Date: 7/11/18 8:21 am
From: Vineeta Anand via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [VA-bird] interesting bird sightings and grammar
Hear, hear, Marla!
I came late to birding, so I am happy to learn as much as I can about bird
behavior and habitat. I also find the travel information invaluable I go on
a birding trip in India every year. But I don't post any information about
the places I go to, the guides I used, the places I stayed at, because I
think the distance makes it unlikely that many people from the VA bird list
would find that interesting.
The delete button works as it was intended.
So, I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Vineeta Anand in Alexandria.

On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM, m b via VA-bird <va-bird...>

> I suppose it could be said that the meaning of: “Va-bird is a forum for
> reporting interesting bird sightings in Virginia” is the same as:
> “VA-bird is a forum in Virginia for reporting interesting bird sightings.”
> Grammar – does the placement of the clause change the meaning? And is
> "bird sightings" limited to its most narrow meaning, or does bird behavior
> and habitat, (loss, gain, or location) thus informing one where one most
> likely might sight a bird, and why, fall under the rubric of bird sighting?
> I would suggest it is the broader meaning. The list is run by the Virginia
> Society of Ornithology, not the local tourist board. It does not direct one
> to local restaurants. It helps people see birds, and will do less well at
> that task in the absence of context.
> If the grammar does change the meaning, and the VSO has an unbelievably
> narrow mandate for this list, how picky must we readers be, when we have
> the wonderful "delete" button, and can simply delete those emails in which
> we are uninterested? I think that is what the delete button is for. Not
> reading things one has no interest in reading. And subject headings on this
> list are usually quite clear enough for one to decide if one is interested,
> without ever clicking on "open".
> If one feels inundated by email, on birds or any topic, the digest is a
> great way to find out what is happening on VA-Bird without receiving
> multiple emails per day on bird-related topics. Then one can just scroll
> through the digest, and click on only those things one finds interesting.
> Also, just bookmarking the page and scrolling through every day or two is a
> great way to keep up with what is happening without receiving too many
> emails, whatever that number is for a given person. I think yesterday,
> there were three total posts. Not a burden, even if one does not get the
> digest format.
> I have been very grateful to be able to post from Puerto Rico when I was
> having unexpected last minute difficulty getting a bird guide, and received
> many kind and immediate responses from VA-bird list members as to whom to
> contact, as many people had birded there and knew members of the Puerto
> Rico Society of Ornithology. Were it not for the kind and generous people
> of Va-Bird, I might not have found an available guide while on my trip,
> though I had done much research toward that end before I left. Thank you
> again to all those who assisted me in my time of birding need.
> I am definitely very grateful when someone posts an article about bird
> behavior. Normally, as in this recent case about barn owls, the birds
> posted about are birds found in Virginia. Many migrating birds find their
> way through Virginia, so unless the post is about a ground hornbill, the
> likelihood that the article is pertinent to Virginia, or birds ever found
> in Virginia, is quite high.
> I am also grateful when someone posts about a trip. I can ignore those, or
> use them. As with the most recent trip post, I learned not only what I had
> suspected in recently considering a trip to the Canadian Maritimes, (I’ve
> been to New Brunswick, but was considering Cape Breton) which is that I
> will likely not see many life birds. I also learned where best to go to see
> the ones I have not seen. Almost every bird mentioned in that post is seen
> in Virginia, either because it breeds here like yellow warblers, or because
> it migrates through. And I benefited from months of research done by a
> fellow member of VA-Bird. Thank you for that!
> The trip posts are rare enough that they do not interfere with the list in
> my view. And they can be so helpful if a Virginia birder is planning or
> considering going to that spot to bird, that I would miss them terribly.
> And I don't read every one. In fact, I read very few, but the ones I read
> have helped immeasurably. Again, the digest and that good ole' delete
> button solve the issue for me.
> Finally, the term "extralimital" before the post is often used on bird
> lists such as these to indicate a post slightly off topic, but of interest
> to many readers. This alerts one, if one can't already tell by the posted
> topic heading, that this might or might not be of interest. Just like it
> might or might not be of interest to me if an interesting bird was sighted
> at the VA-/North Carolina border, 8 hours from my home. That post would
> unquestionably be under the very narrow rubric of birds sighted in
> Virginia, but it is not of interest to me.
> This list has been operating just fine, for a very long time, with people
> using the delete button and digest combination to avoid reading things in
> which they are not interested. I see the meaning of the stated purpose of
> the list as the broader view I suggest above. The Society and most of its
> members are interested in bird habitat, behavior, and not just getting
> directions to a possible bird they might be able to see if they chase it
> down. This is not the "big year" direction list. It is a Virginia forum in
> which people exchange information about birds. If one wants the last known
> sighting of a given bird, I think e-bird is a good place for that.
> The list as it is currently used has been a blessing and a benefit to many
> of us who have gained much by the few "extralimital" posts. I highly
> recommend the delete button and the digest format to deal with one's own
> preferences.
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