Date: 7/11/18 4:48 pm
From: David White via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [VA-bird] interesting bird sightings and grammar
Thank you. Your opinion and your willingness to express it so “reasonably” and in such a reasoned way is appreciated.

Sent from my iPhone
David I. White, Jr.

> On Jul 11, 2018, at 11:20 AM, Vineeta Anand via VA-bird <va-bird...> wrote:
> 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...>
> wrote:
>> 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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