Reporting Pelagic Bird Checklists to eBird
If you wish to report your bird sightings to eBird, there are eight eBird “hotspots” to receive reports, two for each county. Erie and Ottawa counties have additional hotspots near islands in the lake.
Cuyahoga County - For trips from the Cleveland area
Erie County - For trips from Vermilion, Huron, Sandusky, and Kelleys Island areas
Lorain County - For trips from the Lorain area
Ottawa County - For trips in the westernmost area of Lake Erie
Lake Erie Pelagic Season and eBird
A gentle reminder that eBird checklists generated on group outings in general, and Lake Erie boat trips specifically need to be coordinated. Reviewers cannot validate 10 separate sightings of the same bird all over a 50-square-mile area as has been the case in some reports. There are existing hotspots for near shore and open water. Littoral or near shore checklists should be those where you can still readily ID a shoreline bird to species. open water checklists are ideally reserved for a distance whereby shoreline birds are nothing more than spuhs … my personal experience is somewhere between 3 and 4 miles out but I leave that to the trip coordinator to decide. Ideally, it is up to your trip coordinator to organize this synchronous effort in the form of shared checklists. Finally, birds seen on shore (whether or not from in the boat) should not be entered on either nearshore or open water checklists. Reviewers cannot validate Northern Cardinals 20 miles out into Lake Erie unless the bird was actually on the boat 20 miles outbound. Ultimately, the decision as to what to place on your personal checklists is yours and yours alone. These remarks are only intended as guidance toward creating a more streamlined and meaningful data set within eBird.
On organized pelagic trips, the trip leader will submit bird checklists to eBird for the whole group. Give the trip leader your eBird email address and he or she will share the checklists with you, so they will also be in your personal records.
If you are leading a trip or boating on your own, please submit a separate checklist for each county and area. Please, count or estimate the number of birds of each species for each checklist.
“Littoral” refers to waters near to shore.
Content from Vic Fazio