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Galileo Hill Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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  • sanmigbird@aol.com
    Cal birders, Among many reasons for not posting the Galileo Hill YBFL to the public was my uncertainty about the identification. I was with Curtis Marantz when
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 3, 2007
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      Cal birders,

      Among many reasons for not posting the Galileo Hill YBFL to
      the public was my uncertainty about the identification. I was
      with Curtis Marantz when I found this bird. We had a lengthy
      study and discussion about the bird. Later Jon Dunn also saw the
      bird. We all agreed it was a strong candidate but we did not hear
      it call and some of the critical field marks didn't seem quite right.
      I even wrote extensive field notes but given the difficulty of this
      identification this is one that I decided to let go and I am quite
      comfortable with that decision.

      Whether birders post their sightings to public forums is a matter
      of personal choice and we are under no obligation to do so. Over
      the years I have posted many good birds to this forum and to other
      lists serves. I will continue to post my sightings but it will be by
      choice and when I judge it is in the overall interest of the birding
      public.

      Mike San Miguel
      Arcadia CA


      **************************************
      See what's new at
      http://www.aol.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Douglas Aguillard
      Wow Mike! While I appreciate people being conservative in the thinking and not starting a Wild Goose Chase , I also wonder about how the word on the special
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 3, 2007
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        Wow Mike!

        While I appreciate people being conservative in the thinking and not
        starting a "Wild Goose Chase", I also wonder about how the word on the
        special birds only makes it out to the inner circle of California's Elite
        Birders?

        Now Mike, please do not take this personally as I have alot of respect for
        you as a Birder, but now that you've gone public and stated that

        "I will continue to post my sightings but it will be by choice and when I
        judge it is in the overall interest of the birding public".

        My questions are these- You'll post information only when you feel like it?
        Does that mean, you will use any information you get from these Public
        forums and use that information for yourself, but only share with everyone
        else when you feel like it?

        That doesn't sound PC. My own thought process is this. If you take
        information from these listservs, then YOU ARE obligated to return the favor
        to the listservs. But hey, I've been wrong before.


        Douglas Aguillard
        San Diego, CA
        doug@...
        http://sdbirds.basiclink.com

        "Come to the Darkside--we have cookies!"



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <sanmigbird@...>
        To: <Calbirds@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 2:50 PM
        Subject: [CALBIRDS] Galileo Hill Yellow-bellied Flycatcher



        > Whether birders post their sightings to public forums is a matter
        > of personal choice and we are under no obligation to do so. Over
        > the years I have posted many good birds to this forum and to other
        > lists serves. I will continue to post my sightings but it will be by
        > choice and when I judge it is in the overall interest of the birding
        > public.
        >
        > Mike San Miguel
        > Arcadia CA
        >
        >
        > **************************************
        > See what's new at
        > http://www.aol.com
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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      • Oscar Johnson
        All, First off thanks for the many responses on this bird. It is interesting to see the wide range of responses, from unidentifiable, to YBFL, to WEFL. My
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 3, 2007
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          All,

          First off thanks for the many responses on this bird. It is
          interesting to see the wide range of responses, from unidentifiable,
          to YBFL, to WEFL.

          My initial incentive for posting these photos was that to date I had
          seen no mention of discussion of this bird's identity. And as far as I
          know, David and I were the only people to obtain good photos. My
          personal opinion on this bird is that it should likely remain
          unidentified, given the apparent overlap in a number of characters. I
          personally don't have very much experience with YBFL, but I have
          certainly read Pyle and Heindel. I left this bird in the field as
          "showing characters of YBFL," which still seems to be a good label for
          this bird (to my mind).

          We heard a bird giving a position note from the general part of the
          bamboo patch where this bird was hiding that I suspect was this bird.
          To my ear it sounded similar, but slightly different from, the
          position note of Western Flycatcher. Scott Terrill, who was also
          present at that time, thought that it sounded similar to position
          notes he has heard from other YBFLs. Any comments on this Scott?
          Otherwise, the bird did not call.

          However, despite all of this, my only involvement in the record was
          that I received a phone call about a reported rarity, chased said
          bird, attempted to document it as well as I could, and then put the
          photos in the public forum. The photos don't do much for me
          personally, and I believe are much more useful in the public forum.
          When I posted the photos I was not aware that Mike had left the bird
          as Empidonax sp.

          As to Doug's posts, I adamantly believe that there is absolutely no
          requirement for posting a rarity to this listerve simply because I
          read the posts. There are plenty of reasons not to post a rarity,
          whether because of private property issues, lack of access to
          restricted areas, or simply if the identity of the bird is not
          certain. Of course it is ultimately up to the observer to decide
          whether to post or not, and it depends on personal preference. In the
          case of this bird I was away from a computer for a number of days
          while birding the desert and Ventura County.

          It appears to me that the photos of the Empidonax on Jim's page show a
          Willow Flycatcher in the upper five photos, and what may be the
          reported YBFL in the lower three photos? However, I don't know if you
          can tell for sure.

          Good birding,

          Oscar Johnson
        • Lori Conrad
          All I have to say on this matter is how does a person get on this apparently elite call list? Lori Conrad Hermosa Beach, Ca [Non-text portions of this message
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 3, 2007
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            All I have to say on this matter is how does a person get on this apparently elite call list?

            Lori Conrad
            Hermosa Beach, Ca


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Andy Boyce
            Hello, I would agree with Oscar that this bird is probably best left unidentified. First, I am uncomfortable with the shape of the eye-ring on this bird. It
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 3, 2007
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              Hello,

              I would agree with Oscar that this bird is probably best left
              unidentified. First, I am uncomfortable with the shape of the eye-ring
              on this bird. It looks a little too thick in front of and behind the
              eye, especially in relation to how thin it gets above the eye. The
              only other mark that looks off for YBFL is the wing color. I
              understand this can be hard to judge in photos, but even if the wing
              is a tad darker than it appears, I think there should be more contrast
              between the wing and body color.

              All that being said, it is certainly not a normal-looking WEFL.
              Frustrating to ID, but definitely a fun bird to analyze.

              On the topic of CALBIRDS and lists in general, from the point of view
              of a new immigrant to CA with no affiliations;

              It seems fairly ridiculous to me to attempt to mandate any type of
              participation from everyone who reads this list, I'll leave it at
              that. As for the calling circles; I've heard references to "elitist
              inner-circles" on many birding lists, but have yet to encounter such
              an insidious clan in the flesh. The only thing I've seen are groups of
              friends who enjoy birding together and sharing sightings.

              -Andy Boyce
              Riverside, CA
            • Ken Burton
              It seems to me that one of the most valuable purposes of a communication medium such as a birding listserv is to alert competent observers to the existence of
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 4, 2007
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                It seems to me that one of the most valuable purposes of a communication medium such as a birding listserv is to alert competent observers to the existence of potential rarities of uncertain identity. What better way to get a multitude of opinions based on field observation, where it really counts? Of course, it is the responsibility of the reporter to make his uncertainty clear; at that point, it is up to the reader whether to "chase" based on whatever criteria he deems important, including his opinion of the reporter's credibility. We are (mostly) intelligent people, not sheep, and no one who makes an honest post should be held accountable for causing a stampede.

                I am not implying that anyone is obligated to report birds of uncertain identity. It's certainly understandable (if unfortunate) that people might not want to risk their reputations by reporting broadly before identifications are certain. I am merely saying that uncertain identity should not necessarily be considered reason in and of itself for not posting a bird of potential widespread interest. Such birds can offer excellent opportunities for study, discussion, debate, and learning.

                Ken Burton
                McKinleyville
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Oscar Johnson
                To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 10:43 PM
                Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: Galileo Hill Yellow-bellied Flycatcher


                All,

                First off thanks for the many responses on this bird. It is
                interesting to see the wide range of responses, from unidentifiable,
                to YBFL, to WEFL.

                My initial incentive for posting these photos was that to date I had
                seen no mention of discussion of this bird's identity. And as far as I
                know, David and I were the only people to obtain good photos. My
                personal opinion on this bird is that it should likely remain
                unidentified, given the apparent overlap in a number of characters. I
                personally don't have very much experience with YBFL, but I have
                certainly read Pyle and Heindel. I left this bird in the field as
                "showing characters of YBFL," which still seems to be a good label for
                this bird (to my mind).

                We heard a bird giving a position note from the general part of the
                bamboo patch where this bird was hiding that I suspect was this bird.
                To my ear it sounded similar, but slightly different from, the
                position note of Western Flycatcher. Scott Terrill, who was also
                present at that time, thought that it sounded similar to position
                notes he has heard from other YBFLs. Any comments on this Scott?
                Otherwise, the bird did not call.

                However, despite all of this, my only involvement in the record was
                that I received a phone call about a reported rarity, chased said
                bird, attempted to document it as well as I could, and then put the
                photos in the public forum. The photos don't do much for me
                personally, and I believe are much more useful in the public forum.
                When I posted the photos I was not aware that Mike had left the bird
                as Empidonax sp.

                As to Doug's posts, I adamantly believe that there is absolutely no
                requirement for posting a rarity to this listerve simply because I
                read the posts. There are plenty of reasons not to post a rarity,
                whether because of private property issues, lack of access to
                restricted areas, or simply if the identity of the bird is not
                certain. Of course it is ultimately up to the observer to decide
                whether to post or not, and it depends on personal preference. In the
                case of this bird I was away from a computer for a number of days
                while birding the desert and Ventura County.

                It appears to me that the photos of the Empidonax on Jim's page show a
                Willow Flycatcher in the upper five photos, and what may be the
                reported YBFL in the lower three photos? However, I don't know if you
                can tell for sure.

                Good birding,

                Oscar Johnson





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