International Areas of Interest

We designated International Areas of Interest (AOI) for 2015 based on the flock size reported at each location in 2014. We used percentiles to prioritize each Area of Interest. Flock size percentile indicates what percentage of observations submitted contained observation counts smaller than the flock in question.

PercentileFlock SizePriority to Visit in 2015
99175+1- Highest
9548+2- High
9025+3- Medium

We also wanted to include a temporal element in our prioritization, so that if large flocks were detected at the same area on different days, the priority of the area would increase. If multiple checklists were submitted detecting 25+ Rusty Blackbirds at an area on different days, that area’s priority becomes 1- Highest.

Based on 2014 data, we identified 205 Priority 1 AOIs, 207 Priority 2 AOIs, and 342 Priority 3 AOIs.

Local Areas of Interest

For states/provinces that did not have at least 10 unique international AOIs, we added local AOIs by selecting the largest flock sizes reported in that state/province until that region had a total of 10 international and local hotspots. Our cutoff for local AOIs was that a flock of at least 8 birds (75th percentile of all observations) must have been reported in 2014; because of this cutoff, some states/provinces were assigned fewer than 10 AOIs.

Using this method, we added an additional 94 Local Areas of Interest.

Have more questions about Areas of Interest? Check out our Areas of Interest- Frequently Asked Questions page.