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Couple of ebird questions


SirVive
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Couple of things I haven't found answers to elsewhere and figured someone here would know  ...

On maps what do the different pin colors represent?  Blue , green , etc?

Also on maps - obviously purple shading shows blocks where the species in question has been seen, darker shading = more common. Then there are gray blocks - I assume areas with ebird lists but no sightings of that bird. Is there a way to see what HAS been seen in one of those areas - the ones that intrigue me the most are those in the open ocean - obviously with no hotspot options to look at.  Then there are blocks with no shading at all - are these areas with no ebird activity whatsoever? 

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17 hours ago, SirVive said:

On maps what do the different pin colors represent?  Blue , green , etc?

I've only seen two colors, blue and red.  Either can have a 'flame' icon.

Red are registered hotspots.  Blue are individual birders' personal locations.  A flame indicates a recent sighting, within the last ... 30 days?  I don't have the site open so I don't have the exact time frame.

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2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I've only seen two colors, blue and red.  Either can have a 'flame' icon.

Red are registered hotspots.  Blue are individual birders' personal locations.  A flame indicates a recent sighting, within the last ... 30 days?  I don't have the site open so I don't have the exact time frame.

I was sure I had seen green somewhere so I went looking and it looks like maybe the green pins must be the ones in the 'recommended' list when you go to pick a  location before submitting a list via the app. When it auto zooms the map you can end up with a dozen+ pins on the map several of which will be green. 

That problems solved - any ideas on the other?

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Yes, green pins on the app are for recommended birding locations. Red and blue are from the species level search on the website and are for how recent a species was seen, not wether the location is a hotspot or personal location. A few things to keep in mind about the red and blue pins.

1.) If a bird is identified as "rare" in your region (per the eBird filter), the sighting will have to be approved by a regional reviewer before it appears publicly and red/recent on the species map. Make sure you document thoroughly, it helps!

2.) If a species is identified as "sensitive" in eBird you will not be able to search the species map to the hotspot/personal location level. You will simply be able to see the species map at the grid-cell level (400km2 accuracy). You will never see blue or red hotspots/locations for that species. Spotted Owl is a well known example of this.

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@DLecy   et al ...

So just for example I punched in the ubiquitous House Sparrow, pulled up the sightings map, and zoomed to an area off the southern tip of S.A. / Falkland Islands.  Obviously HOSP has been seen in a small area of one of the islands and if I zoom in there I can see individual and hotpot locations where that species has been seen. My question is obviously someone - fishermen, researchers, pelagics, etc has reported sightings of something in those gray areas, just not a badly lost HOSP. Also just as obviously no one has make a hotspot for a mid ocean location. Is there no possible way to discover what HAS been seen in those areas without just making an educated guess on likely species to have been seen there until you find a pin that leads you to the checklist that included it? Or is that a part of the program only available to insiders/researchers?  I find it hard to believe you can't search the data in some form other than one species or hotspot. 

Screenshot_2022-07-16-20-02-15.png

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38 minutes ago, SirVive said:

@DLecy   et al ...

So just for example I punched in the ubiquitous House Sparrow, pulled up the sightings map, and zoomed to an area off the southern tip of S.A. / Falkland Islands.  Obviously HOSP has been seen in a small area of one of the islands and if I zoom in there I can see individual and hotpot locations where that species has been seen. My question is obviously someone - fishermen, researchers, pelagics, etc has reported sightings of something in those gray areas, just not a badly lost HOSP. Also just as obviously no one has make a hotspot for a mid ocean location. Is there no possible way to discover what HAS been seen in those areas without just making an educated guess on likely species to have been seen there until you find a pin that leads you to the checklist that included it? Or is that a part of the program only available to insiders/researchers?  I find it hard to believe you can't search the data in some form other than one species or hotspot. 

You are correct in many respects. One is currently only able to publicly search by hotspot or species. I am not sure what it would look like if you could search for more than one species at a time, with a sort of overlay capability. I can imagine it would complicate things somewhat, but who knows. The most obvious way I can think of that one would likely find out what is possibly seen at that location is to check out the list associated with a pin, as you suggested; or check out a field guide for birds that would be common in that location and go from there.

I'm not sure what capabilities and data eBird offers for research purposes, but I can imagine it's more than what the general public has access to. 

As for a pelagic hotspots, eBird really encourages birders to use them ONLY for historical purposes. Instead, utilizing the pelagic protocol results in much more accurate, and thus valuable, data.

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7 hours ago, SirVive said:

My question is obviously someone - fishermen, researchers, pelagics, etc has reported sightings of something in those gray areas, just not a badly lost HOSP. Also just as obviously no one has make a hotspot for a mid ocean location. Is there no possible way to discover what HAS been seen in those areas without just making an educated guess on likely species to have been seen there until you find a pin that leads you to the checklist that included it?

I guess I don't see the value in what you're looking for, whether on land or sea.  Are you just scratching a curiosity itch?  "Hmmm; someone saw something there.  I wonder what it was?"

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7 hours ago, SirVive said:

Is there no possible way to discover what HAS been seen in those areas

If you know the area, wouldn't the bar charts for that area show everything reported in that area? It's probably not that simple but that's how I'd approach it. Keep in mind that I'm not a registered user of eBird so I don't really know what I am talking about.

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3 hours ago, lonestranger said:

If you know the area, wouldn't the bar charts for that area show everything reported in that area? It's probably not that simple but that's how I'd approach it. Keep in mind that I'm not a registered user of eBird so I don't really know what I am talking about.

You are correct. This does work, although the bar charts take some level of geographic sleuthing to look up. For example, in the US, if one wants to look up a bar chart for a specific location, knowledge of what county the location is in is required. Town “x” is almost always a different name from the county it resides in. Given how many counties there are in a number of states, this can be challenging. Often times I have to a Google the location and what county it’s in, before looking up the bar chart or RBA.

I have never tried looking up international bar charts, but can imagine the same challenges persist.

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4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Are you just scratching a curiosity itch?  "Hmmm; someone saw something there.  I wonder what it was?"

Exactly - places I'd love to go and probably never will and neither will many other people. I saw a whole row of reports far up into the Arctic Circle thousands of miles from the nearest other reports. I immediately wonder who was out there and why etc. 

1 hour ago, DLecy said:

This does work, although the bar charts take some level of geographic sleuthing to look up. For example, in the US, if one wants to look up a bar chart for a specific location, knowledge of what county the location is in is required

I did think of this last night - Where counties/departments/parishes exist it does work to pull up a county and look for the most recent checklists. Is there anything of this sort in regions without such things - Antarctica, Northern Canada, etc. I know nothing about pelagic protocols - is the open ocean somehow divided up also? Or is the closest thing to a county to look up the Pacific as a whole  (which I'm guessing can't be done either) Obviously the colored blocks are divided into a grid based on some sort of non-political overlay. I guess what I was wishing for was a way to click on one of those blocks and get the same sort of feedback as I would looking up a county. My guess is that a lot of those open ocean areas may only have one or maybe a half dozen lists total. 

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4 hours ago, SirVive said:

Exactly - places I'd love to go and probably never will and neither will many other people. I saw a whole row of reports far up into the Arctic Circle thousands of miles from the nearest other reports. I immediately wonder who was out there and why etc. 

I did think of this last night - Where counties/departments/parishes exist it does work to pull up a county and look for the most recent checklists. Is there anything of this sort in regions without such things - Antarctica, Northern Canada, etc. I know nothing about pelagic protocols - is the open ocean somehow divided up also? Or is the closest thing to a county to look up the Pacific as a whole  (which I'm guessing can't be done either) Obviously the colored blocks are divided into a grid based on some sort of non-political overlay. I guess what I was wishing for was a way to click on one of those blocks and get the same sort of feedback as I would looking up a county. My guess is that a lot of those open ocean areas may only have one or maybe a half dozen lists total. 

You can search the high seas using (xx) as the region code. 

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9 minutes ago, SirVive said:

Cheat codes! ?  Will have to give that a try.

Yes, this is true, but it does little to narrow down which species you would want to investigate in a specified region. Since the High Seas is technically the entire worldwide unincorporated pelagic region outside of geopolitical offshore zones/boundaries, I can't imagine the specificity is helpful from a search or data standpoint. For example, the most recent checklists from the "High Seas" vary widely from the middle of the Atlantic, to the Gulf of Alaska, to just south of Hawaii.

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