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Lynx joins with Cornell

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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 03:27   #76
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I can't argue with that; the more eBird data from a country, the more birders there are and the more reviewers.

But I'm unfamiliar with HBW and My Birding: was there review of sightings built into that system?
As best I can see, the intent of HBW's My Birding is to let birders store their own sightings, not to build up a scientifically meaningful database. Whereas eBird is just the opposite - the goal is getting useful data, and any bird-listing-centric features are pure gamification to encourage more data entry.

Accordingly, a lot of the eBird friction I've seen is around cases where people really do want their list - with totals neither increased incorrectly by escapees nor decreased with unaccepted and unacceptable records omitted. (I've certainly got a few records in my past that would not and should not ever pass snuff with a records committee, but I'd certainly like to remember them!)
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 05:21   #77
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(I've certainly got a few records in my past that would not and should not ever pass snuff with a records committee, but I'd certainly like to remember them!)
Indeed! That's why I use Scythebill

Awiner, in Scythebill, I can eeasily switch betwen IOC and Clements, seems to work quite well. Do you think Cornell will do the same, a parallel use of Clements and HBW?
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 07:00   #78
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Does anyone know what this means for the HBW-BirdLife checklist? Will BirdLife go back to carrying it forward on their own, or will they continue to base it on HBW's checklist?



I follow BirdLife's list because no other taxonomic checklist has the conservation status integrated.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 13:31   #79
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So having a play with eBird as I already have an account (had some checklists shared with me so signed up to view them).

Tried adding some observations from my apartment earlier this month: 3 species: Eurasian Jackdaw, Great Tit and Eurasian Greenfinch.

In HBW I can assign them each to the particular sub-species I want. In eBird...not the case apparently: Jackdaw is only available at the species level; my Parus major major Great Tit has to go in as Great Tit (major group) and the Greenfinch also stops at the species binomial.

What use is that? All I see is dumbing down. Wouldn't mind so much if I couldn't follow links from eBird to the inferior Clements (I favour IOC) where all it's recognised sub-species are shown!

My only immediate solution is to use the "detail" field to manually add the sub-species which is both tedious and unnecessary (if HBWs database can carry all the subspecies then so can eBird surely?)

Anyone more familiar with eBird able to correct/convince me this is progress or shall I just focus my efforts to Scythebill in future? No evangelism from eBird lovers please...you know you exist...

Screenshots: HBW; eBird; Clements excel accessed from eBird
As others have mentioned, there is a subspecies "mode" that you can click on such that the field-identifiable subspecies show up in the checklist entry.

It is very important to understand that the mission of eBird is not to provide checklisting tools for everyone, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people use it that way. It is a database for data collected via citizen science, meaning people of variable skill level. Speaking as a reviewer, the inclusion of every subspecies of Song Sparrow, for example, would be a complete nightmare. Its easy enough for laypersons to note that it is an "eastern type" or "pacific type" but if even the researchers haven't nailed down where atlantica and melodia start, stop, and intergrade, then we don't have a chance, nor realistically does the lister who is so certain based on their geographic location. If someone has taken the time to do the bill and primary measurements on a Song Sparrow, then certainly those comments are welcome in the details section and very far from unnecessary!

I can't speak much regarding the so-called "merger" as I never used HBW except to glance at the occasional website - however based on some of the reactions here it seems that some expect eBird to be a replacement for it, and perhaps it isn't that. However, eBird has worked well for a great many people for a lot of years and continuously works hard to improve its accuracy. But again - its goals are to be a data collection system and that is important to understanding how it operates.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 13:41   #80
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Indeed! That's why I use Scythebill

Awiner, in Scythebill, I can eeasily switch betwen IOC and Clements, seems to work quite well. Do you think Cornell will do the same, a parallel use of Clements and HBW?
That's a good question. Right now all Cornell has is the ability to switch to IOC but it functions more closely to a language filter than actual taxonomic conversion. I'm sure this is all just as new to the eBird programmers as it is to us - we will have to see if the inclusion of HBW spurs more checklist functionality.

But as you well point out - Scythebill is already available....
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 14:37   #81
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Oh, that was done back at the end of January - I've had two more releases out since then.
Great stuff, I look forward to catching up when I get home.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 17:12   #82
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I sent an email to Eliot Miller at the Cornell Lab on Sunday to ask him about the taxonomy that will be used by eBird following the import of IBC & HBW Alive material and it seems, for the time being, eBird will continue to follow Clements.

His reply:

In short, we've been working to carefully map the two taxonomies together. So, the import should work well, and taxonomic concepts from HBW should map to their correct one in eBird (e.g., if HBW Species x is a subspecies in eBird in many cases it will come in as Species y x). Additionally, we might some day be able to display things in different taxonomies, like you suggest, but the species pages and your lists themselves will be displayed and calculated with eBird taxonomy.

He also directed me to a new info page on Macaulay Library website, which he says he hasn't sent out yet, so I won't link to it directly here, but in the FAQ section it states:

Will taxonomy change?

The IBC follows the taxonomy in the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) and BirdLife International Checklist of the Birds of the World. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology follows Clements. During the transition, we will apply the Clements taxonomy to your observations, which will result in some name changes, but we have painstakingly matched species from the two taxonomies so your observations won’t be lost. Every “species” in HBW will have a corresponding taxonomic entity in the Clements.

So, it seems Clements it is, like it or lump it (if you'll excuse the pun)!

Cheers,

Jono
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:19   #83
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Accordingly, a lot of the eBird friction I've seen is around cases where people really do want their list - with totals neither increased incorrectly by escapees nor decreased with unaccepted and unacceptable records omitted. (I've certainly got a few records in my past that would not and should not ever pass snuff with a records committee, but I'd certainly like to remember them!)
The 'don't count this on my list' button is WIP... important for monitoring escapes etc as is new escapes protocol.

AFAIK anything rejected by reviewers should still be included on your personal totals:

https://help.ebird.org/customer/en/p...cess?b_id=1928

Help here in case folks have other questions:

https://help.ebird.org/?b_id=1928
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:21   #84
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Originally Posted by Jono Irvine View Post
I sent an email to Eliot Miller at the Cornell Lab on Sunday to ask him about the taxonomy that will be used by eBird following the import of IBC & HBW Alive material and it seems, for the time being, eBird will continue to follow Clements.

His reply:

In short, we've been working to carefully map the two taxonomies together. So, the import should work well, and taxonomic concepts from HBW should map to their correct one in eBird (e.g., if HBW Species x is a subspecies in eBird in many cases it will come in as Species y x). Additionally, we might some day be able to display things in different taxonomies, like you suggest, but the species pages and your lists themselves will be displayed and calculated with eBird taxonomy.

He also directed me to a new info page on Macaulay Library website, which he says he hasn't sent out yet, so I won't link to it directly here, but in the FAQ section it states:

Will taxonomy change?

The IBC follows the taxonomy in the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) and BirdLife International Checklist of the Birds of the World. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology follows Clements. During the transition, we will apply the Clements taxonomy to your observations, which will result in some name changes, but we have painstakingly matched species from the two taxonomies so your observations won’t be lost. Every “species” in HBW will have a corresponding taxonomic entity in the Clements.

So, it seems Clements it is, like it or lump it (if you'll excuse the pun)!

Cheers,

Jono
It seems that my original suspicion was right then, Amertican nomenclature, despite being labelled 'anti American' when I made the suggestion.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:25   #85
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In HBW I can assign them each to the particular sub-species I want. In eBird...not the case apparently: Jackdaw is only available at the species level; my Parus major major Great Tit has to go in as Great Tit (major group) and the Greenfinch also stops at the species binomial.

What use is that? All I see is dumbing down. Wouldn't mind so much if I couldn't follow links from eBird to the inferior Clements (I favour IOC) where all it's recognised sub-species are shown!
Kirk's reply is spot on:

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Originally Posted by Kirk Roth View Post
As others have mentioned, there is a subspecies "mode" that you can click on such that the field-identifiable subspecies show up in the checklist entry.

It is very important to understand that the mission of eBird is not to provide checklisting tools for everyone, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people use it that way. It is a database for data collected via citizen science, meaning people of variable skill level. Speaking as a reviewer, the inclusion of every subspecies of Song Sparrow, for example, would be a complete nightmare. Its easy enough for laypersons to note that it is an "eastern type" or "pacific type" but if even the researchers haven't nailed down where atlantica and melodia start, stop, and intergrade, then we don't have a chance, nor realistically does the lister who is so certain based on their geographic location. If someone has taken the time to do the bill and primary measurements on a Song Sparrow, then certainly those comments are welcome in the details section and very far from unnecessary!

I can't speak much regarding the so-called "merger" as I never used HBW except to glance at the occasional website - however based on some of the reactions here it seems that some expect eBird to be a replacement for it, and perhaps it isn't that. However, eBird has worked well for a great many people for a lot of years and continuously works hard to improve its accuracy. But again - its goals are to be a data collection system and that is important to understanding how it operates.
Although I'd add to the issue of field identification that many subspecies are likely undiagnosable and hence invalid in the first instance.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:29   #86
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It seems that my original suspicion was right then, Amertican nomenclature, despite being labelled 'anti American' when I made the suggestion.
Expect one global taxonomy eventually, with the big players all in talks at the moment. Then you can be anti-globalisation too...
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:34   #87
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Expect one global taxonomy eventually, with the big players all in talks at the moment. Then you can be anti-globalisation too...
RSPB to veto Scottish Crossbill lump again? Might struggle trying to convince Cornell as easily as they managed to convince Birdlife!

cheers, a
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 19:41   #88
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It seems that my original suspicion was right then, Amertican nomenclature
I think you are misunderstanding Andy. Taxonomy is different from nomenclature. eBird allows you to choose either British or American nomenclature for common names, e.g. "Grey Plover" or "Black-bellied Plover". But it doesn't allow you to choose a different taxonomy; I think he is just saying that in some instances taxonomic difference will require using different names than in other taxonomies.

In any event, there is no such thing as "American" taxonomy. Both Clements and one of the founders of the IOC, Frank Gill, are Americans.
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 20:56   #89
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RSPB to veto Scottish Crossbill lump again? Might struggle trying to convince Cornell as easily as they managed to convince Birdlife!

cheers, a
Also see http://checklist.aou.org/nacc/propos...html#2009-A-10
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Old Monday 18th March 2019, 22:55   #90
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RSPB to veto Scottish Crossbill lump again? Might struggle trying to convince Cornell as easily as they managed to convince Birdlife!

cheers, a
That's one where I'd support anyone who lumps this fraud taxon
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 07:43   #91
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I sent an email to Eliot Miller at the Cornell Lab on Sunday to ask him about the taxonomy that will be used by eBird following the import of IBC & HBW Alive material and it seems, for the time being, eBird will continue to follow Clements.
Thanks a lot for the info!

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Additionally, we might some day be able to display things in different taxonomies, like you suggest, but the species pages and your lists themselves will be displayed and calculated with eBird taxonomy.
So the HBW alive species entries will be sorted along the Clements/ebird list in future... understandable that they choose this way in this planned merger.

But I still find this a bit surprising, after Lynx just invested so much effort in updating the entire HBW alife along the new HBW/Birdlife list, including quite detailed info on the taxonomic decisions. The two big volumes of the illutstrated checklist are a nice work and go along extremely well with the web-based HBW alive, but that value will reduce now if books and web-version use different taxonomies. Perhaps that's why the books are discounted now.
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 08:17   #92
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Expect one global taxonomy eventually, with the big players all in talks at the moment. Then you can be anti-globalisation too...
I have no issue with a global taxonomy as long as it's not totally America centric but there's little doubt it will be.
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 08:29   #93
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I think you are misunderstanding Andy. Taxonomy is different from nomenclature. eBird allows you to choose either British or American nomenclature for common names, e.g. "Grey Plover" or "Black-bellied Plover". But it doesn't allow you to choose a different taxonomy; I think he is just saying that in some instances taxonomic difference will require using different names than in other taxonomies.

In any event, there is no such thing as "American" taxonomy. Both Clements and one of the founders of the IOC, Frank Gill, are Americans.
I follow the IOC and use Adam's amazing Scythebill programme Jim, that won't change unless they 'merge' with Cornell too.
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 08:52   #94
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RSPB to veto Scottish Crossbill lump again? Might struggle trying to convince Cornell as easily as they managed to convince Birdlife!

cheers, a
How do they have a veto?

It's always been a question as to whether there is a 'Scottish' Crossbill, it's range isn't well understood and AFAIK, there's no protection work being done and it's only threatened by being derecognised.
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 09:15   #95
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I have no issue with a global taxonomy as long as it's not totally America centric but there's little doubt it will be.
What does America-centric (America First?) mean?
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 09:18   #96
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How do they have a veto?

It's always been a question as to whether there is a 'Scottish' Crossbill, it's range isn't well understood and AFAIK, there's no protection work being done and it's only threatened by being derecognised.
If you want funds to do conservation then having an endemic species threatened with global extinction is helpful. That said there are a million other reasons why Caledonian pinewoods deserve urgent conservation action. But flagship species matter.

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/natu...scotica_en.htm
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 09:21   #97
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I presume the IBWO account in HBW will now be updated to reflect its confirmed presence from Texas to Florida.

cheers, a
Acid test is what is accepted in eBird, check date range.

https://ebird.org/map/ivbwoo?neg=tru...=1940&eyr=2019
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 09:43   #98
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If you want funds to do conservation then having an endemic species threatened with global extinction is helpful. That said there are a million other reasons why Caledonian pinewoods deserve urgent conservation action. But flagship species matter.

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/natu...scotica_en.htm
Still not sure how they have the power of veto against any listing authority?

How will they oppose it, they'd have to provide conclusive evidence that Scotbill isn't just one part of the range of a very variable species. Birds matching the physical criteria for the species have been found as far South as Derbyshire I believe?
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 10:59   #99
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Acid test is what is accepted in eBird, check date range.

https://ebird.org/map/ivbwoo?neg=tru...=1940&eyr=2019
If the ebird admins had a sense of humour they would put the dreaded "Specific locations are not available for this taxon. See our Sensitive Species page for more information" message, together with a few pixellated purple squares somewhere in Louisiana.
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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 13:39   #100
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I find complaints of American-centric names funny, given that the BOU disbanded there own taxonomic committee IIRC. It's like complaining about a rival sports team winning when your own team never even showed up at the match.
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