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.

David Suddjian
Ken Caryl Valley
Littleton, CO

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
> check
> 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
> Aurora
> 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
>> product.
>>
>>
>> Respectfully,
>>
>> 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.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ‚Äč
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 10:26 AM, David Suddjian <dsuddjian...>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> 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...>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> 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
>>>> foothills.
>>>>
>>>> Happy birding,
>>>>
>>>> Bart Deferme
>>>> Quincy Reservoir
>>>> Arapahoe County
>>>>
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