Date: 11/2/17 8:50 pm From: David Suddjian <dsuddjian...> Subject: Re: [cobirds] Foothills birds continue to push East
Bart and other CoBirders,
I apologize that my reply earlier seemed harsh. That was not my intent at
all. I only intended to make the distributional point. I am glad to read
about new yard birds and about patterns in our birds. I'm glad Bart posted
on his sightings.
Ken Caryl Valley
On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM, Matt Newport <mnewport...> wrote:
> Thanks Bart for the reminder that not all posts to Cobirds represent rare
> listings and that people responding to posts need to be mindful of how they
> respond. I hope the tone of my response here is respectful.
> I ask everyone reading Cobird reports to remember what it is like to be a
> new birder or an old hat. To put yourself out there can be scary. Hey, I
> have had a few big miss IDs over the years. I ate crow, but I learned. I
> once even posted
> a pretty crazy siting and got a lot of angry responses, stating there was
> no way I saw "that" bird. I did not file a rare bird report as a result.
> Funny thing is, an experienced birder reported the same bird, same
> location, a few days later and got praised for a wonderful siting.
> Looking at the ebirds report for Townsend's Solitaire, listings for
> October are few as we head out onto the plains. Of note is the one I just
> posted for 1 mile east of Quincy Res just last weekend in my yard. I had to
> my records to make sure my listing was not a first for my yard. My last
> recorded Townsend's was in 2013 as a yard bird for a total of two birds
> ever...so yes, this is a noteworthy siting.
> I have never recorded Pine Siskin in my yard with active feeders.
> Birding is fun. Keep it fun and help others learn. I still get excited
> every fall when 100+ grackles come into my pond to bath and make noise.
> Matt Newport
> Arapahoe County
> On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 11:53 AM, Bart Deferme <bdeferme...> wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> You dismissed my observations like a Sharp-shinned Hawk on a European
>> Starling. My post wasn't intended as a rare bird alert, nor did I submit it
>> as having any scientific relevance. Many people here have pointed out that
>> they had unexpected backyard visitors like Steller's Jays, Mountain
>> Chickadees or other species typically associated with the foothills at
>> their (sub)urban feeders. It was in that same vein that I commented on two
>> new yard birds. For what it's worth, it is a fact that I've never seen
>> either species in my neighborhood before. I can hear and identify most
>> residents at Quincy Reservoir from my house. We have junipers and other
>> berry bearing trees here. Never have I heard the song or the call of a
>> Solitaire here. Never before have I had a Pine Siskin at my (very active)
>> feeders. If someone in my neighborhood had posted these observations
>> instead of me, I would have been quite happy with them; it would have been
>> relevant to me.
>> When I look at the maps for Colorado for both species I reported, for all
>> years in October (see below), I see many records west of my location, as
>> expected. Between Quincy Reservoir and Kansas? A handful at best. Maybe I'm
>> misinterpreting the maps or maybe my observations are irrelevant? If so, I
>> won't lose any sleep over it because I am not a Cornell scientist. I'm just
>> a local birder who noticed - for me - exciting new birds, and whose
>> untrained eye sees that excitement reflected in the species maps.
>> As a citizen scientist, I submit my observations in eBird so that
>> professionals at Cornell can draw scientific conclusions from a large data
>> set. Our collective impression that foothills birds are moving east is a
>> fun but scientifically irrelevant hypothesis from local birders. I've
>> certainly enjoyed people's contributions to that conversation. As amateurs,
>> we're not equipped to draw conclusions about if and why species show
>> different patterns. Maybe it's weather. Maybe it's climate. Maybe it's
>> habitat changes. Maybe coincidence. It's not my job to explain it. All I
>> contribute are my observations. In my tiny slice of the eBird map of the
>> world, Townsend's Solitaire and Pine Siskin are not regular - especially
>> not in October.
>> As a side note: I spend my professional life as a digital user experience
>> consultant. In that capacity, I always caution clients that any digital
>> asset lives or dies by the contributions of its user community. I've
>> really enjoyed people's posts on COBirds, whether they were in-depth
>> technical posts from experts ("Why are there so many Painted Ladies"), rare
>> bird alerts ("Crested Caracara is still at First Creek"), or very casual,
>> anecdotal backyard observations with a personal touch ("Robins are drinking
>> at my bird bath all day long"). I love all of it. The latter may actually
>> be my favorite, because you can't find these stories elsewhere.
>> Birding has a steep learning curve, and is intimidating to many
>> beginners. My concern is that these less confident or less experienced
>> birders may see an administrator's swift and public dismissal of casual
>> observations like mine as intimidating, and will be more reluctant to
>> contribute to the forum - and that's really bad news for any digital
>> Bart Deferme
>> Arapahoe County
>> PS: I just had a new backyard visitor. It's a House Sparrow. It's
>> relevant to me because I'm surprised that such an abundant species has
>> never before made it to my feeders.
>> On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:26 AM, David Suddjian <dsuddjian...>
>>> The Solitaire is regular out East fall through winter, particularly
>>> where there are planted junipers or other trees or shrubs with berries. I
>>> think the Pine Siskin is regular, as well.
>>> David Suddjian
>>> Littleton, CO
>>> On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:05 AM, Bart Deferme <bdeferme...>
>>>> Two new yard birds here at Quincy Reservoir: Pine Siskin and Townsend's
>>>> Solitaire. Nothing too exciting given both species' abundance in the front
>>>> range, but to see them this far East seems noteworthy, especially in light
>>>> of all the other sightings of birds more typically expected in the
>>>> Happy birding,
>>>> Bart Deferme
>>>> Quincy Reservoir
>>>> Arapahoe County
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