Date: 4/1/17 9:46 am From: Wayne Weber <contopus...> Subject: [obol] Lump Larids?
Roy Gerig’s reference to the famous Mary Ann Sohlstrom slogan, “Lump larids”, reminds me of a baseball cap that I owned for many years, and which I bought somewhere in Oregon. It was a blue cap with a large white splat on the crown, and a large “I hate seagulls” across the front. I used to wear it frequently as a joke, and as a mild rebuke to a couple of friends who seemed to feel that every single gull should be and could be identified down to species, hybrid type, age category, or whatever. I refer to such people, and there are a few of them everywhere, as “gull ID junkies”. Although I do spent a lot of time trying to identify oddball gulls, I will admit that there are at least a few individuals which cannot be certainly and safely identified, and I not infrequently use “gull sp.” or “Larus sp.” in eBird checklists.
Alas, my seagull hat disappeared long ago. If anyone finds one for sale, please let me know— I’d love to buy another one!
The recent discussion about Thayer’s Gulls, Olympic Gulls, etc. has been useful, and serves as a reminder that we all need to be careful in identifying gulls, especially the large Larus gulls. No other group of birds in North America seems to be so prone to hybridization, variability in moult, bleaching of plumage, and other factors that make them tricky to identify. Everybody have fun with gulls, but don’t start tearing your hair out if you find one that you can’t identify!
Wayne C. Weber
From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Roy Gerig
Sent: March-31-17 9:28 AM
Subject: [obol] Re: obol
I thoroughly enjoy reading obol almost every morning. While white-headed pink-footed gulls should mostly all be lumped, to quote Sohlstrom, and odd geese and ducks should mostly all be considered domestic, I enjoy reading the various points of view that are here. I like how different people think and write different, and we all like birds a lot. It makes it fun to see a face in the field who you never met in person, but you know the person already. I like e-bird and I participate there too, it serves a different purpose, and you don't get the humanity there that you do from obol. For those who worry that we are sometimes unkind on here, have you seen facebook the past year or more? Of course you have. With temporary unintentional lapses sometimes, we do a pretty good job of being kind on obol.
When it is said and done, kindness may be the important thing, and every bird has its feathers