If climate change is changing bird migration patterns, then we have to keep very careful records and be very careful about our identifications in order to document the changes. That's why experienced birders have an obligation to provide careful documentation of out of range or out of season sightings. Likewise we have an obligation, when a novice birder posts an unusual or rare sighting, to point out to them why this might be an exceptional occurrence, and to respectfully question them about their sighting, and to request further documentation. In my experience, the discussions this approach can stimulate often lead to better bird identifications by both experienced and novice birders. Just my two cents!
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On Mar 19, 2012, at 6:46 PM, Bonita <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I cringed this morning when I read Jane's E-mail, meant for the list or not.
> In my opinion, it is important to maintain civility toward everyone, experienced or not. We all can and do make errors. And, hopefully, we learn from them. It doesn't help to jump all over someone and make them feel badly. Worse, this kind of behavior can make one stop adding to the list, which is a loss for all of us.
> We do have the Vermont checklist which provides us with parameters, but it is not the end-all. Bird behavior changes all the time. We are in the midst of a global warming which will change behaviors even more. Red-winged Blackbirds spent the winter here. Tree Swallows are back earlier than I have ever seen them (38 years of bird watching in Bennington). Southern birds have moved north and have stayed here.
> Have you noticed that birds have wings? They can fly wherever and whenever they wish. They don't read the guidelines we use.
> Bonnie Dundas