Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [CALBIRDS] Per/capita birders by state; California 2nd to last

Expand Messages
  • Lidia Seebeck
    There are a lot of birders out here. Look at CALBIRDS, the membership is over 1100. However, in view of our gigantic population, it s not that much. Montana
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      There are a lot of birders out here. Look at CALBIRDS, the membership is over 1100. However, in view of our gigantic population, it's not that much. Montana has a very low population (spend a few winters there and you will know why) but a fair number of birders. Yes, you do have to go to the hotspots (Central Ponds, EGRA, the fish hatchery, etc) to find them. However, I remember many a day spent playing hooky on my thesis when I did meet other birders on the trails. Here in CA, that seems rare. Even when the Little Gull was possibly flitting around Fairmount Park last Christmas, I never actually saw another birder in the nine or so hours my husband and I spent at the park (i.e. never saw anyone else with a scope, binocs, or birdbook either on foot or in a car)

      I really think there is just something about the culture out here that makes people not so interested in birds.

      Finally, I'll point out that it was a Black-billed Magpie in my backyard in Colorado which got me into birding. So yes, it can happen.
      Lidia Seebeck
      lidia@...
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: sgloverccc@...
      To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 10:58 AM
      Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Per/capita birders by state; California 2nd to last


      Hi all,
      Apparently the list gurus are away from their computers so I thought I would
      try to squeeze one more message in before the thread is closed.
      First, the original number of 46 million bird watchers in the US clearly
      depends on an extremely liberal use of the word bird watcher. I would bet that
      of those 46 million at least 45 million wouldn't be what we would normally call
      a bird watcher. Even a million sounds an order of magnitude high.
      Second, Last year I traveled around Nebraska, South Dakota (Black Hills, Mt.
      Rushmore etc.), all the way across North Dakota (including Lostwood NWR),
      into Minnesota (including a half day at Agassiz NWR and also up into Manitoba
      (Riding Mt. Pro. Park). In 10 days I didn't see a single bird watcher! I just
      returned from a trip to Virginia, NC, SC, e. Tenn., ne. Georgia, including
      Shenandoah, almost the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky
      Mts. In Shenandoah we saw four birders. On the entire parkway we saw 2. In
      Great Smoky Mts. we saw none.
      And the thing is, this didn't strike me as unusual at all. Unless you go to
      a place that really concentrates birders like Pt. Reyes or the hotspots like
      coastal Texas or se. Arizona you don't run into very many birders. As much as
      we like to think that the popularity of birding is exploding, the rather
      serious people like ourselves are still relatively scarce.
      In defense of California, I once (probably 10 years ago) looked through the
      ABA directory (at least a good indication of a reasonably serious birder) and
      counted how many birders there were in the East Bay counties of Alameda and
      Contra Costa. It was several hundred. Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot but
      at the time it was more than the total membership for something like 35 other
      states!
      Now I do agree that tossing out seed and saying "ooh, look at the pretty
      birdy" could be a stepping stone to becoming a more serious birder. If those
      types are increasing at a higher rate in other states then perhaps we are being
      left behind. But, as far as serious birders, I suspect California holds it's
      own pretty well.
      Mi dos pesos,
      Steve Glover
      Dublin


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
      Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com

      For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to these addresses:
      Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
      Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com





      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Yahoo! Groups Links

      a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS/

      b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • creagrus
      One more thought before I end my part in this thread. I think it was William Tecumsah Sherman who said: There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Statistics
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        One more thought before I end my part in this thread. I think it was
        William Tecumsah Sherman who said: "There are lies, damn lies, and
        statistics." Statistics sometimes can and do completely misrepresent
        reality.

        According to the survey, 22% of all Americans are 'birders.' We have
        already seen that essentially 90% of them are 'backyard birders' and
        would not qualify in what this chat group considers 'birders.' But set
        that aside for the moment.

        Joe asks "Why do the two states [California and Texas] with the most
        birds have so few birders?"

        California and Texas have 14% of the population as 'birders,' according
        to the report, or 8% off the average. Further statistics show that
        'birders' are more common in rural areas than urban areas; California's
        population is packed into urban areas, immediately correcting a
        significant percentage of the 'low' score. Perhaps just as important
        are the statistics on racial/cultural attitudes. 24% of those assigned
        to "white" race are 'birders' but the statistics for 'birders' among the
        minorities are: Hispanics 9%, African Americans 6%, Asians 6%. I
        believe the statistics on California show that a very significant
        percent of the State's population is now Hispanic (maybe up to 35-40%?)
        and the same can be said for Texas. California also has
        disproportionately large populations of other minorities, in comparision
        with states like Montana.

        I believe that these statistics -- the proportionately low interest in
        birds by urban Americans and by minorities -- completely explain the 8%
        difference from the avaerage in California.

        Joe asks what can be done to get us out of the cellar? Statistically,
        it would be to get urban, Hispanic and other minority persons interested
        in birds. And perhaps that can best be done by having policies that
        permits low-income, urban, minority people to enjoy average American
        prosperity and have decent lives with sufficient free time to enjoy
        birds, among other things. But now I'm wandering into politics . . . so
        sorry.

        D. Roberson
        Pacific Grove "America's Last Hometown" [yes, City Hall actually has
        that motto].
      • John Harris
        Don et al., The quote lies, damned lies and statistics is of somewhat obscure origin but was attributed to Disraeli (British Prime Minister) by no less than
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Don et al.,
          The quote "lies, damned lies and statistics" is of somewhat obscure origin
          but was attributed to Disraeli (British Prime Minister) by no less than
          Mark Twain. Further speculation on the origin of this phrase can be found
          in The American Statistician, vol. 18, no. 5, December 1964.

          I second your observation about urban vs rural populations. My classes
          are filled with students from urban environments. I frequently take
          groups on field trips and nearly always have someone who has never been on
          any kind of hike (a remarkable statement!). I taught a bird class for
          non-science students two years ago and many of the students did not even
          recognize a robin! In contrast, growing up in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and
          South Dakota I found that many people who would not be considered birders
          by any stretch of the imagination could recognize quite a few species and
          some of the more frequently heard songs.
          We certainly have a lot of work to do here!

          John H. Harris
          Professor of Biology
          Mills College
          5000 MacArthur Blvd.
          Oakland, CA 94613
          (510) 430-2027
          johnh@...


          On Mon, 6 Jun 2005, creagrus wrote:

          > One more thought before I end my part in this thread. I think it was
          > William Tecumsah Sherman who said: "There are lies, damn lies, and
          > statistics." Statistics sometimes can and do completely misrepresent
          > reality.
          >
          > According to the survey, 22% of all Americans are 'birders.'  We have
          > already seen that essentially 90% of them are 'backyard birders' and
          > would not qualify in what this chat group considers 'birders.' But set
          > that aside for the moment.
          >
          > Joe asks "Why do the two states [California and Texas] with the most
          > birds have so few birders?"
          >
          > California and Texas have 14% of the population as 'birders,' according
          > to the report, or 8% off the average.  Further statistics show that
          > 'birders' are more common in rural areas than urban areas; California's
          > population is packed into urban areas, immediately correcting a
          > significant percentage of the 'low' score.  Perhaps just as important
          > are the statistics on racial/cultural attitudes. 24% of those assigned
          > to "white" race are 'birders' but the statistics for 'birders' among the
          > minorities are: Hispanics 9%, African Americans 6%, Asians 6%.  I
          > believe the statistics on California show that a very significant
          > percent of the State's population is now Hispanic (maybe up to 35-40%?)
          > and the same can be said for Texas. California also has
          > disproportionately large populations of other minorities, in comparision
          > with states like Montana.
          >
          > I believe that these statistics -- the proportionately low interest in
          > birds by urban Americans and by minorities -- completely explain the 8%
          > difference from the avaerage in California.
          >
          > Joe asks what can be done to get us out of the cellar?  Statistically,
          > it would be to get urban, Hispanic and other minority persons interested
          > in birds. And perhaps that can best be done by having policies that
          > permits low-income, urban, minority people to enjoy average American
          > prosperity and have decent lives with sufficient free time to enjoy
          > birds, among other things. But now I'm wandering into politics . . . so
          > sorry.
          >
          > D. Roberson
          > Pacific Grove "America's Last Hometown" [yes, City Hall actually has
          > that motto].
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
          > Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My
          > Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email
          > to these addresses:
          > Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
          > Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ________________________________________________________________________________
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS/
          >  
          > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >  
          > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          >
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Brooke McDonald
          Kaufman s got his Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America guide out in Spanish. In Spanish it s Kaufman guia de campo a las aves de norteamerica.
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Kaufman's got his "Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America" guide out in Spanish. In Spanish it's "Kaufman guia de campo a las aves de norteamerica."

            Purchasing copies and donating them to local libraries might help us to make inroads in the Hispanic populations in the state. I'm under the impression that many of them are interested in birds and conservation, but the resources and outreach haven't been there.

            Other than the depressing lack of birders in minority communities, the USFWS survey seemed to me to be overly broad in the definition of what a birder is, as many have noted here. Defining "expert" birders as those who can identify more than 41 species seems like they set the "expert" bar pretty low. And this puts only 8% of all their birders into the "expert" category. And their demand curve for birding trips indicating that birders who spend 50 bucks on a birding trip are only likely to take one or two trips a year really gave me a good chuckle.... would that every birding trip only cost 50 dollars!



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • JONES,JENNIFER MARIE
            I volunteer at Debs Park, which is run by National Audubon and leased from the city of L.A. It s a terrific place, 200+ acres of oak/walnut scrubland tucked in
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              I volunteer at Debs Park, which is run by National Audubon and leased from
              the city of L.A. It's a terrific place, 200+ acres of oak/walnut scrubland
              tucked in the middle of the city. The surrounding neighborhoods are
              primarily Spanish-speaking, as are many of the visitors to the park. If
              we don't already have a copy of this Spanish bird guide, I plan to
              request we order one!

              Thanks,
              Jennifer Jones
              jjones@...
              Los Angeles


              Quoting Brooke McDonald <BMcDonald@...>:

              > Kaufman's got his "Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America" guide
              > out in Spanish. In Spanish it's "Kaufman guia de campo a las aves de
              > norteamerica."
              >
            • Chet Ogan
              Hi All! That s 5,025,132 birdwatchers in California! While a small percent of our 35,893,800 population (estimate by the census bureau), over 5 million
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 6, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi All!

                That's 5,025,132 birdwatchers in California! While a small percent of our
                35,893,800 population (estimate by the census bureau), over 5 million
                birdwatchers is a large number.

                Redwood Region Audubon is printing our NW Calif checklist in Spanish and
                plan to lead one field trip each month in Spanish. Others may think about
                the outreach also.



                Chet Ogan

                Work: cogan@... 707-825-2952
                Home: chet_ogan@... 707-442-9353
                Cell:
                707-496-9001
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.