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Slaty-backed Gull? Hong Kong, Jan 2022 (1 Viewer)

earlytorise

Well-known member
I took this photo on 8 January this year in Hong Kong. I'm interested in the gull in front, facing right.

The following might well be the same gull and was identified as a Slaty-backed Gull:

Do you agree that my photo shows a Slaty-backed Gull? Why or why not? Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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HouseCrow

Well-known member
I would think it is not a Slaty-backed (long slender bill). Is 2CY Mongolian Gull not a better option?
Mind I have only some Asian experience with Japanese Slaty's and Herring type gulls so not much of an expert opinion here.

cheers,
G
 

HouseCrow

Well-known member
I am not going to comment anymore on the ID of this bird. But I think it is wise here to reiterate the fact that many of the ebird-records are not verified.
What's more, I don't know if there is a way to see if a record is verified there. My Japanese records have been checked by the regional admins but I don't know how other regions are covered by that system. I often had the urge to suggest a correction but did not know how to do that.
I am not a frequent user yet so I may overlook something.
I'll better continue struggling with Japanese Slaty's at inaturalist where generally the clearer cases are posted.

cheers,
G
 

Butty

Well-known member
many of the ebird-records are not verified . . . I often had the urge to suggest a correction but did not know how to do that.
I sympathize. I've often found Macaulay photos (occasionally grossly) misidentified and there seems no way of reporting them with a view to reevaluation. Is there one? It's a pity just to leave them and thus to see the worth of citizen science dragged ever-further downwards.
 

johnallcock

Well-known member
If searching on eBird, there is a flag icon in the bottom right corner labelled "Report". In Macauley it is on the right side just below the photo. See attached examples.
If you click this the record will be marked as unconfirmed in eBird (which means it's not immediately visible on a photo search) and flagged for the local eBird reviewer. They can contact the observer to correct the ID. It's also useful to provide an explanation for why you think the bird is mis-IDed and/or what the ID should be.
 

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Butty

Well-known member
Yes, I'm aware of the 'Report' link - it's obvious - but, in the Macaulay Lib (I think it and eBird use the same pages?), it (apparently) doesn't do what you suggest it does.
When you click it, you get a heading 'What is the problem?' followed by - oddly - a single radio-button to select: 'Offensive or inappropriate content' - which suggests that it's purely for reporting porn and spam. So who would waste their time giving explanation of a misidentification when one's efforts are just going to be glanced at and promptly binned by someone whose job is merely to delete spam? Not me.

If you click this the record will be marked as unconfirmed in eBird (which means it's not immediately visible on a photo search) and flagged for the local eBird reviewer. They can contact the observer to correct the ID. It's also useful to provide an explanation for why you think the bird is mis-IDed and/or what the ID should be.
Have you got inside knowledge, thus that you know this happens? - or are you assuming/guessing it?
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
Yes, I'm aware of the 'Report' link - it's obvious - but, in the Macaulay Lib (I think it and eBird use the same pages?), it (apparently) doesn't do what you suggest it does.
When you click it, you get a heading 'What is the problem?' followed by - oddly - a single radio-button to select: 'Offensive or inappropriate content' - which suggests that it's purely for reporting porn and spam. So who would waste their time giving explanation of a misidentification when one's efforts are just going to be glanced at and promptly binned by someone whose job is merely to delete spam? Not me.


Have you got inside knowledge, thus that you know this happens? - or are you assuming/guessing it?
Butty, not sure why your interface gives only one "report" option. John's information is correct, including how the eBird review system treats it. I'm attaching a screenshot of what it looks like when I hit "report" (not that species is wrong in the case below!):

In some cases the "Wrong species" tag is there but faded and you can't click it: this means it's already marked unconfirmed in eBird.
 

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Butty

Well-known member
How odd! I don't see that longed-for 'Wrong species' radio-button at all, greyed-out or otherwise - whether the ID is right or wrong, whether the record is new or old, or with Edge or Firefox on Win 11 or Chrome on Android 11 (you can't say I haven't tried!).
Any idea why not? I am logged in - but do I have to be some higher-level-type eBirder to be accorded such privileges?!
Thanks for taking this irksome mystery a little further in any case.
 

Indobirder

Well-known member
How odd! I don't see that longed-for 'Wrong species' radio-button at all, greyed-out or otherwise - whether the ID is right or wrong, whether the record is new or old, or with Edge or Firefox on Win 11 or Chrome on Android 11 (you can't say I haven't tried!).
Any idea why not? I am logged in - but do I have to be some higher-level-type eBirder to be accorded such privileges?!
Thanks for taking this irksome mystery a little further in any case.
Works fine for me on desktop or mobile.
I doubt that I have "higher-level" powers!
Very odd...
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
I signed in to Macaulay, and did a search for Slaty-backed Gull which seems to lead to a photo Gallery in eBird (I made sure I was signed in there, too). I selected one of the photos at random, and tried the 'Report' button. I got the same result as Butty reports. I tried the same with Vega Gull just to check and got the same thing. (Firefox on a desktop Mac.)

Screen Shot 2022-01-26 at 26 Jan  4.02.17 PM.jpg
 
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MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Per the FAQ on eBird you must have input 100 checklists in the previous year to be able to flag incorrectly identified photos,
Ah! That makes sense. I don't use eBIrd at all, but it comes with the 'Birds of the World' subscription.

Although that's almost one list every three days over the preceding year, which surely means there aren't all that many qualified to do this flagging?
 

bhutjoe

Registered User
Supporter
I believe eBird encourages one to NOT have lists that are over one hour or over a certain distance. So 4 or 5 hours of birding is potentially 4 or 5 lists. I suspect most people on here would not find it difficult in that case to have over a 100 lists per year.
steve
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
What a bizarre and onerous restriction - definitely lets me out! But thanks for running that down 👍🏻
Don't get me started. A real problem is that (since it's staffed by volunteers afaik), it's difficult to connect with Cornell and almost impossible to get changes implemented.

I'm told by an ebird reviewer that the only way to flag lists (rather than photos) is to raise a ticket. Of about 5 tickets, I think I've had 1 reply...
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Err...the ID that earlytorise requested seems to have been lost in the noise.

We have Lou who says it's a 1st cycle Slaty and is the same individual as a linked Macaulay photo. But after Lou's post, smiths says that it, and the Macaulay photo, don't show any Slaty to him, but without giving any reasons or an alternative ID. And HouseCrow also questioned Slaty, and suggested 2cy Mongolian.

To me the bird looks fine for Lou's ID of 1st cycle Slaty. However, I'm not a guller, and would never offer a confident ID like this off my own bat, even though I live (far from the sea) in a country where they are common - but it looks absolutely like the first winter illustration in 'Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America'.

I expect earlytorise would be grateful if those who have already posted, or others with expertise were to try to firm up the ID. I'd be interested too, just as an observer.
 

HouseCrow

Well-known member
Thanks for the extra information! Very useful. It makes ebird even more inaccessible in my view. I will give it another go with the rest of my Japan records sometime this year but these ebird-hurdles make it a pretty tough companion (in comparison with observado.org and inaturalist).

On topic: I did not mean to deflect from the original subject. It was intended to point out that an ebird-ID is not a definite ID.
As far as this bird is concerned, I have not so much experience with these in real life. I thought it a bit slender and long-billed but if Lou says it is ok...I am inclined to think he is right. I added a like to his post to indicate that I gave in (subtle maybe but I think it is a good practical use of the like button in birdforum).

After that I felt unqualified to add further comments. I had better stick to peer reviewing adult and big and lumpy juvenile gulls at Inaturalist.

cheers
Gerben
 
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lou salomon

the birdonist
guys, although i was pretty surprised by peter's (smiths) post, i'd suggest you to trust him more than me, he has seen loads of all those taxa, possesses a large pic collection of far eastern gulls and has written the new gull ID book, so, while it would have been nice to give an ID and a few points as why it is so (i confess i hadn't too), instead of saying there's no Slaty-backed in the pics, I'm pretty sure he meant that all large gulls visible in the OP are Mongolian types, including the 1st cycle in question.
 
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