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update on eBird plans for feature enhancement

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  • SiriusGuy@aol.com
    Some recent correspondence I have had with the eBird staff reflects their awareness that this Internet-based birding database program would benefit from ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2004
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      Some recent correspondence I have had with the "eBird" staff reflects their
      awareness that this Internet-based birding database program would benefit from
      some expansion of its capabilities. I observed to them:

      > <<One option I could not find on "Ebird" was anyway to use it to record a
      > "Lifelist." If I missed something, let me know. Otherwise, that would be a
      > useful feature, and similarly it might be fascinating to see exactly WHAT is
      > on the various submitted lifelists, and, the relative frequency for which
      > various birds appear on these. Among other things, you'd be able to list what
      > effectively might be the relatively rarest birds in the North American area, IF
      > you got enough sets of data.>>

      The response I received was:

      <<Thank you for your interest in eBird, these are great ideas! We are
      working on expanding the data retrieval so "eBirders" can easily and quickly call up
      a life list, as well as other reports that aren't available just yet. In
      addition, we're working to improve the entire data retrieval process so users of
      all skill levels will be able to address questions they may have regarding
      distribution and abundance of any species in North America. Please keep an eye
      on the site for these additions and improvements.

      Thank you for submitting local "hot spots" for inclusion in eBird....It's our
      intent that eBird provides the tools that allow local organizations to
      monitor interesting and important locations in their area. I..hope that you'll
      encourage members of Fresno Audubon to contribute their sightings, whether from
      their yard or any local hot spot they may visit, and especially from any
      "formal" bird walks or surveys done by Fresno Audubon. Please feel free to contact me
      directly with any follow-up or additional questions or suggestions!>>

      I then additionally mentioned that:

      <<determining a way to submit a checklist primarily entered onto Avisys or
      the like, to eBird, would potentially quite enhance the level of activity.>>

      and received the prompt response that:

      <<I think (actually, I know) that many of the "hardcore" birders don't eBird
      *only because* they are already entering sightings into their pre-existing
      software package (whether it's commercial, like Avisys, or a self-created
      spreadsheet or database), and sitting at the computer to enter the same checklist a
      second time isn't a very appealing idea. The ability to import sightings that
      are already digitized is a highlighted item on our to do list, so eventually
      it will become a reality. So many features to add!!

      Once that functionality is in place I suspect current participation will rise
      considerably, but also the historical data that can be imported will be
      extremely interesting and valuable. Please feel free to excerpt my comments for
      distribution, I appreciate your willingness to spread the word!

      Good birding,
      Mike

      Michael Powers
      eBird Project Leader

      Cornell Lab of Ornithology
      159 Sapsucker Woods Road
      Ithaca, NY 14850>>

      The web address for this program is not surprisingly: www.ebird.com

      Alan M. Birnbaum
      Fresno CA



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