eBird review process, an exercise in patience
For those of you who are frustrated enough to make comments in your observations about "why hasn't this been confirmed?" or who email an eBird reviewer asking the same question, please be patient. eBird reviewers, like you observers, are all volunteers, but unlike many observers we have full time jobs and young children. We also have a desire to go see birds in the flesh, not just live vicariously through your photos and descriptions. Further, due to frequent reports of rarities – not only multiple birds, but a dozen or more reports of the same individual by many observers – the list of records to review grows larger every day, especially in fall (currently 1558 records await review). That review list is sorted chronologically, with the most recent observations first, and with 25 records visible per page. If 50 reports come in on 25 September, your report from 21 September is going to be buried for a while. If you'd like to speed up the review process you can:
1) Write concise but definitive descriptions of birds when flagged, either due to rarity, or due to a high count. How did you reach that count? (Estimate, 1×1 count, estimated by 10s?) How did you identify the bird? What did it look like, what was it doing, what did it sound like, how were similar species eliminates? *Please* do not just write "in a tree" or "identified by leader" or "continuing NOT RARE" or write a paragraph describing ever circumstance *except* what the bird looked like. Most birds can be described in a single sentence or two. Please read over your descriptions before submitting, correct typos, etc. For more information on this, read: https://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/973980-reporting-rarities–elements-of-a-bird-description
2) When prompted for more details by a reviewer, add the requested details to the eBird checklist itself, and let the reviewer know you've done so. Providing the details in the email to the reviewer without editing the checklist leaves the record incomplete, and another reviewer is unable to assess the record in the future. By letting a reviewer know that you've added more details or a photo, you are providing them with the link to the checklist and streamlining their ability to confirm the record.
3) Provide photos if available. Photos aren't always necessary, but certainly help confirm the ID. If you mention that you have a photo, the record may not be confirmed until that photo is uploaded. Otherwise, there's a chance we confirm a record in error when the photo is either misidentified or simply dropped in the wrong species (this happens frequently).
4) Submit your checklists in a timely manner. Don't rush your descriptions, but if you wait a week or more to submit your list, it's going to fall deep into the queue and may take time to be confirmed.
5) Finally, don't worry! No slight is intended if your record is not confirmed immediately. I hope observers aren't perceiving it that way. I certainly don't lose sleep or self-esteem when my reports go out on the RBA without "confirmed" stamped on them. If the record is good, it will eventually be confirmed. If it's not obvious, we'll ask for more details.
Unfortunately, this email only reaches those local eBird users subscribed to this listserv, but doesn't get to visiting birders, or those who use eBird but are not subscribed here.
Thanks and happy fall birding,
Justyn Stahl and local eBird review team
San Clemente Island
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports