[CT Birds] eBird vs. BBS

Chris Elphick elphick at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jun 5 18:03:31 EDT 2009

OK, so the subject line was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, because I agree with pretty much all all that has been said about all of the various ways for compiling birder data.  And I strongly urge people to enter their sightings into eBird.  But when it comes to detecting population trends, NONE of the alternatives comes close to being as good as the Breeding Bird Survey.  

Why?  Because it is the only survey which employs a truly standardized protocol.  Although some information can be gleaned from other surveys, when the data are not collected consistently, there are serious limits on the way it can be used, and there is much more uncertainty about what any apparent trends mean.

Given the number of exceptional birders in Connecticut, I've always been surprised that we cannot ensure that every BBS route is covered annually.  As I recall there are only 17 of them.

Chris Elphick

Storrs, CT

elphick at sbcglobal.net

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