Date: 5/22/19 9:38 am
From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...>
Subject: Re: Question for the empid experts
Just wanted to sort of update. I might owe a few private responses as
I've gotten a few good replies already. I appreciate them. They all sort
of back how I was feeling about the whole discussion.
I tried asking them for specific direction, or sources for where they
learned these marks that can be used. The original person that shared
those thoughts did not respond but another birder that agreed with them
chimed in and simply said they learned these skills in the field. I,
quite typically, always err on the side of caution and I just don't feel
that people can rely on those things 100% and, that's the feeling I've
gotten from some very knowledgeable replies from this group here so far.
Even THE best can get those birds wrong. Yet these people seemed SO sure
of themselves.  I'll let them go on IDing birds in that manner but I'll
still with relying on vocalization when present. Perhaps I'll develop
the skill to pick up those subtle differences and get better at what I
think is still a guessing game.
Birding isn't any different than any other topic out there. It's easy
for some people to find themselves feeling far more confident than they
ought to.
Lots more thoughts(my brain is constantly going) but I'll just leave it
at this...  I think, as some have agreed, there's SOME truth to their
methods of IDing those empids but, I don't believe even the best of the
best would be correct 100% of the time based on appearances... and,
that's enough for me to remain where I've been so far. Content with
IDing based on calls and, leaving it as empidonax sp. when necessary. No
worries.

Anyway, thanks for all the replies. They were helpful.

Daniel Mason


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