Date: 7/19/22 1:34 pm
From: catherine paris <cparis12010...>
Subject: Re : 2018 How sparrows learn to sing! Tom Porter look it up! Even utube video
Bob this is a great time for our birding public to realize just how
difficult biological science is.

Bowdoin College has a Kent Island laboratory with Canadian researchers.

My neice attended Bowdoin on her way to a Cornell DVM. She worked on this
study as did many other undergrads. (Research slaves)

This island is dinky and is primarily grassland that's surrounded by water.

It is only under these very limited conditions that we can collect accurate
observational data.

Visualize a small island of grass and rock.

Limited people (researchers only)
Limited predators
Limited hiding places
An extensive bank of records (1964 start I believe)

And groups of trained , skilled observers. Year after. Intrepid I may add.

This is where data turns into knowledge.
Years of writing, sending to colleagues, peer reviews until finally being

Now picture Lost Valley. Your gifted ear can tell quite accurately when
males arrive on territory. You can begin to hear more chips etc as females

Followed by mostly silence. At this point keen observers can find nests.

Seeing streaks of bird excrement mean hatching. Lots of adults flying in
and out. Or, walking - those clever grassland birds.
Scolding juveniles (preteens) means

All of the above is documentable data.
When done year after year it becomes a body of evidence.

Now you again detect more silence. An oxymoron of listening. Good work by
the way!

At this point no bird parent or fledgling or imm. Wants to be found.

You can sit in those woods for years and not gather a body of evidence. Too
complex. Shifting dates (maybe the first clutch didn't hatch?) All the
while the woods and biota within change. Everything changes.

That leaves us with several options as to what birds are doing. BUT, until
we have data accumulated and statistically analyzed we must guess.

Or, I like the expression paint a picture starting from the frame.

I wish more people could listen like you
And not concentrate on who but changes.

I'd need 12' of solid wall around 10 acres with 1000 theft proof cameras
with audio.
And 30 yrs! it still wouldn't be but a pile of beans.

Hal Harrison's Wood Warbler's World is fabulous.

Catherine Paris
Ozark County

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