Date: 3/9/18 8:51 am From: Marshall Faintich via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] R: doing real science
Because Marlene publicly criticized me, I feel that I have the right to respond.
"(2) You need to read information more carefully than most people tend to do. Marshall is talking about the bird eating Autumn Olive fruits, but I never said it was doing that. In fact, no Autumn Olive fruits are anywhere to be found come fall (they are VERY popular with mammals and birds and are quickly taken when they ripen). "
First of all, no one on this list other than the moderator has the right to limit discussion on any topic. If you don't want to read the comments of others, either ignore them or don't post a comment in the first place.
Many of the readers of this list server belong not only to read about bird sightings, but also to learn about birding. "Real Science" is about discussing and testing hypotheses, and not about defending one's position to the death when evidence to the contrary is presented. I know that you did not state that this sapsucker was eating autumn olive berries. My question was if this sapsucker is indeed a Yellow-bellied, and perhaps had been in your area for more than the period in which you observed it, could it have previously eaten autumn olive or other red berries that resulted in the red nape. I am trying to learn here, and not criticize you, but your defensive attitude must be preventing you from understanding this.
As for as understanding real science and how it should be conducted, I have a Ph.D. in astronomy, have been the principal investigator on five government funded innovative research projects, directed multiple corporate research projects, served on multiple NASA working groups, and at one time, managed a $100 million research program involving a wide range of research topics. So I do believe that I understand how to "do real science."
I am also willing to admit when I have made a mistake or rushed to a hasty and erroneous conclusion. My personal rule for identifying a rare bird species is to first rule out every other possible species, and then ask others who know more than I do as to their opinion. Or I may post a photo with the term "possible" and ask for comments and the opinions of others. Real science should be good science.