Data Entry Frequently Asked Questions

Section 1. Accessing the data entry page
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Section 2. Personal information
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Section 3. Before you start entering data
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Section 4. Error messages
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Section 5. Entering data
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Section 6. Breeding Evidence Form
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Section 7. Point Count Form
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  • Why can I only select the months from May to July?

    The point counts should be done in the peak breeding season for the bulk of species. The acceptable dates are from June 1-30 throughout Manitoba. If you have point counts outside of these dates, but still from May or July, you can fill in the form anyway, but the data may not be used in some of the analyses when calculating abundance.

  • Why do I get a warning when I try entering the time of the point count.

    The point counts should be done anytime between dawn and 5 hours after dawn. To keep the program simple, it will only check if you entered a time that is after 5am but before 10am. If you did your point count outside of these values, you may wish to ignore the warning. This serves as a check to make sure you entered the value you intended, but also to remind you that the point counts should be done early in the morning.

  • I have moved the location of one of my designated point counts, but I cannot enter both the point number and the new coordinates. Why is that?

    You cannot modify the coordinates of a designated point. If you do your count at a different location, then it is no longer a designated point. Therefore, if you enter a new point number, the program will ask you if you accept to reset the coordinates. These values will be filled automatically for you the next time you submit the form. Likewise, if you change the coordinates of a designated point count, the point number will be erased. Please note that you cannot use the Designated Point Number box to enter your own set of numbers.

  • In the "Coordinates" box, what does "GPS, Map and Web" mean?

    This is to indicate how you obtained your coordinates (from a GPS device, from reading a topo map, or by using a mapping tool on the Web.

  • How can I find the coordinates of my point count?

    The coordinates of the predefined point counts are displayed on the PDF maps, as well as on this page. If you completed your point count away from a designated point, we recommend that you either use a GPS or read the coordinates from the PDF maps (instructions are included in the Atlasser manual).

  • What does NAD83 and NAD27 mean?

    NAD83 and NAD27 indicate the "UTM projection", or the "Datum". UTM coordinates assume that the earth is flat within an area called a Zone. The calculation that allows to obtain UTM coordinates is different now (North American Datum 1983 or NAD83) than the one used during the first atlas (North American Datum 1927 or NAD27). If you are using a GPS, make sure to set your datum to NAD83. Please read your instruction manual if you are not sure how to do this. If you are using a topo map, the datum will be identified near one of the corners. Most maps in Manitoba are now NAD83, but there are still older maps with NAD27 available, especially in remote areas. If your coordinates are in NAD27, you can use the conversion tool to transform them into NAD83.

  • Where can I find the habitat codes?

    If you click on View or Modify Habitat Codes you will open a new window that allows you to enter your habitat codes simply by selecting the ones you want. First, you must select the habitat (1 or 2) that you wish to enter. Any value that had been entered previously will then be preselected for you. Be aware that any change that you do on that page will be inserted into your point count form as well! After you have selected the habitat number, you must select the habitat class from the drop down list. This will refresh the other tables on the page. You can select a subclass by simply clicking on it. You can also select multiple structure and modification (up to 5 for each). If you press the CTRL key on your keyboard while clicking on a structure or a modification, the ones already selected will remain highlighted. After you're finished, you may change the habitat number (your to the current habitat will be preserved), or close the window to return to the point count form.

  • If I know my habitat codes, can I enter them directly on the point count form?

    Yes, absolutely. Be aware however that if the habitat codes window is still opened, your changes will not be reflected there. We suggest that you close the codes window before entering habitat directly on the point count form.

  • Why are some species displayed with color comments?

    These colors are to indicate record that require a special attention from you. Rare species will be shown in red, including provinically rare species (marked with a ? or a ) and regionally rare species (?). Species in displayed in orange are species for which you entered a count that was higher than a threshold defined for your region. These thresholds have been based on actual point count data (Breeding Bird Surveys), and may have been modified by your Regional Coordinator. They simply indicate that the number you reported is higher than the maximum normally expected. You simply have to ensure that you entered the correct value without any typo. Click on any of the comments in color to find out what they mean.

  • How can I enter a species that is not listed on the form?

    You have two choices. 1) you can change the list of species that is displayed, to include all the species previously found in your region for example, or all breeding species of Manitoba. 2) you can also type in the 4-letter codes or select the species name from the drop down lists at the end of the page. Please read the instructions for more complete details about this.

  • Can I use the list of additional species to enter all my records?

    Yes. If you are copying data from field notes where you used 4-letter codes, you will probably find this approach faster than using the list of species. Please read the instructions for more complete details about this.

Section 8. Rare/Colonial Bird Form
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