Macro trends? What??!!? Haha. I will get to that in a moment. It’s been a month since I last posted here. Sorry. In that month I drove from Colorado to Virginia for the Eastern Shore Birding Festival. I had a great time in Cape Charles, VA. I drove home to Ohio and worked for a week and then headed back south to North Carolina’s Outer Banks for the Wings Over Water Festival. It was a terrific week packed full of fun events and lots of birding. I worked last week and my schedule finally caught up with me. I was down a couple days with a cold. Ok. I still have a cold but I’m functional…sort of. When I finish this week I will drive to Massachusetts for Athol Bird and Nature Club meeting and some New England winter birds.
Have I forgotten about Panama in January? No. I have not. In fact, there are still several openings available. You should consider coming along with me (and Wildside Nature Tours) to the Tropics during January! More information can be found here: Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller, January 18-25, 2014.
What is this? This is from eBird data collected from 1900-2012 for all months and weeks of the year as of 2/22/2013. All the data is rolled up by State and Province. The geographical area covered is all the Lower 48 States, all the Canadian Provinces, and Alaska. The % of Checklists is the same as eBird’s Frequency of Checklists. It represents the number of positive checklists out of all the checklists submitted. The first number, 2.62% means that for the first week of November (1st-7th) 2.62% of all the checklists submitted to eBird recorded one or more sightings of Yellow Rail. Why is it listed here? Because this number is the BEST. It is the top ratio for Yellow Rail in North America. It is the best week out of 48 “eBird” weeks (4 per month) and the best State or Province (out of all 63). These data represent the PEAK or MAXIMUM of a species for North America. Here are the other weeks in November.
Do you see a lot of Texas for the second week of November? Yes. Yes you do. Why? Umm. Here you can see the powerful effect of a major birding festival, The Lower Rio Grande Birding Festival. Thanks to their coordinated efforts all their trips get loaded into eBird now. It represents a huge contribution to Citizen Science. And besides that, it is a terrifically fun festival!
One should note here that the % of Checklists measures sightings. There is no distinction between 1 Mangrove Swallow or 10,000 Sandhill Cranes–merely the equivalent of a check mark on a checklist. It measures more accurately how widespread a bird is at a specific time of year. Still, it represents some of the largest amount of data we’ve ever had for this many species.
I hope your curiosity is teased like it does mine. I love looking at these numbers and trying to make sense of them. Actually, I am impressed how many more questions I have by studying this data. More to come. Enjoy for now.