Date: 7/11/18 6:16 pm
From: David Gibson via VA-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: Re: [VA-bird] interesting bird sightings and grammar
I want to second what David said. Marlabeth shared some great insights, and
provided real food for thought. Kudos to her--and what a pleasure reading!

Dave Gibson
www.elizabethriver.org/wildlife-reports

On Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 7:48 PM, David White via VA-bird <
<va-bird...> wrote:

> 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.
> <dizoo...>
>
> > 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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