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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More Behind the Scenes at the GBBC #3

OK, for most people, the GBBC came and went back in mid February. But not for me! I've been getting lots of emails all through February, asking what ever happened to their lost bird record (it was still under review by a local reviewer), what can they do about the mistake they made on their report (enter a new one with the good info, and give us details on the bad info so we can delete it), etc.

But most of all, I've been scrounging up bird records. When the count period ended, we had 585 species reported. I've been contacting folks who were out birding in far-flung places to get reports of other birds seen during the GBBC period, and now we're at 623 species and counting! Its been great to connect with people who were out on boats off the coast of Alaska (somebody had to see Crested Auklets!) and on the mountains of Maui and Kauai (we got the first GBBC record of Maui Parrotbill, a gravely endangered native Hawaiian species--along with a half dozen other native Hawaiian birds).

I'm wrapping up my GBBC efforts here this week. Still hoping to dredge up reports of a few more species (somebody had to have seen a Yellow-billed Loon or a Northern Fulmar!), but mostly just editing people's mistakes and doing some last report reviewing. Lots of much fun that its hard to see another one come and go already! But, we're already making plans for next year and next month I'm heading up to Cornell for a meeting to start planning the 2007 GBBC.

Most states did fairly well this year, averaging (mean) 82% of the species listed on their February eBird checklists (with a mode of 88% and a median of 86%). So, congratulations to everyone who submitted sightings, giving us a new all time species high, a new total birds counted high, and many more checklists submitted this year than last year. It was a great success, hopefully setting the stage for an even bigger showing next year!

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