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[Solved] Conflict between Basic Trip and Life List report

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(@magmatic)
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There is a discrepancy between a life list for a single day and a basic trip report for a day. The former says 58. The latter says 59.

To confuse things, there are 5 spuh/slashes. I discovered that some of them were not life-list-disabled, but should have been. I corrected that. But it made no difference (strangely).

In any case, they do not show on the life list (as intended) but do show on the trip report (as intended.)

And yet, the trip report still reports 59 species, 64 forms (59 + 5). It also says 61 forms. I don't know what that means.

The location for the life list is ABA Area. The selection for the trip report is by date, not trip.

I will send the reports by email.

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Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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On second thought. How does it know to count something as a species? Even if it's life-list-disabled? It must be if it has a specific epithet in the taxonomy. I have just added Muscovy Duck (Domestic Type), which fits that bill (ha).

Is that the trick? I suppose it should be treated as a subspecies.

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Jeff
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 Jeff
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Hi David,

Thanks for posting. And thanks for sending along the reports and the details that you provide above. It sure makes attempting to resolve your questions much easier.

What counts as a species?

You are correct. If it has a specific epithet (a non-empty value for the species field, but an empty value for the subspecies field), then it is a species. Even if that epithet contains a slash (aaa/bbb) or a hybrid (aaaXbbb).

What counts as a Lifer?

The first countable sighting of a species. This sighting could be at the subspecies level (e.g. Sethophaga coronata auduboni) or at the species level (e.g. Sethophaga coronata); the first sighting of either is your lifer sighting of a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

But, what is a countable Sighting?

  • Setting a Thing in a tax list as "Not Countable" removes any Sighting of that Thing from Life List consideration. This is done, as you know, from the Taxonomy Viewer Add/Edit functions.
  • Checking a User-defined Field (UDF) on a Sighting that has its "Life List Disabler" property set. This removes just this Sighting of this Thing from Life List consideration.

How can you tell if a Sighting has either of these set?

View/Edit Sightings Grid. Enabling the display of these two options will show the value for each Sighting in the Grid.

image

Your other questions...

Posted by: @magmatic

I have just added Muscovy Duck (Domestic Type), ... I suppose it should be treated as a subspecies.

No, I would check this Thing as "Not Countable" (any sighting of this Thing doesn't count towards a life list). Now, how might you classify this? I choose "Cairina moschataXdomesticus"; just made it up. But now I can assign all such Sightings to this Thing and they are not counted to my life list.

Posted by: @magmatic

And yet, the trip report still reports 59 species, 64 forms (59 + 5). It also says 61 forms. I don't know what that means.

Your Trip report header says...

image

Which is correct. 59 Species, 61 Forms. You have "Buteo sp." and "swallow sp.", which bring the total number of Forms to 61. A Form is any rank. You can have a Family spuh, Genus spuh, subspecies, etc. They are each a different form in addition to full species.

Your Life List report header says 58 species, 58 forms. This is also correct.

Let me know if I missed anything and hopefully this clears up the questions.

I literally have to go check on the code sometimes in this are just to make sure what each setting does and how. So you are not alone. But I think it makes sense.

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"duck sp." has Not Countable checked in the taxonomy viewer.

And yet when I display a sightings grid, a sighting for that thing has Countable checked.

How can that be? In fact, all of the spuhs and slashes I have on this particular day show Countable, even though in the tax viewer, they have Not Countable checked. I do not understand that.

(It is confusing when something can be life-list-disabled and Countable at the same time. That is the case with my sighting of Muscovy Duck (Domestic type).)

I also do not understand how you can say the life list with 58 species and the trip report with 59 species are both correct. I believe 58 is the correct number. I suspect Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) is the problem.

Somehow, I need to make Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) truly not counted as a species even though it has a species epithet in the taxonomy and even though it has Not Countable checked. Something is not working.

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Jeff
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 Jeff
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GACK!!! The "Countable?" column header should read "Not Countable?". Please treat that as "Not Countable?"; I will correct in a future release. That should now make more sense.

Posted by: @magmatic

(It is confusing when something can be life-list-disabled and Countable at the same time. That is the case with my sighting of Muscovy Duck (Domestic type).)

Hopefully, based on the explanation above. This makes sense. Keep these points in mind.

  • When adding a Sighting for a Thing with "Not Countable" set, both the "LLD?" and the "Countable?" flags get set on that Sighting.
  • When adding a Sighting for a Thing where "Not Countable" is NOT set, but you check a UDF with LLD set, the "Countable?" flag is NOT set, but the "LLD" flag is set on that Sighting.

This example below demonstrates that. Note: the Dead UDF has the LLD flag set.

image

Now, what happens when I edit each of these records and change the Dead UDF field (if it was checked, uncheck; and vice versa)?

image

As expected.

Posted by: @magmatic

I also do not understand how you can say the life list with 58 species and the trip report with 59 species are both correct. I believe 58 is the correct number. I suspect Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) is the problem.

A Life List report will NOT count species with the "LLD" or "Not Countable" set. So 58 is the correct number of species.

The Trip report includes all sightings regardless of those flags. And in that list of sightings there are 59 unique Genus+Species (where species is non-null) rows.

Posted by: @magmatic

Somehow, I need to make Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) truly not counted as a species even though it has a species epithet in the taxonomy and even though it has Not Countable checked. Something is not working.

This is working as expected for me. You have "Muscovy Duck (Domestic Type)" set as "Not Countable". So, it does not show up on the Life List report. But it does show on the Trip report. 

How have you classified the Thing? You certainly could make him a subspecies of the Muscovy Duck - something like "C. moschata domesticus". Then it will not count as an additional species on the Trip report. Is that what you are after? It all depends on how you classify this Thing. But I think that the reports are correct.

Let me know. 

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Jeff
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FYI: I have changed "Countable?" to "Not Countable" in v6.2.

image
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Jeff
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Correction. Changed as shown below.

image
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Topic starter
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Boy, it's complicated. You just have to know that a trip report counts a not  countable species as a species.

Birder's Diary doesn't inherently know not to count Muscovy Duck (the wild species) UNLESS perhaps it was seen in south Florida. You have to have a special life list disabled UDF for that (which I have now created.)

As for the trip report, I'll just live with it, now knowing why there is a discrepancy.

 

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Jeff
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 Jeff
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Hi David,

Posted by: @magmatic

Boy, it's complicated. You just have to know that a trip report counts a not  countable species as a species.

Agreed.

But, if you phrase it as "a trip report counts all sightings, regardless of LLD/NC", then it makes sense. 

Whereas, a Life List report counts only those Sightings/Things that do not have the LLD/NC flags set.

This is precisely why these flags exist on both the Sighting and the Thing objects.

The Sighting has the LLD flag (this sighting not countable); the Thing has the NC  flag (this Thing is never countable on a Life List).

A Sightings report (Sighting Tab in the Report Designer) functions the same as the Trip report. It reports on Sightings regardless of LLD/NC flag settings.

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Jeff
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 Jeff
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It might also help to clarify the definitions of a Sighting and a Thing as used in Birder's Diary.

THING

A physical Thing that is named, classified and sorted by a taxonomy. For example, a Muscovy Duck may be classified as Genus1 species1 in one taxonomic list, but as Genus2 species1 in another taxonomic list. Both taxonomic lists are referring to the same Thing. In BD, a Thing is any node in the tree in the Taxonomy Viewer. A spuh, slash, hybrid, species, subspecies, etc.

SIGHTING

A sighting is a record in the database that ties a Thing to a Location, Date/Time, Observer, and Counts; and optionally a Trip, UDF values, comments; and anything else I have forgotten.

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Topic starter
(@magmatic)
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Let's make a distinction between displays on a report and counts on a report. I don't object to non-counted things displaying on the trip report. But it said: Species 59 in the header. That count did not agree with the list list report.

That is confusing. I think the trip report should take the life list disabled flag into account for purposes of showing the count of species in the header.

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Jeff
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 Jeff
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Hi David,

Good points. Let's think about this and what the right thing to do is.

On the Trip report, it lists all Sightings regardless of LLD/NC setting. Out of all those Sightings (some may be duplicates, e.g. 4 sightings of a Blue Jay), it lists 59 species. This count is correct. 59 species were recorded by you, and are included on this report. So a count of 59 species is correct.

On the Life List report, it lists only those Sightings without the LLD set, and only those Things without the NC set. In this case, I believe that it only omits your Muscovy Duck sighting/Thing (and the SPUHs on your Trip report, which would not count as species anyway). So, this report lists 58 species. The count states 58 species. So, it seems to me that a count of 58 Lifer species is correct.

The reports are merely counting the number of species present in each report and it seems that those numbers are accurately depicting the count of species on each.

It seems to me that reflecting the actual number of Species occurring on each report is what should be shown in the header. Doing otherwise seems misleading.

We might disagree on what should be shown on the different report types, but the species count seems to be doing what I would expect. 

Let me know. 

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