www.dvoc.org > WSB > 2010 Scouting Notes

2010 World Series of Birding Scouting Notes

This year, in a change from the past, the Nikon/ DVOC team, in cooperation with Cornell's Team Sapsucker, is encouraging all teams to use eBird (www.eBird.org) for the sharing of World Series of Birding scouting information.

For information about this WSB Scouting Initiative contact Bert Filemyr at
For information about eBird contact Brian Sullivan at

Update from Ian Lynch (Wicked Witchities on Monday May 11
Here is a template for mass sights input and upload. Ian hopes that many folks can utilize it.

Ian writes "The idea is to just add the number of birds seen in that column on the correct row then sort on the number column, copy the rows with recods and use that to upload to eBird. Assuming that the link I shared to Google Docs works the anyone should be able to edit the template there. Most of the locations still need coordinates (I only had them for the southern sites I scouted last year). Also there will be more species to add thus more rows to add."
Click Here for xls file
Click Here for Google Docs File

Update from eBird on Friday May 7
This link will take you directly to eBird bar charts for May in NJ. If you click a species you'll get a map of points, which you can then click on to get more info.
Click Here

Update from eBird on Thursday May 6
eBird's WSB "Money Birds
Web Page
Sorted taxonomically: http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN10508&sortBy=taxon
Sorted by date: http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN10508&sortBy=obsDt

RSS Feed
Sorted taxonomically: http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN10508&sortBy=taxon&fmt=rss
Sorted by date: http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN10508&sortBy=obsDt&fmt=rss

Important Information for 2010
The sharing of scouting information has taken a huge leap forward in the past decade or so. Teams now understand that a rising tide floats all boats, and any help they give or receive is reflected in the bottom line of fund raising. Additionally, it helps level the playing field for those teams that cannot dedicate an entire week to scouting. In particular, it has provided a tremendous boost to the totals of the youth teams, whose school obligations limit their scouting ability.
In the past three years teams have sent scouting information to the DVOC team and they have posted the information on this website.

While on the whole this procedure has been very successful it has had problems. These "problems" are:

1. The reports come in during scout week and need to be processed and posted as quickly as possible. While most of the submissions are in formats that can be quickly transferred to the website, some submissions require considerable interpretation. There is never enough time to scout during the week before the event and that is the time that requires the most work on the scouting notes.
2. Some teams have never participated in this initiative. Furthermore there are probably some teams that take scouting information and never contribute to the scouting reports.
3. All the scouting efforts are not archived in a way that provides a clear historical record.

In an effort to address these problems, all teams (state wide, limited geographic area, youth, etc.) are encouraged and requested to use eBird for WSB scouting.
It will be relatively easy to do this. The tools are already there to submit and manage the data, teams just have to put in their data on a daily basis.

Here is how to do it.

1. Each team needs to create an eBird account. Just go to eBird and register your team as a new user. On the first registration screen you will choose a user name and a password. This is what is used to login to enter data. On the next page you will enter a "First Name" and a "Last Name" for your team. For instance Cornell's team's "First Name" is "Cornell" and their "Last Name" is "Sapsuckers". Thus their sightings appear as being by "Cornell Sapsuckers". In the same way the "First Name" for the DVOC team is "Nikon/DVOC" and their "Last Name" is "Lagerhead Shrikes" Thus their sights appear as being by "Nikon/DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes". In the registration process you will need to enter an e-mail address for the team. The address of the team captain is recommended.

2. As you do your scouting, enter your sightings and locations. All team members can use the same account. It is important to be specific about where you saw individual birds, and checklists from discreet locations like “Riverwinds” really help teams find birds. The basic method team members will probably use is to write down sightings while scouting and then do data entry time at day's end.

An easy way to transcribe a day’s scouting is to use the eBird bulk upload tools. You can enter your birds onto an excel spreadsheet, and then upload the data each night. Click Here for an example scouting day from one of the Sapsuckers. You can learn more about uploading data here (http://ebird.org/content/ebird/about/using-the-ebird-data-import-tool). While it might seem like a lot of extra work at first, this method really streamlines data entry, and gets all your observations out there for public consumption, and also for the scientific record.

3. Review what other teams are seeing at various locations by:

a. Reviewing all sightings using eBird. For example, if you’re looking for Bufflehead, you can use the “View and Explore Data” tools to pull up a map with recent observations. You can click on the markers to find out details. Click Here for an example:
b. Checking Jack Siler's eBird Rarity Map. This map shows recent sightings of rare birds in New Jersey.
c. Checking the New Jersey Rare Bird Google Gadget below for significant sightings. All observations of rare or noteworthy birds from the past week will be available here along with details about when, where and by whom the observation was made (not to mention a link to maps with driving directions).
d. Checking the EBird's WSB "Money Birds"
Sorted by date
Sorted taxonomically
e. Subscribing to the EBird's WSB "Money Birds" RSS Feeds
Sorted by date
Sorted taxonomically
f. Checking bar charts for birds reported in NJ in the past 30 days Click Here

Recent Rarity Sightings - New Jersey

If the eBird Google Gadget is not displaying properly in the space below, you will need to turn off your pop-up blocker or, adjust your settings to allow pop-ups for this website.


The Official World Series of Birding Website

The Official World Series of Birding Forum

2009 Scouting Notes
2008 Scouting Notes
2007 Scouting Notes
2006 Scouting Notes

eBird New Jersey Google Gadget at birdcapemay.org

These teams and individuals contributed information for the
2009 WSB Scouting

Nikon / DVOC Lagerhead Shrikes
1000 Birds
Wicked Witchities
Scarlet Knight Herons
The Loons
Swarovski / Cornell Sapsuckers
Trail Birds Team
The Sitting Ducks
NYSYBC Razorbills
Militia Hill Hawk Watch Gyrfalcons

Teams are reminded that if they find this information useful, they should share the information they have.