Friday, April 03, 2009

A Little Link Love

No, really, I'm still here. But I have to say that being a grad student while holding down a job and serving on a BRC can definitely have its time management challenges (not that you need to get out the violins or anything). However, I noticed a couple of interesting posts this week and suspect they might be of interest to anyone reading this blog (assuming anyone is patient or forgiving enough to still be out there!).

1. For anyone curious about the daring, high-stakes, glamorous life of a New Jersey Birds regional editor, wait no longer. Patrick Belardo has written a great exposé on The Hawk Owl's Nest. Since Patrick is now Region 2 Editor, he is the lucky soul who will be receiving my local sightings. I guess I'd better get to work on learning my way around the eBird interface...

2. Just recently there was a discussion on the BRC listserv regarding photographic documentation and how it is swamping other sorts of documentation. I'm working on a blog series on this topic, but in the meantime, a software package was announced earlier this week that should gladden the heart of the most Old School BRC member (unless that BRC member is so Old School as to still demand a specimen).

and, as a Rutgers grad student...

3. I've got to give a shout-out to David La Puma and the Scarlet Knight Herons, who are doing the World Series of Birding this year to benefit the Rutgers University Graduate Student Association. Of course they have a blog.

2 comments:

Patrick Belardo said...

Thanks for the link. There's definitely some internal debate going on among the editors as to the true usefulness of eBird. There's concern over the validity of the records if the observer is known. My argument is that we have to use our editor's discretion and knowledge of the local birds. Obviously, if every record in eBird was reviewed, we'd be in good shape. But, it's not. So, in any event, if you do use eBird, you can just send me a note at the end of the season telling me that you used it. Then, you may want to include some notes about some key sightings I should look at.

Jennifer Hanson said...

Thanks for the comment, Patrick. It doesn't surprise me that eBird and its relationship to the regional reports is a matter of debate; this is probably going to be a moving target for a while. I tend to agree with you in terms of the editor's discretion argument; that's always been part of editing any kind of regional summary, long before eBird came along.

I definitely want to start using eBird, not only to enter my own sightings, but also to look up information in the database for my own curiosity, but every time I sit down to play with it, I realize it's going to take a while to learn my way around the interface and its terminology. So that will probably end up being postponed until the semester is over. And thanks for the advice about reporting, too.