Date: 1/3/19 9:10 am
From: L Markoff <canyoneagle...>
Subject: [texbirds] Texbirds is important
Greetings, All.

In the early 2000s when I still lived in Virginia a friend who birded Texas suggested I check it out. I joined Texbirds to find out more. I learned about Texas birds, but I also learned about the important work that TOS (Texas Ornithological Society) does. Saving habitat by buying it made sense to me, because habitat is what it is all about. I became a life member of TOS even before I moved to Texas. I would have never known about TOS without Texbirds.

I have always boycotted Facebook due to privacy concerns. If others choose to use it, fine, that is their business, but I will not do so. It saddened and frustrated me to see Texbirds dwindle due to people moving to FB. I thank everyone who stuck with Texbirds, you people rock.

David, thank you for keeping Texbirds going, you rock even more! Btw, I vote for the name TACO (Texas All County Ornithology) Challenge!

Also, having birded with David a few times I have found him upbeat, humorous, and definitely non-political. He is really fun to bird with, as is his super-nice wife, Donna.

I am staying close to home right now due to caring for my 91-year-old mom. But someday I will be birding in Texas again, and when I do, I will report my findings on Texbirds.

Cheers everyone!

Lori Markoff
formerly Austin, TX, currently, Eugene, OR, soon to be Citrus Heights, CA (near Sacramento)

-----Original Message-----
From: <texbirds-bounce...> [mailto:<texbirds-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Clay Taylor
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2019 7:09 AM
To: Donna Silvers; <kbarnold2...>
Cc: <david...>; TexBirds
Subject: [texbirds] Re: The New Name for David's Game

Hi Donna -

Please DO keep up with your posts about the birds you are seeing or have seen, as there are many people that will read them and profit from the knowledge - especially from out of state. Unfortunately, there is no "Like Button" for a listserv post, so you cannot quantify those readers.

The truth is that TexBirds 2019 is a VASTLY different group than was TexBirds 2004, and most of that has to do with the proliferation bird sightings being reported to FaceBook, Twitter, InstaGram, eBird, etc. These outlets have siphoned off the eyeballs and attention spans of birders reporting, or searching for, field sightings on the TexBirds listserv.

15 years ago, the presence of a rarity would be reported to TexBirds within minutes of the sighting, and birders would immediately be mobilizing. The back-and-forth of messages in the immediate hours and days following were great - birders could live vicariously through the posts of people like Martin Reid, Ron Weeks, and David Sarkozi.

Last year on eBird, a birder from out of state listed a Jabiru (with photos) in some field near Victoria. A different out-of-state birder saw the eBird posting and contacted a TX birder that they knew, asking about the status of the Jabiru. Up to that point, NOBODY on TexBirds (either the listserv or the FB page) had a clue that the bird was there! Houston, we have a problem....

The end result of this information evolution(exodus?) is that the TexBirds ListServ has mostly become the playground of:
Out of state lurkers that are essentially read-only to watch out for rarities (and these people are probably migrating to those other sources, too)
Those that still like to report sightings and updates to them (I admit that I am sorely lacking in this category)
Those that like to write in-depth field reports and op-ed pieces - Joe Kennedy, Rex Stanford, Anthony Hewitt, to name a few that are ALWAYS entertaining to read.
Occasional requests from out-of-state birders about upcoming trips or field status of current rarities
Birders commenting on non-field-related topics like David's County Folly

Personally, I have been slacking in posting to TexBirds in recent years, and my 2019 resolution is to post more general-interest missives to TexBirds. Oftentimes, the after-comments are usually more fun than the original post.

Good birding, and keep on sending sightings!

Clay Taylor
TOS Life Member
Calallen (Corpus Christi) TX

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