Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Nature Blog Network/E-bird review beef

I just signed up to join the Nature Blog network. Even though my blog hasn't really to date been a forum for discussion, more like a public journal of my birding experiences, that may change in the near future. Being part of a blog network is an incentive to blog more and to perhaps post more thought-provoking material. Right now, I don't know how many people actually read this blog, since I don't go out of my way to advertise it. It's not something I'm really concerned with. But it will be interesting to see how low I'm ranked on the blog network!

I am a user of eBird, Cornell's web-based listing program. This is a very handy organizational tool for birders who tend to be otherwise somewhat disorganized. I do have one problem with it, and that's the iGoogle eBird gadget, which is in general a very useful tool for see what rare birds are being reported around the country. My problem is with the review process, which does not seem to include a follow-up when a sighting is not accepted by the regional reviewer. In my case, I saw and reported 2 Black Vultures just north of Columbus on Sunday. Now, normally you don't get this bird this far north in February, but I observed these birds closely through a scope and had a regular ol' Turkey Vulture for comparison to boot. I submitted notes on my observation in the eBird comment field that I think very clearly demonstrated these were Black Vultures and not immature Turkey Vultures. But, the reviewer did not accept the sighting, and I don't know why. They're still on my eBird list for the year, but it still ticks me off that what I believe was a well-documented sighting was not accepted. It makes you look like you were mistaken or didn't give enough information when a sighting of yours gets pulled from the iGoogle gadget, so it's sort of a point of pride.

Ok, rant off for now. I'm going birding with the Avids this saturday - don't know where, the trip is contingent on where the best birds are being seen, and right now there doesn't seem to be any one spot that is superior to any other spots. So I guess it will be a surprise!


Mike said...

Hey Andy,

A lot of bird blogs begin as public field journals, so you're in excellent company. The trick is to see whether you're ever moved to make it more than that. With hope, the Nature Blog Network will help many more readers find your blog. You won't know where you truly rank, though, until you install the badge and code!

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