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RE: [CALBIRDS] Ciff Swallow not Common House-Martin

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  • Kimball Garrett
    Birders, Lest some in the California birding community fear that all sorts of horrific claims can end up on eBird by data-entry errors such as the one that
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 13, 2009
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      Birders,

      Lest some in the California birding community fear that all sorts of
      horrific claims can end up on eBird by data-entry errors such as the one
      that just befell Andy, I wanted to point out that there are several
      levels of protections built into the system. If one enters a checklist
      for an Orange County site (or any California site), Common House-Martin
      will NOT be on the data entry checklist, even when the "Show Rare
      Species" option is selected. The only way to enter such a species would
      be to use the "Add Species" option, which takes several deliberate steps
      and is pretty hard to do by mistake. And even if one did manage to
      enter a Common House-Martin (or 15 of them) for a California locality,
      the record would be flagged and omitted from the eBird database of valid
      records until reviewed and validated by a designated eBird reviewer.
      [Maybe Andy or one of the eBird staff can explain how the house-martin
      error occurred so we can avoid similar pitfalls.]

      Many people are working very hard to drum up support for eBird and to
      ensure its cleanliness as a database. I know there are doubters out
      there, and I know that eBird is still shunned by many of the most active
      birders in the state. But in fairness, I wanted to point out that
      mega-errors at the scale of Common House-Martin in Orange County simply
      don't remain in the database. It's the many cumulative small errors
      (things that bypass the filters) that we all need to be on our guard
      about.

      Kimball

      Kimball L. Garrett
      Ornithology Collections Manager
      Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
      900 Exposition Blvd.
      Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
      213-763-3368
      kgarrett@...


      -----Original Message-----
      From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Andy Lazere
      Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 3:22 PM
      To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [CALBIRDS] Ciff Swallow not Common House-Martin

      My Ebird entry was for 15 birds and should have been Cliff Swallow. I
      caught my error within 30 seconds and corrected it. Don't know how it
      popped up on John's radar in that tiny time interval. My apologies.

      Andy Lazere
      Laguna Niguel
    • Jamie Chavez
      A couple of sources for instantaneous eBird reports are the Rare Bird Google Gadgets found on many sites and Blogs, and the eBird Rarity Map available at Jack
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 13, 2009
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        A couple of sources for instantaneous eBird reports are the Rare Bird Google
        Gadgets found on many sites and Blogs, and the eBird Rarity Map available at
        Jack Siler's Birdingonthe.Net web site. A rare bird may pop up on either of
        these at any time but unless it has a green check mark next to it, it has
        not (yet) been reviewed by a regional or county editor for validation.
        Nevertheless, take any claim with a buyer beware attitude, but appreciate
        the fact that it is immediately posted in case it is legitimate. Green means
        go! Many of us reviewers take this seriously and look through the birds in
        queue list daily. Since time is of the essence it is most helpful to respond
        if asked for additional details or to include this information in notes with
        a submitted checklist. Something as simple as "multiple observers" is
        valuable information.

        http://ebird.org/content/ebird/home/birding-news-and-features/news/Google_Gadget.html
        http://birdingonthe.net/gmaps/eBirdMap.html

        Jamie Chavez
        Santa Maria, CA
        http://www.sbcobirding.com

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Kimball Garrett" <kgarrett@...>
        To: <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 4:15 PM
        Subject: RE: [CALBIRDS] Ciff Swallow not Common House-Martin


        > Birders,
        >
        > Lest some in the California birding community fear that all sorts of
        > horrific claims can end up on eBird by data-entry errors such as the one
        > that just befell Andy, I wanted to point out that there are several
        > levels of protections built into the system. If one enters a checklist
        > for an Orange County site (or any California site), Common House-Martin
        > will NOT be on the data entry checklist, even when the "Show Rare
        > Species" option is selected. The only way to enter such a species would
        > be to use the "Add Species" option, which takes several deliberate steps
        > and is pretty hard to do by mistake. And even if one did manage to
        > enter a Common House-Martin (or 15 of them) for a California locality,
        > the record would be flagged and omitted from the eBird database of valid
        > records until reviewed and validated by a designated eBird reviewer.
        > [Maybe Andy or one of the eBird staff can explain how the house-martin
        > error occurred so we can avoid similar pitfalls.]
        >
        > Many people are working very hard to drum up support for eBird and to
        > ensure its cleanliness as a database. I know there are doubters out
        > there, and I know that eBird is still shunned by many of the most active
        > birders in the state. But in fairness, I wanted to point out that
        > mega-errors at the scale of Common House-Martin in Orange County simply
        > don't remain in the database. It's the many cumulative small errors
        > (things that bypass the filters) that we all need to be on our guard
        > about.
        >
        > Kimball
        >
        > Kimball L. Garrett
        > Ornithology Collections Manager
        > Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
        > 900 Exposition Blvd.
        > Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
        > 213-763-3368
        > kgarrett@...
        >
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