Date: 1/12/18 7:54 am
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: ebird throws out the baby with the bath water...

I agree with your approach as described below and the baseline philosophy behind it. I like sharing information about rare birds, the overall experience of going to see them and helping others see them. Most of the experiences are overwhelmingly positive with good behavior from the birding masses. That said, each case must be evaluated for its potential risk/reward and not all of us will assess them the same. However folks choose to share information or not do so is fine with me.

Dave Irons

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 12, 2018, at 5:22 AM, Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...><mailto:<paultsullivan...>> wrote:
Let me try to clarify my thinking on this issue of sharing information about a rare bird.

If there is any question of the rights of human neighbors/hosts of the bird, then homeowners privacy and requests for no visitors (no trespassing signs) MUST be honored. Period.

Barring that…
Do we censor information at the source, assuming that people can’t be trusted.
- or-
Do we believe that sharing information about birds, educating bird enthusiasts and the general public is a good thing. Do we share information, put out appropriate warnings, provide guidance on how to approach the bird, and educate people about where it came from, how neat it is to see, etc.

I like the latter approach. I could get a lot of detailed information about an exotic species from reading books and online sources, but seeing a real, living specimen is a whole ‘nother experience.

Paul Sullivan

From: Paul Sullivan [mailto:<paultsullivan...>]
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 4:26 AM
To: 'David Irons' <LLSDIRONS...><mailto:<LLSDIRONS...>>; '<obol...><mailto:<obol...>' <obol...><mailto:<obol...>>
Subject: RE: [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,

Paul Sullivan
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