Date: 1/12/18 4:26 am From: Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...> Subject: [obol] Re: ebird throws out the baby with the bath water...
That was a long answer to a short comment.
I agree that no one is obligated to share sightings. I agree that the welfare of birds should come before any birder getting a tick on a list or a point-blank photo. I know that birders en mass can be disruptive to non-birders who live next to a celebrity bird. Some neighbors get annoyed and others become intrigued by the commotion.
Yes, some people have to work and can only chase on weekends. Some day you too will retire. ;-)
Avenues of communication like OBOL or eBird exist to help share bird sightings. If there is an issue with disturbing human neighbors (trespassing, invading privacy, etc), then discretion must be employed and honored.
I'm not willing to make the judgement that BIRDERS GENERALLY ARE AN UNRULY LOT. I expect others to behave well. I strive to behave well when chasing a rare bird. I aim to be courteous and amiable to other birders and to any non-birders present. I can see the bird from a good distance, thank the host, and move on.
Yes, some people do behave badly. THAT'S ON THEM. If I see inappropriate behavior, I am willing to confront the individual on the scene. I think that is better than posting a scold to a birding list. A chorus of "tut, tut" on a list doesn't stop the behavior at the time it's happening.
I'm still inclined to share sightings, share my scope, and share some modest explanation about the bird to bystanders. When I'm gone, no one will care about my lists. I hope they will remember my kindness.
Good birding, everyone,
From: David Irons [mailto:<LLSDIRONS...>] Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 12:05 AM To: <obol...>; <paultsullivan...> Subject: Re: [obol] Re: ebird throws out the baby with the bath water...
Paul et al.,
I have long espoused the idea that being informed (or in the "loop") about rare birds is not an inalienable right bestowed on all who choose to become birders and those who decide to work hard at amassing the large lists. .. I feel privileged when they do share and provide me with information about birds that I would never know about otherwise.
The existence of OBOL, eBird and various other forums where bird sightings are reported and subscribing to such forums does not obligate or require users to post all of our sightings to these forums. I don't take it personally when I am not in the loop and I have often been outside the loop. On the rare occasions when I have chosen not to share a particular sighting I wasn't making decisions based on who I felt was "worthy" of getting to see the bird.
We aren't a "community of equals"...never have been never will be and it is unrealistic to expect that to be the case. Hundreds of Oregon birders seem to have more free time and more discretionary income than I have to devote to birding. .
We are certainly not equals in terms of skill. .
As for "the rest of us cannot be trusted to behave properly." Sad to say it, but this is a truism Paul. .
The bottom line is that none of us gets to judge how others in this broad and diverse community chose to use or not use various bird reporting avenues. If others do share we should say thank you and be truly appreciative. .
Each of us will eventually die, at which point our life list will be utterly meaningless..which is only slightly less important than it is today. No one other than you will care that you didn't tick Great Gray Owl for your Benton County list and once gone from this world you'll be in no position to worry about it yourself, so why worry about it today?
The situation posted by Joel tells me that the "Oregon birding community" and Oregon Birders on Line is not a community of equals. It says that some birders are more worthy than others. It says the rest of us cannot be trusted to behave properly.
That is a sorry statement.
I don't even know what birds I'm being denied by those who judge me unworthy. I can't say that I am aggrieved.