MODEL SPECIES COMMENTS
Richard Bledsoe - Thursday, December 12, 2002 at 08:21:45 (PST)
Phil, thanks for putting me back in the swim re long emails. My system can take the Yellow Warbler amount of Bytes.
I have a query re the YW's name, and particularly were a latin class/scholar to study the birds'biologic name in the the forthcoming atlas. In Medicine, "petechia(e)", means a round spot of a reddish purple color. I have checked a Latin dictionary at UCSD without any further explanation , and my Jaeger nor Academic press dictionaries don't help. I have not looked back beyond Grinnell, to earlier papers where the explanation might be. I see that the "golden warbler" and one subspecies of the Yellow Warbler were once considered to be in the "petechiae group". Do you have a quick way of checking that petechia could be reddish brown streaking as well as spots. The tail spots are ? yellow not reddish, so I assume the name refers to the chest streaks in some way. This seems of interest and I am not usually pedantic, even when a bit jet lagged. Regards David S.
David Seay - Monday, April 29, 2002 at 16:56:58 (PDT)
I think it's great! Being very visually oriented, I like having as many photos as possible, in addition to the map and the graph. (I especially like the ability to click and make the map larger on the web site version!) Keep up the good work.
Anna Gateley-Stanton - Saturday, April 27, 2002 at 09:09:09 (PDT)
I like two photos on each bird. These should show typical local variation. Especially if this form causes I.D. trouble in other regions. A dull form, female or immature, should be represented; not just "eye catchers." The female photo was a great choice because the prettiness was satisfied by the flower while still showing the other half of the population. Please don't show two male Western Tanagers.
The I.D. section should be sure to stress the peculiarities of our local populations. This should include unique calls or behaviors too. The last line in the green I.D. section is what I'm getting at.
I like your reference to the observers when mentioning a sight or location record.
I like the chart showing nest building, etc. I would put the key on the inside rear cover for easy reference. Maybe a county map with roads and lakes too.
On the breeding map the Breeding Possible Legend shows lines tilted to the right. The map shows this to the left except for J-ll.
This is going to be a fine important book. I am really looking forward to it. Congratulations.
James O. Zimmer - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 14:51:43 (PDT)
Include diagram of bird showing all body parts and feather types referenced in descriptions.
Include map showing locations of geographic features and place names referenced in text.
Steve Cameron - Friday, April 26, 2002 at 13:49:43 (PDT)
The model species account is beautiful and the information is wonderfully laid out and highlighted. The quality is outstanding and beyond anything I could have imagined. I don't see how it will all fit into 1 book, but I'd hate to see anything removed. Though suggestions for reduction would probably be more helpful, I could only come up with a few ideas, mostly additive:
1) On the map, I like the diagonal lines and cross-hatching for breeding status. For possible breeding, the print version key might mislead the casual reader into thinking the white squares mean possible breeding. The computer version key makes this more clear (though it reads "probable" instead of "possible" and the numbers don't match the print version). Perhaps another solution is to have left diagonal lines for possible, right diagonal lines for probable, and both for confirmed. This would allow adding the abundance colors for presumed migrants squares, but would still clearly distinguish breeding status.
2) I see the need for using different abundance scales for different species, yet it would be very nice to be able to visually compare maps between species and get a clear comparison of abundance. Would it be possible to have a spectrum of several shades that can be shared for all species?
3) Representing abundance as a rate is easy to calculate, yet it doesn't take into account biases in habitat type surveyed, or focused surveys for particular species. It seems it would be ideal (though perhaps too difficult or time-consuming?) to instead estimate abundance for the entire square taking into consideration habitat types and proportions surveyed. Either way, adjustments should be made for detectability (for example, if most of the total for a species is singing males, an increase needs to be made for the elusive females).
4) The heading "conservation" could be changed to "status" or other more general term since it includes relevant comparisons to historical data, and conservation status (if any). The actual status for the Yellow Warbler should be included here (though it is mentioned in the introduction).
5) If description and identification is included, then at least a very brief and general mention of behavior, diet, and vocalization should be slipped in too, at least when notable. Perhaps this could be in the introduction, or if the identification section is reduced, combined with that.
Lori Hargrove - Sunday, April 21, 2002 at 23:28:31 (PDT)
The model is excellent. I only regret that the 3-page spread will probably need to be reduced to 2 pages in the paper copy. Certainly the emphasis on which things to include must focus on the atlas data itself. Not surprisingly, some minor "fine-tuning" to make the product more user-friendly is desirable.
Putting breeding evidence in the form of a graph is a great idea (Ann Klovstad's suggestion). I thoroughly agree with Rich Breisch's suggestions for improving the graph. I also believe that the number of records in each category (NB, ON, etc.) should be listed (maybe to the right of the graph). It is not self-evident when graphing symbols overlap what the actual number of records is.
The map of winter distribution is at the bare minimum of usability in my opinion. I would like to see it at least one-third larger. The letters on the right side of this map appear to be somewhat offset from the squares, making the exact identification of a given square somewhat confusing. (Check out the southeastern square shown. Is it an "S" square or a "T" square? This problem might be eliminated with a larger format.)
The map indicating breeding status and population data would ideally be shown on two separate maps, an unlikely situation in the paper copy. If both must be shown on the same map, it could be argued that numbers of birds should be emphasized. For land-use planning and identification of potential reserves, knowing where a particular species is concentrated could be more important than knowing the exact breeding status.
Finally, regarding the "Good Sites for Seeing Yellow Warbler in San Diego County", I note a distinct South County bias, although the populations are concentrated in North County.
Kenneth Weaver - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 22:04:32 (PDT)
Great job. This sample hardcopy I reviewed is beautiful. I don't have many comments, but since I am in GIS I wanted to point out a few things on the mapping/graphs.
1. On the hardcopy, the legend symbol for 'probable breeding' did not match the symbol in the body of the map.
2. It would be a good idea to define the NB, ON, NE, etc on the nesting graph (I see this was done on the electronic version on the web).
Look forward to seeing the finished product.
Sue Carnevale - Monday, April 15, 2002 at 14:40:16 (PDT)
Great job in describing the Yellow Warbler. Here are items that I would consider changing:
1. On the breeding season map, breeding distribution is more important than number of birds per hour, but it is the number of birds per hour that jumps out because of the use of color. Use a color code for confirmed, probable, and possible. Use texture shading for birds per hour or maximum birds per day. Always use the same color scheme on all breeding maps. Pick a coloring/shading scheme that will photcopy in b&w well so that people can take a photocopy into the field.
2. On the breeding season map, what is meant by "Presumed migrants only"? Were birds seen in these squares but not during the normal testing period? Or were there no birds reported?
3. Nesting chart is a great idea. I do not see the purpose of using a different symbol on each line since each line represents a different type of confirmation. Using "x" or diamonds allows the viewer to see when the reports were made. Multiple squares bunched together hide that information.
4. Nesting chart needs vertical lines so that people can accurately determine the dates. Consider lines at start of month, or at start of month and 15th, or at start of month, 10th, and 20th. The dates on the nesting chart appear to be spaced at 20-day intervals which is not the way most people think.
5. Are you going to have similar charts for migratory species that are here only part of the year? These would use the codes that indicate the birds were present in S.D. county.
6. In the white space to the left of the breeding season map, consider also having a percentage of the squares of breeding confirmed, etc. This would be in addition to the number of squares.
7. The key to the breeding season map has hash marks for "breeding probable" going from lower left to upper right; however, the map has the hash marks going from upper left to lower right.
8. On winter distribution map, color could be used for bird counts. This is contrary to my comment about the breeding season map.
Rich Breisch - Friday, April 12, 2002 at 14:08:41 (PDT)
If there is a choice between photos and species description, I'm voting in favor of keeping the beautiful photos.
My suggestions are:
Under the heading "Nesting:"(change to, beginning with third sentence) "Our observers estimated the two nests were about 23 and 35 feet above ground--well above the average height reported by studies elsewhere (Lowther et. al. 1999)."
Next paragraph: "Our dates of breeding activity are consistent with dates of eggs collected, etc." This is confusing to me. Were there 20 nests with eggs collected 3 May-10 June 1903-1931? Also are the words "reported 20 June" necessary and how do they fit in?
Finally under the heading "Conservation:" Sentence that begins: "In 1984, I called the species, etc." My suggestion is to break the sentence up something like: "In 1984, I listed the species "uncommon" as a summer resident. The most favorable localities now, however, reveal dozens in a day along a two- or three mile strip of river."
Paulette Ache - Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 17:39:33 (PDT)
Many thanks to Debbie Walden and Dale Clark for their effort in developing this Model Species Review on the website.
We are continuing to work on the appearance of the nesting graph to find just the right mix of symbols and colors for both the printed and electronic versions of the bird atlas.
Ann Klovstad - Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 08:17:20 (PST)