Well said Diane. This attitude by many of the self-appointed elites made me drop out of social birding for about 15 years. I just did my own thing out of the loop completely. I can image others have done the same. I can assume the attitude is still out there in regards to the "lower castes", but I now choose to ignore them and just keep to the periphery on ebird. Jeff Fengler Vernon CT On Sunday, December 27, 2020, 02:39:37 PM EST, Diane Tucker via CTBirds <ctbirds...> wrote:
I am sorry to say that birding is a “clubby” kind of sport, which includes “those in the know” and often excludes those not “worthy“ by virtue of inexperience or expertise. To me, the attitude is unfortunate and unkind. It is especially discouraging to newer birders and frankly it does a disservice to the sport. Look around at meetings and events and ask yourself how many newcomers or young people are there. If they do show up, how many of them stick around? My point is that we should be more welcoming, not only to encourage the longevity of our various birding organizations, but literally to encourage people to love the environment and be excited by it. That is how we will have success in protecting habitat and other aspects of conservation. Lots of folks go into birding looking for a fun, nice hobby, and that’s ok. They shouldn’t be treated rudely if they just enjoy birds and aren’t inclined toward serious science. And, the science-y people aren’t better than the amateurs and newcomers. Everyone has something to contribute.
To be blunt: I have seen a lot of snooty behavior among birders and it is a real turn-off. Granted there are times when the presence of a rarity should be treated with serious discretion. But excluding people when it isn’t a situation of that kind is just mean. It isn’t that hard to go beyond simply telling all your friends about, for example a Dovekie release, to put it out there on the listserve. It hurts no one and may give someone experience and pleasure.
As to who lists what, that’s between them, their list, and their conscience. It is true there is no substitute for experience, but you can’t get much experience as a newcomer if no one deigns to mentor you or include you.