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Understanding the Selection Process For Bird Reports...

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  • Bob
    All I have received a few requests lately from some attempting to fathom my criteria for including/excluding individual sightings within these
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 30 9:52 AM
      All
      I have received a few requests lately from some attempting to fathom my
      criteria for including/excluding individual sightings within these
      Reports.(Birders Journal & North American Birds)

      What I am generally searching for are early & late dates plus unusual
      concentrations and rarities. Species number counts or estimates are always
      important as well as specific locations and dates. Rare or unusual species
      that are difficult to differentiate from more common alternatives or new
      species for the area or that are rare within the Province should be
      accompanied by descriptions.( Some obvious birds such as Black-necked Stilts
      are perhaps excluded.) This is also more important for those without
      familiarity or experience with a given species. Supporting data is always
      important and welcome. This is important in terms of acceptance by other
      persons within the greater birding community. This practice also makes us
      better birders because it sharpens our skills. It also educates us within
      this community about key identification factors.

      For some reports, I often pick certain species for special focus. Sometimes
      it may well just be a common species for which there just happens to be much
      data reported or available. For me this is often based upon the turnover at
      a specific location that I visit with some regularity. For you, it could
      your yard. This then provides an opportunity to learn more about migration
      dates within the region or breeding status or distribution. Plus this also
      assists with bar graph development.

      Sometimes, the species is not the most important consideration, it is rather
      the location. This is particularly true for species which both migrate and
      largely remain on breeding territory the entire year. An example would be
      that a Blue Jay or White-breasted Nuthatch within Lumsden or Ft Qu'Appelle
      is to be routinely expected. One within Val's yard north of McTaggart or in
      Regina is news. We still don't fully understand why some Blue Jays or WB
      Nuthatches migrate and others do not? Food availability is perhaps a
      significant part of the answer.

      The last aspect to remember is that final editing is done elsewhere. The
      criteria there may simply be space availability and priorities as determined
      by that editor. Again certain themes may be selected such as determined by
      comparative records or trends within other Prairie Provinces within the
      North American Bird.

      I hope that this is helpful. I sense that over time those of us that are
      relatively new to this pursuit will learn more about distribution and the
      trends of species numbers within the Province. This attunes us better to
      know the significance of our sightings. Perhaps this will ease some of the
      relative mystery of inclusion or significance. If you have concerns or
      questions about your sightings please contact me for explanations.
      Sometimes, I simply make an oversight, an error or assume too much.

      As I have mentioned here previously, I sometimes feel uneasy about
      influencing a formula for posting within this site. That is not my wish or
      purpose. Instead, it is to perhaps facilitate the inclusion of sightings and
      allow informed choices about the possible dual purpose of sharing sightings
      plus having these included within Reports.

      Saskbirds is more than a collection site for bird sightings. It is also our
      vibrant community window into the greater world of Birding.


      Good Birding !

      Take care
      Bob Luterbach
      Regina
    • Kenneth Noble
      Dear Bob, It may (or may not!) interest you to know that at the back of the annual Surrey Bird Report there is a species by species list of what are considered
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
        Dear Bob,
        It may (or may not!) interest you to know that at the
        back of the annual Surrey Bird Report there is a
        species by species list of what are considered to be
        noteworthy sightings. It may be clearer to give a
        couple of examples:
        Goshawk (A,D) means that all sightings should be
        reported and a full description is required.
        Mute Swan (>20,MM, B) means that any gathering of more
        than 20, monthly maxima at regularly watched sites and
        all breeding records are required.
        Willow warlbler (F&L, T, P) means first and last
        dates, counts of territories and evidence of passage
        should be reported... you get the drift!
        all the best,
        Ken

        --- Bob <tsb2001@...> wrote: > All
        > I have received a few requests lately from some
        > attempting to fathom my
        > criteria for including/excluding individual
        > sightings within these
        > Reports.(Birders Journal & North American Birds)
        >
        > What I am generally searching for are early & late
        > dates plus unusual
        > concentrations and rarities. Species number counts
        > or estimates are always
        > important as well as specific locations and dates.
        > Rare or unusual species
        > that are difficult to differentiate from more common
        > alternatives or new
        > species for the area or that are rare within the
        > Province should be
        > accompanied by descriptions.( Some obvious birds
        > such as Black-necked Stilts
        > are perhaps excluded.) This is also more important
        > for those without
        > familiarity or experience with a given species.
        > Supporting data is always
        > important and welcome. This is important in terms of
        > acceptance by other
        > persons within the greater birding community. This
        > practice also makes us
        > better birders because it sharpens our skills. It
        > also educates us within
        > this community about key identification factors.
        >
        > For some reports, I often pick certain species for
        > special focus. Sometimes
        > it may well just be a common species for which there
        > just happens to be much
        > data reported or available. For me this is often
        > based upon the turnover at
        > a specific location that I visit with some
        > regularity. For you, it could
        > your yard. This then provides an opportunity to
        > learn more about migration
        > dates within the region or breeding status or
        > distribution. Plus this also
        > assists with bar graph development.
        >
        > Sometimes, the species is not the most important
        > consideration, it is rather
        > the location. This is particularly true for species
        > which both migrate and
        > largely remain on breeding territory the entire
        > year. An example would be
        > that a Blue Jay or White-breasted Nuthatch within
        > Lumsden or Ft Qu'Appelle
        > is to be routinely expected. One within Val's yard
        > north of McTaggart or in
        > Regina is news. We still don't fully understand why
        > some Blue Jays or WB
        > Nuthatches migrate and others do not? Food
        > availability is perhaps a
        > significant part of the answer.
        >
        > The last aspect to remember is that final editing is
        > done elsewhere. The
        > criteria there may simply be space availability and
        > priorities as determined
        > by that editor. Again certain themes may be selected
        > such as determined by
        > comparative records or trends within other Prairie
        > Provinces within the
        > North American Bird.
        >
        > I hope that this is helpful. I sense that over time
        > those of us that are
        > relatively new to this pursuit will learn more about
        > distribution and the
        > trends of species numbers within the Province. This
        > attunes us better to
        > know the significance of our sightings. Perhaps this
        > will ease some of the
        > relative mystery of inclusion or significance. If
        > you have concerns or
        > questions about your sightings please contact me for
        > explanations.
        > Sometimes, I simply make an oversight, an error or
        > assume too much.
        >
        > As I have mentioned here previously, I sometimes
        > feel uneasy about
        > influencing a formula for posting within this site.
        > That is not my wish or
        > purpose. Instead, it is to perhaps facilitate the
        > inclusion of sightings and
        > allow informed choices about the possible dual
        > purpose of sharing sightings
        > plus having these included within Reports.
        >
        > Saskbirds is more than a collection site for bird
        > sightings. It is also our
        > vibrant community window into the greater world of
        > Birding.
        >
        >
        > Good Birding !
        >
        > Take care
        > Bob Luterbach
        > Regina
        >
        >
        >
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        >

        =====
        -------------------------------------------------------------------
        Kenneth Noble, Hurst Green, Oxted, Surrey, UK

        Many of my articles can be found on:
        http://homepage.ntlworld.com/kenneth.noble1

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