Date: 10/25/19 7:49 am
From: Caleb Centanni <caleb...>
Subject: [obol] People enjoy birding and contribute in different ways
Hi all,

I respect everyone on this forum and enjoy meeting them and birding with
them in the field. That's why I've been on OBOL for 4 years now, and have
mostly loved getting to post because of the friendship and community and
interesting perspectives I've encountered.

Not everyone has this experience on OBOL. People who seem different that
the average birder, for example, don't tend to fare as well. Maybe they are
a 'silly' person who likes reporting Mandarin Ducks at the park, maybe
they're just new and have some new ideas that not all of you are used to,
maybe they like using eBird different than the Colloquial Birder
Authoritied have decided one should.

We have seen ten or more people basically harassed on OBOL since just the
beginning of the summer for having different ideas than the norm, by many
different people in our community. I myself didn't agree with most of them,
but was sad to see it, because this is what keeps young people, women, and
cultural diversity out of birding. All of us do what has always been done,
or the community let's us know we're wrong. Apparently part of that status
quo is going off at anyone we disagree with and having fun defaming them on
a public forum.

eBird has, in past disputes, supported the posting of whatever comments we
use to document our birding experience. Many people love them, and choose
the have fun with the ways we are different and enjoy how we 'humanize
eBird'. If you don't feel that way, consider this: no one asked or told you
to read our comments. There are plenty of other eBird lists to look at. I
have fun with comments like these, and always have, even before the lists
were shared with me. In 300 years, I think there will still be people who
find these in the database and have a good time reading them. They will
know what it was actually like when we birded, not just what we saw.

However, if I keep getting negative, unnecessary comments, I'll be inclined
to do as many others have done: disable my posts from the rare bird alerts
and stop posting on OBOL. Then nobody will know when I see a rare bird, and
that will be the community's choice. Our community excludes many good
observers because of the abrasive, angry comments we make to each other.

I say this all with love and hope for our Oregon birding community. If you
have something to say, please consider that not everyone has the same
perspective or understanding of the world as you, and at least try to have
a discussion instead of ridiculing or throwing insults.

I look forward to seeing you all again in the field, where you are
generally all kind, thoughtful people who I respect very much.

Hope you all enjoy this beautiful Autumn morning full of color, love, and
avian wonder waiting to be discovered away from our keyboards.

Good birding and warmest wishes to all,
Caleb Centanni

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