Date: 3/15/17 8:59 pm
From: Josh Emm <apistopanchax...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Re: Painted Bunting in Harford
The issue here wasn't a doubtfulness that the MD birding community would respect the bird. The issue wasn't that the homeowners would be mistreated. At first the grandmother - Charlotte - was unsure how well a big group of birders in her yard would go over with the neighbors. After seeing that we could behave, they wanted more people to come because they are a family of very kind hospitable people. The issue with a "mass release" to the birding community boiled down to logistics. There's enough parking for MAYBE 4 or 5 vehicles and enough standing room for about a dozen people. Anthony, if I had told you and everyone else from day 1, I was quite sure that they could easily become overrun and we would've quickly worn out our welcome. Instead, they've NEVER been overrun and we are still welcome to this day, a clear victory for the birding community.
You mentioned how the Reading Black-backed Oriole was done correctly. In that case, there was beyond ample parking since that was a huge neighborhood with driveways for the locals and a ton of street parking on Indiana Ave. for the visitors. The case here in Aberdeen is a tiny neighborhood with very limited street parking and although the locals do also have driveways, the neighbors don't want us parking in front of their homes. As has been said by many, and I think Bill Hubick said it best with his write up on MDOsprey, there are a million options that must be weighed. I could've opened it up to nobody and had people calling for my head because they wanted to see the bird and didn't or opened it to everyone and potentially had a catastrophe. I found middle ground and erred on the conservative side to respect the quiet neighborhood and many many people have still viewed the PABU. And in the end, as Fred Brown himself emailed out to this very list only a few hours ago, he's been grateful as to how I handled the situation. I spent plenty of my own time (hours) conversing with the family trying to come up with a release method that suited them; not only on that first day, but over the the weeks that followed. I wouldn't challenge anyone to try to do it better because I know how tough it is and there will always be dissenters. Nobody is entitled to see any particular bird, as many people who've chased and dipped can tell you, and that's even more true on private property where the homeowner has the final say as to whether they want visitors or not. Count your blessings that these folks have allowed us to see this bird! The first Harford County record for this species came to a private feeder where the homeowner didn't want any visitors at all...
Josh Emm

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 15, 2017, at 11:24 PM, Anthony V. <tonyvanschoor...> wrote:
>> On Monday, March 13, 2017 at 10:09:48 PM UTC-4, Josh Emm wrote:
>> All,
>> There's currently an adult male Painted Bunting coming to a feeder in Aberdeen, MD. The presence of this bird was originally slow release because of the super limited parking situation and the homeowner's uncertainty as to how many people would come see it. But because a certain (no names here) "birder" (term used lightly) decided to take it upon them self to put it all over Facebook, I figure now is as good a time as any to open it up to the whole list serv. If you're interested, please shoot me an email apistopanchax AT
>> Good birding
>> Josh Emm
>> HdG, MD
>> Sent from my iPhone
> Seems to me like someone dropped the ball and/or lacks the skills to be an ambassador to birding in this situation. I knocked on the door when I arrived and when the Grandmother answered she had a huge smile and said the bird was there right now. She asked me where everyone else was? Confused, I asked how many people were you expecting? She said she thought this bird was one that more people would love to enjoy as she has. When she asked me to tell as many as possible. It through up a red flag in my mind..Why would she say this? Has no one been listening? Are people selfish? Whose call is it anyway? If the homeowner wants to allow and accommodate with overwhelming hospitality to people with or without cameras. Who is it that steps up and funnels people to quite a sight? An ambassador would be prepared for such an event and have a list of rules/concerns to go public with keeping the homeowners, neighbors and bird and in mind. The folks in PA with the Black-backed Oriole did it right and everything went well. Why couldn't this happen in this case? The fence was already a great barrier. The bird had its favorite places to perch established and wasn't in a bad situation and was very well fed and healthy looking. It was a lifer for me and I was talking with the Grandmother for a half hour or the 45min I was there. Guess I just listen too well....I'm concerned that people are doing this for the wrong reason and good people become discouraged and find something else to do with their time.
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