What is the value of an ebird Hotspot?

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:53 am

What is the value of an ebird Hotspot?

Postby Jake » Wed Jul 20, 2022 2:05 pm

I've been weighing up the worth of my ebird submissions, particularly ones that are at ebird Hotspots. Starting to realise that Hotspots are possibly more problematic than helpful. What does everyone else think?

Hotspots serve the listers that submit to them (and are familiar with the area) but that seems like the extent. I'm 100% guilty of this too

I'm a very big fan of the "<<Hotspot Name>> (Please consider using a more precise location)" tactic that is used in other territories. Picton and Renwick are two Hotspots that deserve this treatment imo
User avatar
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:26 pm
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Re: What is the value of an ebird Hotspot?

Postby Samsperdy » Wed Jul 20, 2022 7:52 pm

Thats a good point. I’ve had a few times myself when I have found myself wondering where a specific bird may be, if it was submitted onto a hotspot with a large general location.
It would also be good to clarify rules around hotspots eg: no submitting captive birds.
What about lists that are in two spots? I find that sometimes I travel/pass through different hotspots and end up having to decide which is the one I spent more time in.
Overall I think hotspots are incredibly useful but they might need some more clarification.
User avatar
Oscar Thomas
Posts: 721
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:15 pm
Location: Dunedin

Re: What is the value of an ebird Hotspot?

Postby Oscar Thomas » Wed Jul 20, 2022 9:05 pm

EBird has rules about not submitting captive birds period. See more here: https://support.ebird.org/en/support/so ... onotreport
The values of hotspots are when you keep to the specific area that they represent, as their main purpose is to indicate areas that are good for birding, which can be hard to work out if you are visiting an unfamiliar area. With Picton for example if I were birding around the township I would probably submit the checklist to the hotspot - If I were birding in the wider area, I would make lots of little personal checklists. More information about hotspots can also be found on the eBird help page: https://support.ebird.org/en/support/so ... tspot-faqs
User avatar
Posts: 1148
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Re: What is the value of an ebird Hotspot?

Postby RussCannings » Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:19 am

To Sam's second question, if you are visiting multiple locations you should make multiple checklists (regardless of hotspot use). Putting colkated roadtrip lists or day lists on ebirds serves only the single user and can be a headache for reviewers.

I also like hotspots for tracking species diversity and abundance for particular places. For a place like Miranda it can be fun to play with seasonal bar charts or compare the shellbabks hide to the stilt pools etc. It can also show you gaps in data (ie weeks of the year with no checklists).

Remember, you can always suggest hotspots if you think somewhere warrants it. Best to avoid the real general ones if at all possible (and for atlassing, personal locations as even better in most cases).


Return to “General Birding Discussion”