[CT Birds] Rock Pigeon reporting on eBird

Sara Zagorski penguinsz at sbcglobal.net
Wed Oct 30 15:33:48 EDT 2013

I submit my bird sightings to eBird usually through the BirdLog app on my iphone, so I don't usually see the web version of eBird. I got a Rare Bird alert today from eBird on various sightings of Rock Pigeon. I thought that was strange, but found out via Greg Hanisek that eBird is in the process of distinguishing between Rock Pigeons according to their status in a particular part of the world. Here is what they say:

Changes will be happening over the next week with how eBird users  
report Rock Pigeons. Most checklists will now contain Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) as an option. Since eBird is a global system it needs to be 
consistent throughout the world. In the Old World, where Rock Pigeon is 
native, most observers draw distinctions between Feral Pigeons (city 
pigeons, typically with non-wild plumage phenotypes) and ‘wild type’ 
Rock Pigeons. The latter have become quite rare in many areas, so 
reporting them as “Rock Pigeon (Wild type)” is of interest. In most of 
the world, however, Rock Pigeons are derived from captive stock and 
should be reported as “Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)” to make this 
distinction. This includes all Rock Pigeons in the Americas, Australia, 
sub-Saharan Africa, many islands, and many other areas where Rock 
Pigeons are restricted to urban and agrarian areas and where Wild type 
Rock Pigeons do not occur.

There are two choices to make when using the eBird list, so chose the right one. Once the software on the eBird side is done, they will go back and correct sightings.

Just thought others might get the same alert and be puzzled by it.

Sara Zagorski

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