I agree with John. As I've said before, our cumulative goal should be to make VTBIRD a "no fault / there are no dumb answers or questions" forum. We all have great concern / affection for, and interest in, our feathered friends. Let's help each other to be considerate of, and show compassion for our fellows, when we lack knowledge, err or unintentionally offend. Birds of a featherů
I would add that the nature of the list serve, and specifically the way it "replies" to the whole list rather than the individual submitter, is very often cause for personal messages (good, bad or indifferent) being published to the "world". I have, on several occasions, sent things to list that I meant to send just to the lister (fortunately, nothing offensive -- but embarrassing none the less to be rambling on to the whole community about who's bringing lunch for Saturday birding, etc.) If you are new to the list, please be aware that you need to click on the person's name who sent the submission and select "reply to sender" to have your message go only to the submitter. If you click "reply", it will go to everyone.
And finally, to Kay's concern about people not responding -- another unfortunate aspect of the community is that there is no way to know whether someone has responded offline to an individual's question. Also being a novice, I sometimes think I may have an answer, but don't pipe up because I assume that someone with more knowledge has done so. But, I don't really know. Maybe we could start sending a quick note to the list serve saying something like, "I've responded to Kay offline" just to let everyone know that we are not leaving a member hanging.
Thanks to everyone for helping make birding a much richer experience!
On Mar 20, 2012, at 11:11 AM, John Snell wrote:
> Interesting discussion and I appreciate both how it all came about
> and what is being revealed. I lurk on this site everyday and have
> learned a great deal doing so.
> I'm not a very good birder (tinnitus and bad eyes!) but do post when
> I'm sure of an ID or when I have solid questions because I am
> confident others will either help me out or learn from my questions.
> Yes, we nearly all "let fly" with some comment once in a while,
> either here or elsewhere in life, but I hope we can forgive each
> other and simply enjoy birds, no matter what we know or don't! Life
> is too darned short to worry about it all.
> Still learning to see,
> [log in to unmask]
>> FYI, As a birder with moderate skills, I did not feel much supported
>> by others on this list. Thus, I stopped asking questions when my
>> identifications were questionable.
>> I enjoy reading the postings of others and post FOY sightings or
>> some novel photo; however, this has not generally been a
>> "supportive" place for me to ask questions (with the exception of a
>> helpful reply from Ted Murin about one photograph). Mostly I've
>> gotten no response or something marginally civil.
>> Kay Johnson
>> [log in to unmask]
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: UVM <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: VTBIRD <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 8:51 pm
>> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] mistaken identifications
>> If climate change is changing bird migration patterns, then we have
>> to keep very
>> areful records and be very careful about our identifications in order to
>> ocument the changes. That's why experienced birders have an obligation to
>> rovide careful documentation of out of range or out of season sightings.
>> ikewise we have an obligation, when a novice birder posts an unusual or rare
>> ighting, to point out to them why this might be an exceptional occurrence, and
>> o respectfully question them about their sighting, and to request further
>> ocumentation. In my experience, the discussions this approach can stimulate
>> ften lead to better bird identifications by both experienced and novice
>> irders. Just my two cents!
>> Scott Morrical
>> [log in to unmask]
>> outh Burlington
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> 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,
>> xperienced or not. We all can and do make errors. And, hopefully, we
>> learn from
>> hem. It doesn't help to jump all over someone and make them feel badly. Worse,
>> his kind of behavior can make one stop adding to the list, which is a loss for
>> ll of us.
>> We do have the Vermont checklist which provides us with parameters, but it is
>> ot the end-all. Bird behavior changes all the time. We are in the midst of a
>> lobal warming which will change behaviors even more. Red-winged Blackbirds
>> pent 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
>> ave stayed here.
>> Have you noticed that birds have wings? They can fly wherever and whenever
>> hey wish. They don't read the guidelines we use.
>> Bonnie Dundas