HBW to cease (1 Viewer)

fugl

Well-known member
I would try to fork out the 50 (insert currency) / year. I think it is worth it, especially if you are serious about world birding and keeping track of your current list and future plans...

Indeed. I was a paid subscriber to BNA and HBW for years and years at very reasonable cost in both cases. Now that they’ve merged, I get the same content for even less money. So, why all the complaints? That said, and to partly answer my own question, I primarily use the 2 resources for information on lift histories and higher taxonomy, not for list management.
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
You can always offer to be an ebird reviewer for your area and help improve quality. Reviewers get free access :smoke:

I wouldn't be able to resist bias I'm afraid, there's a couple of people at least that I know, from whom I wouldn't accept anything!
 

DMW

Well-known member
I wouldn't be able to resist bias I'm afraid, there's a couple of people at least that I know, from whom I wouldn't accept anything!

Even better, then: you get to wind them up, as well as a free sub!
Most records are accepted automatically, assuming they are expected species / counts for the area. It's only exceptional records that get manually reviewed.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Hence the accusations of quantity over quality?

I agree with you Andy.

I have subscribed to HBW at the basic level for about three years simply to get their encyclopedia content. It costs €29 a year. You don't get access to the research papers or whatever, but that's fine. You (I) get information on diet, for example that you don't get in ordinary books, and I have presumed that the distribution maps are more up-to-date than books from twenty years ago.

But Cornell seem to be intending to integrate the HBW stuff with ebird.

I have no interest in uploading lists, or reading others' daily lists (careful trip reports are another matter).

My impression of ebird is that it is like internet comment forums and similar in that a few fanatics upload loads of stuff, so the overall thing is very un-representative.

Xeno-canto is similar - in the case of Japanese birds, there is one poster who uploads huge quantities of all sorts of junk recordings claiming to be all sorts of birds, which means that for me trying to identify calls or songs from Xeno-canto is pointless because trying to find reliable stuff around this guy's junk is too difficult.

Anyway Cornell seem to be in the process of integrating HBW into their system, rather than the other way around. This may be a plus for US birders who already use their Birds of America, but for me it would be a major negative, since HBW was fine as it was.

I was really annoyed when Cornell sent me mails telling me that they would give me a couple of months' free access to Birds of America as an incentive to move my subscription over to Cornell without any thought as to whether I would have any interest in American birds. I have never birded there, and probably never will.

They have given me a subscription to BoW for the same price as my old HBW subscription, so I'll see how it goes. But I'm not optimistic. If the ebird connection is increased, then I'm definitely out. But so far, even small changes have been negative - e.g. the green on distribution maps of HBW has been changed to a much harder to see lilac, and the area of the maps has been changed in a non-positive way (more difficult to see which country is which).

Hmmmm!
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
I agree with you Andy.


I have no interest in uploading lists, or reading others' daily lists (careful trip reports are another matter).

My impression of ebird is that it is like internet comment forums and similar in that a few fanatics upload loads of stuff, so the overall thing is very un-representative.

I was really annoyed when Cornell sent me mails telling me that they would give me a couple of months' free access to Birds of America as an incentive to move my subscription over to Cornell without any thought as to whether I would have any interest in American birds. I have never birded there, and probably never will.

Hmmmm!

Agree about reports.

This has been my limited experience of ebird too, having actually been on a trip with someone who did this, very enthusiatically, each evening and observed others doing the same.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
I think you are going to be seeing soon that IOC and Clements are going to have very similar taxonomies soon, especially since there has been a bit of behind the scenes changes at IOC.

ALSO, re: research being free: HBW was for the most part not a source of original research, just a condensed summary of it. Now, a lot of that research is locked behind a paywall, which I something I dislike as a researcher myself. If I am paying a journal to publish something, why is the journal then turning around and charging people to use it? Especially when I am using grant money, which probably came from public funds, to pay for it.

Also I can't help but feel birders have it super easy, with multiple free world checklists that are updated annually, as well as several other easy to access resources (like this website). I have been trying to track down changes in reptile or mammal taxonomy, for my Covid lockdown list revisions. Most of those checklists may only be updated once or twice a decade, and some are horribly arranged with no clear indication of changes. Going through and having to do a genus level search in google scholar for all North American herp taxa just to figure out what new species and taxonomic changes have appeared is incredibly time intensive, and its still easy to miss things.

Check out mammalwatching.com for mammals - it's a purely private effort, but Jon is running a frequently updated checklist based on IUCN plus his own following of future trends.
 

temmie

Well-known member
I feel the best distribution maps are a combination of xeno-canto (the guy making the maps is serious about updating them whenever he receives info left or right), and the actual sightings (with pictures!) in e.g. ebird. So I very much welcome the birds of the world website, because it combines the (relatively ok) maps of hbw with the actual ebird sightings in one view. I hope that they will work on ssp maps... a bit like xeno canto is visualizing distribution on the map, of those ssp you can separate by voice
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
I feel the best distribution maps are a combination of xeno-canto (the guy making the maps is serious about updating them whenever he receives info left or right), and the actual sightings (with pictures!) in e.g. ebird. So I very much welcome the birds of the world website, because it combines the (relatively ok) maps of hbw with the actual ebird sightings in one view. I hope that they will work on ssp maps... a bit like xeno canto is visualizing distribution on the map, of those ssp you can separate by voice

Xeno Canto is weird mix. It has the most detailed maps online afaik and it's really great for some birds but I think it too often includes deeply historical ranges where nobody has seen the birds for decades. If they had a special color for "used to", it would be perfect.
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
I'm referring to Avibase now as I update all my old reports, it's the only thing I've found, that comes even close to the free HBW pages we've lost. The only thing missing from what we had with HBW, is the highlighting, with proposed common names, of potential splits but it's a decent substiture.

I'm working through our Philippine report at the moment, here's a couple of example pages.

https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?lang=EN&avibaseid=1948C194&sec=summary&ssver=1

https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/species.jsp?lang=EN&avibaseid=CBE7EC407BB927CB
 
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RyanI

Well-known member
Are they actively seeking them? I've never seen any kind of notice on eBird about seeking reviewers.

From my experience, if your local area needs help they seek out local regular ebird users who may be interested in helping. That's what happened with me anyway
 

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
Agree - I think it depends on where you are as well. If you’re somewhere in the U.S then I suspect most of not all of the reviewing is covered. In the U.K., where ebird has only recently taken off, there’s more demand.
 

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