering does that, who is going to question it? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Clip said:

I agree! And while they are volunteers they also get something out of it namely they can add the experience to there curriculum vitae should they desire employment in an ornithology field.

One of the other things that has frustrated me over the years is inconsistency in ebird reviewers expectations. For example, I saw one person's description say unmistakable and gave very little additional information. His rare bird reports were confirmed each time I saw him use the word unmistakable. Whether the bird was unmistakable actually up for debate. I thought I'd use "unmistakable" too and gave a little more description. When my sighting wasn't confirmed I contacted the reviewer asking why. I was told by using "unmistakable" I was being over confident. This was long enough ago I do not remember the bird just the "over confident" response. More recently I have been told after using 98 percent sure or something to that effect (not wanting to sound "over" confident) my submission not confirmed. Response on why "not confident enough"! Different reviewers even different States but mixed messages just the same. I see the word unmistakable used often in descriptions and in some cases it is probably accurate to use but...Any way just one example of inconsistencies.

I've realized after reading this entire thread and especially this post that I am a very lucky birder. My regional reviewer is one of the best out there, In terms of getting back to you quickly about your flagged bird, confirming it if there's enough evidence, unconfirming if there's not, and correcting my ID if it's actually something else I wouldn't have even thought of. Also overall a very nice person (that personality is reflected well in his emails), and an excellent birder. Shout out to Mike Rader!!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Kevin said:

It could be the person that was doing that was well know as a really good birder. It would kind of be like me saying I saw a bird, and the reviewer deciding I didn't know what I really saw. But if @Tony Leukering does that, who is going to question it? 

Nope this was not the case. I in fact mentored for a bit the guy who was using Unmistakable. Plus I saw the very best birder hands down in Colorado not have his rare birds confirmed if he didn't share a photo. So like I said very inconsistent. One thing I will give Colorado ebirders over some is they didn't confirm their own rare bird sightings. Here is the thing too most of the rare birds I reported were not really all that rare like known migrates but in small numbers, a bit early, a bit late, over staying a whole season. I have only reported a few what I consider actual rare birds. Yet, very few were confirmed if I didn't share a photo.

Edited by Clip
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

I've realized after reading this entire thread and especially this post that I am a very lucky birder. My regional reviewer is one of the best out there, In terms of getting back to you quickly about your flagged bird, confirming it if there's enough evidence, unconfirming if there's not, and correcting my ID if it's actually something else I wouldn't have even thought of. Also overall a very nice person (that personality is reflected well in his emails), and an excellent birder. Shout out to Mike Rader!!

I have encountered a few good ones too. Our own @Liamseems to be a case in point. I bird in Georgia once in while too.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/15/2021 at 11:45 AM, Liam said:

if a reviewer requests you add additional information to the checklist about the species/count in question

This relates to my personal pet peeve, I would be overjoyed if the reviewer contacted me. A case in point is the recent Northern Red-tailed I posted here and everyone seemed to be in agreement on the ID. It has not been accepted by eBird and there is typically no feedback - after waiting a few weeks you have to assume the reviewer disagrees with the ID.

For only the second time ever I did email the reviewer, very politely, and raise the topic but there was no response. Our two county reviewers are very nice, knowledgeable guys but appear to have adopted a policy of minimal interaction.

On the one hand they have done their job and they are not there to help with my bird ID skills, but the feedback would possibly be helpful to limit future incorrect submissions.

This leads to another topic mentioned here. I mentioned at the time I had looked at other local abieticola postings, not many, and noticed one with no photo and a simple "not uncommon" statement for backup. However I can sympathize with the reviewer accepting this posting, which was by a very experienced birder, over a posting by an inexperienced birder who may have just copied a description from a guide to back up what they thought they saw.

I have a lot of sympathy for the reviewers, not just regarding tenuous bird ID submissions so much but also the complications relating to their personally knowing a lot of the local birders and walking a bit of a tightrope.

Addendum. I just checked again and my abieticola eBird submission (Oct 11) must have been accepted in the last day or so, great. I wondered at the time whether it might have been handed off to a more specialized reviewer - I'm not sure if this is common but would make a lot of sense to me as typical local reviewers could not be expected to be up on the subtleties of all the sub-species.

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, RobinHood said:

I'm not sure if this is common but would make a lot of sense to me as typical local reviewers could not be expected to be up on the subtleties of all the sub-species.

This is absolutely common! There are groups of reviewers where we bounce IDs and opinions off of each other. Most of us aren't completely self-reliant and value the input of experts. I personally acknowledge that there are many reviewers with far more review and field experience than me and often ask them what the best course of action is if there is a particularly challenging ID or review case.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's a swan goose or graylag goose mixed in with a Canada. I might go Graylag on this one based on the color of the bill, but I can't really see the front enough to tell how extensive a plate there is, if at all.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Liam said:

Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's a swan goose or graylag goose mixed in with a Canada. I might go Graylag on this one based on the color of the bill, but I can't really see the front enough to tell how extensive a plate there is, if at all.

Here are a couple more shots of the same goose. I forgot to say this was in NE Florida. Not sure if that matters. I was thinking Swan Goose in part because if it's size. I didn't think they the graylag I have seen were this much larger than a canada goose.

412.JPG

419.JPG

420.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...