Time for my annual note to regular eBird users to remind y'all that you might see some subtle differences in the way eBird works for the next week as the Great Backyard Bird Count is underway. GBBC participants include many novice and even first-time birders, and all their observations come through eBird. In many areas, the eBird rarity screening filters are adjusted for the needs of these users. To help reduce confusion, some of the more troublesome and less frequent species may not even appear on the lists of "common" birds during this time. Some of the most conspicuous instances of this are Purple Finches, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Hairy Woodpeckers. In other areas you might find that for these sorts of species any count greater than 1 is flagged for confirmation, when you normally can report quite a few more "for free." I realize this can be annoying for regular users and experienced observers, but it is very helpful for us to help the beginning GBBCers get these very common and basic confusions sorted out.
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