The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is coming soon! Bill Pulliam would
post an annual reminder about the Great Backyard Bird Count and eBird, and
well, his previous posts are still perfect for today and a reminder is
still warranted. So I thought I’d send out one of his previous GBBC emails
with minor edits, i.e. changed dates.
With the Great Backyard Bird Count rapidly approaching (starts Friday,
2/16/18), a note for regular users of eBird --
The GBBC uses the eBird system to filter reports and flag records
for review. Since the GBBC attracts a large number of novices, some of the
eBird filters are adjusted during the GBBC period to catch
likely beginner's mistakes. This mean that you experienced eBird users
may notice common species such as non-Canada Geese, White-crowned Sparrows,
Purple Finches, Red-headed Woodpeckers, and Winter Wrens absent from the
"common" list in some parts of TN, and you will have to go to the "rare"
list to report them. You might run into this even if you enter data through
the regular eBird sites and apps during the 2/12-2/21 period, not just with
the GBBC portals. I realize this is an inconvenience, but it can be a
great help in steering novices away from these very common mistakes (it's
a wren, and it's winter... it's a woodpecker with red on its head... etc.). One
of the main values of the GBBC is to get novice birders involved, and it
also provides us reviewers with many "teachable moments" for these users.
Sorry for any inconvenience, and go out there and use the GBBC as a way to
get some beginners more interested in birding!
Scott Somershoe and the Tennessee eBird review team
Co-Author of *Birds of Tennessee: A New Annotated Checklist