At times many birders go to see a rare bird that has been found in Ohio and they want to report the observation to eBird. Instead of creating dozens of separate locations to represent these observations, eBird recommends suggesting a stakeout hotspot. A stakeout should be clearly labeled using the format below. Note the lack of capitalization in the word “stakeout”, which will bring it to the end of the location lists in eBird. This allows users to clearly understand that these sites are not traditional hotspots, but that they still provide the advantages of aggregating observations from a single site. eBird recommends this practice for any and all widely twitched rarities.
stakeout [Species Name], [Location] ([Year])
stakeout Western Tanager, Attitash Ave., Merrimac (2008)
stakeout Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Talcottville (2012)
If spanning multiple years, you can use “(2011-2012)”
Not all rare bird sightings are appropriate for stakeout hotspots. If the bird is seen at an existing hotspot, please use the existing hotspot. Many times a rare bird does not stay at one location for any length of time and there is no reason to set up a stakeout in this case. Sightings of rare birds which are candidates for review by the Ohio Bird Records Committee and which stay at a location are good choices for stakeout hotspots. If you are unsure, please suggest a stakeout hotspot and eBird reviewers will consult about it.
If you report a notable or rare bird on a checklist, please make a comment. eBird will alert you when an observation you are submitting in a checklist is an unusual sighting and ask you to add a comment describing your observation. Often observations are flagged because the report is “out of season,” when the bird is not normally observed in Ohio, or the observation represents an unusually high count for the date. Your comment will help the reviewer to determine if your sighting can be verified. You may get an email asking for more information. There is a help article from eBird on Reporting Rarities.
There are no active stakeout hotspots in Ohio at this time.