Date: 10/25/19 10:50 am
From: Nicholas Martens <nicholas.j.martens...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Calling Out Disrespectful Behavior
My initial response to Caleb’s exceedingly thoughtful post was to
privately encourage him and Courtney to please keep doing what they
have been. Birding with them is a great joy to us, and I’m grateful to
Courtney’s non-traditional record-keeping as it allows us to have an
archive of the day’s memories out in the field, in addition to serving
the more mundane task of recording bird sightings.

But Matt is exactly right when he says that there should be a large
and public reply in calling out disrespectful behavior. Except for
reviewers, nobody is under any obligation to read another person’s
checklist comments. You’re perfectly entitled to roll your eyes or
grit your teeth or privately mark your annoyance however you like.
Making the birding community a less supportive place over private
tastes is something that should not be tolerated.

Courtney and Caleb are two of the most thoughtful, respectful and
joyful people we’ve had the pleasure to bird with, and that those
qualities are made to shine through in even as barren an environment
as an inventory of bird sightings speaks volumes of them in the best
possible way.

As a closing note, I want to bring attention to this article Gizmodo
from earlier in the year. A visiting Tasmanian birder traveled to
America and made a series of exuberant checklist comments in eBird,
including for many species that we might be inclined to take for
granted. This birder was widely praised all over Twitter and other
outlets for bringing his wide-eyed excitement to a venue where we’re
accustomed to find drudgery. Although he was treated as a novelty, he
was merely doing what Courtney and Caleb do regularly. Rather than
shaming them, we should try to follow their example more closely.

Happy Birding,
Nick and Maureen
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