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The Elitist

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  • aguillard2469
    While my comments make me unpopular with many. I ve never been PC and so therefore I don t care. I speak my mind and tell the truth. Here is my argument. How
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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      While my comments make me unpopular with many. I've never been PC and
      so therefore I don't care. I speak my mind and tell the truth.

      Here is my argument. How many of you found out about the American
      Woodcock on private property out in the California desert several
      years ago? How many of you got to go and see it? A small group of
      California's Elite did. How many of you found out about the Wood
      Sandpiper and Bridled Tern this year, found on Military bases, where
      it was restricted access? That same group of Elite California Birders
      managed to get on those bases to see the birds.

      Me personally, I have found many rarities in the last 20 years, and I
      have always been thankful for any one sharing information with me
      about a bird, but I have also given back to San Diego's &
      California's Birding community over the same amount of time. I tell
      people, I notify people, I call people, I send messages to the
      listservs, because I have always thought that sharing the birds with
      others was a part of the reason why we are birders.

      If the bird is on private property, then why is it the same group of
      people are always on that property to tick off their list? The ethics
      of some of these people are wanting. As long as they get to see the
      bird, damn everyone else. They'll throw up their excuses as to why
      they got the word about a rarity, and why they were able to go and
      see it, but no matter what their excuse is, it still stinks like
      elitism.

      Find, no one here has to post anything about anything, when they do
      find a bird, but ask yourself this. How many birds did you get to go
      and chase because you first read about it here on Calbirds or one of
      the other 25 listservs here in California? Were'nt you extremely
      grateful that someone decided to share some information?

      Douglas Aguillard
      San Diego, CA
      doug@...
    • Daniel S. Cooper
      Doug - (before this thread is declared closed!) 1. No one has an obligation to report, period. If you use this list, you have an obligation to play by the
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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        Doug - (before this thread is declared closed!)

        1. No one has an obligation to report, period. If you use this list, you have an obligation to
        "play by the rules", which means subject line, signature, no rambling, etc. I don't see the
        ethical argument.

        2. I was part of the "woodcock party" but only because I happened to be birding 2 feet
        away from Michael Patten (and only because I was in grad school with him at the time).
        Otherwise, I would not have known about it until long after. I didn't call anyone because
        the site owners/residents were extremely sensitive about people coming, and because
        doing so would surely close the place down for good (I haven't been since, b/c I heard they
        are now hostile).

        3. It seems to me that two things are at play in this charge of elitism - the personal and
        the avocational. Regarding the former, if I'm going to dinner, I don't call all of my friends
        in L.A. and tell them to meet me at the restaurant - I call the same few folks I always have
        dinner with, and once in a while, other friends. Simple human nature.

        In Calif. birding, there's a group of people that are die-hard state and county listers. They
        split the state up and bird their "patches" week in and week out, and do call each one
        another. I guess if I were to spend the next few years state-listing, and turned up at every
        rarity, I'd probably make it into that group.

        These forces combine around rarities - you tend to call the people you tend to call. You
        yourself may be more generous in your information, but to me, that's a personality trait,
        not an obligation.

        4. I think Mike and others made the points well about questionable sightings. Having
        banded multiple Yellow-bellied Flycatchers in New England the past couple falls (none of
        which were calling), I feel strongly that the many silent claimed YBFL in the West are best
        left unidentified, and I would not feel comfortable sending a bunch of birders out to look
        for a bird I was 50/50 about.

        Dan Cooper
        Los Angeles
        www.cooperecological.com


        --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, "aguillard2469" <doug@...> wrote:

        >
        > While my comments make me unpopular with many. I've never been PC and
        > so therefore I don't care. I speak my mind and tell the truth.
        >
      • QuiAvisPetit@aol.com
        I would challenge anyone to name a few of these birders you call elitist. If you were to do so I am sure that you would get a barrage of emails from birders
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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          I would challenge anyone to name a few of these birders you call elitist.
          If you were to do so I am sure that you would get a barrage of emails from
          birders across the state defending them. The emails would be along the lines of
          "that's the person who showed me my life (insert bird here)" or "they taught
          me about X" or "they gave me directions to such and such." Many of these
          "elitist" birders are the ones who share their knowledge most freely. I am sure
          that none of them consider themselves elitist or hold any such views.
          Personally, I always feel slightly sheepish when I get to see a bird that is off
          limits to others.
          There are many places that are closed to the public, there always have
          been and there always will be. The birders who have access to some of them
          have fought long and hard to gain access for the public. Many places that we do
          have access to are because of birders like these. Some places such as
          military bases just won't give public access, this is nothing new. Would it then
          better that no one birds there, and vagrants go undiscovered? Personally I
          feel better knowing that someone is checking those spots. Yes, it is too bad
          there isn't access for the rest but only a true listing fanatic would get that
          bent out of shape over it.
          Remember that in the long run we are all on the same side and are united
          by common ground.


          My two cents,
          Daryl Coldren
          Arcata
          "When Wilderness is outlawed only outlaws can save Wilderness." ~ Edward
          Abbey



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


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Coursey
          As a beginning birder, I was a tad upset about situations like this on more than one occasion. However, this is a bit like other seniority systems -- the
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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            As a beginning birder, I was a tad upset about situations like this
            on more than one occasion. However, this is a bit like other
            "seniority systems" -- the longer you are around, the more you like
            it. Once I took the time to learn the names of my fellow birders and
            show some interest, they helped me find birds I'd not otherwise see.
            I've managed, on a couple of specific occasions, to help lots of
            people get lifers I had access to. I am a 300-life list birder,
            hardly an elitist.

            Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to get access to all the
            birds they'd like to see. And, to some extent, the original finder
            controls who gets to see the bird. The fact is that rare birds draw
            big crowds -- even not so rare birds -- and those crowds disrupt the
            lives of neighbors, landowners, the general public, etc. We are
            generally asking someone's forbearance whenever a rare bird appears.
            Sometimes we get excellent cooperation and local tolerance, sometimes
            not.

            I am not sure which specific birders you are referring to, but
            generally speaking, our state's "elite" birders contribute much more
            to birding that the size of their life lists. They teach classes,
            write books, share information online and elsewhere, and even answer
            idiotic (in retrospect) beginner questions from people like me. Does
            it bother me that they get birds that I, too, could just drive up and
            see sometimes? I guess, but looking after one's friends is a fact of
            human existence and, in birding because of access issues, sometimes a
            practical necessity.

            Birders, as a group, are pretty decent folks. All I ask is that we
            all recognize our responsibility to ethical birding (in the ABA
            sense) and help each other whenever we can. For the most part, that's
            what the top birders do. Most of them realize that with elite status
            come some elite responsibilities. Which is really more than we have a
            right to expect.

            (I am posting this with special thanks to Mike Feighner; David Yee;
            John Sterling; the late Waldo Holt; my birding mentor, Cheri
            Pillsbury; and all the other great birders who have taken me "under
            their wing". Gee, I hate birding puns!)

            David Coursey
            Occasional Birder from Tracy
          • Kimball Garrett
            Dear All, I hadn t planned to get sucked into this morass, but there is one important point to be made that I don t believe has been aired. If anything like
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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              Dear All,

              I hadn't planned to get sucked into this morass, but there is one
              important point to be made that I don't believe has been aired. If
              anything like an elite "Inner Birding Circle" of birders exists, it
              consists almost entirely of birders with a strong track record of
              documenting rarities through photographs and thorough written
              descriptions. If I were lucky enough to find a very unusual bird in a
              sensitive area, I would make every effort to contact friends and fellow
              birders who I know will work hard to critically examine and document
              that bird (and submit documentation to the CBRC). Frankly, I'm not that
              concerned about getting additional birders out there who merely want to
              put something on their (state, county, or fill in the blank) lists and
              have no history of documenting birds or cooperating with the CBRC. Of
              course I (and all birders I know) have no objection to encouraging wide
              enjoyment of rarities that are in accessible, public localities that
              have no issues relating to birder impacts.

              This suggests that one way to "graduate" to this mythical "elite circle"
              would be to work at developing a strong track record of careful and
              critical birding, extensive useful documentation, and cooperation with
              the CBRC, NAB, etc.

              Kimball

              Kimball L. Garrett
              Ornithology Collections Manager
              Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
              900 Exposition Blvd.
              Los Angeles CA 90007
              (213) 763-3368
              (213) 746-2999 FAX
              kgarrett@...
            • Steve Hampton
              I think the way to get into any so-called inner circle in any region is to get out there, meet people, be friendly, and, most importantly, explore new areas
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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                I think the way to get into any so-called "inner circle" in any region is to get out there, meet people, be friendly, and, most importantly, explore new areas and find your own rarities.

                Not everyone shares birds in a timely fashion, and not every bird is found in a publically-accessible place. That's just the way it is. Let it go and find your own-- it's MUCH more satisfying.








                Steve Hampton
                ________________
                Resource Economist
                Office of Spill Prevention and Response
                California Dept of Fish and Game
                PO Box 944209
                Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
                -----------------------------------
                (916) 323-4724 phone
                (916) 324-8829 fax
              • Ryan Terrill
                Hi Everyone- I first want to say that this is a fun discussion. Birding really is a community and a culture, more than many of us would like to admit. As for
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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                  Hi Everyone-

                  I first want to say that this is a fun discussion. Birding really is a community and a culture, more than many of us would like to admit. As for the elite group of birders, I have recently had a bit of light shed on the activity of birding, and how I got to where I am. I moved to Argentina in June, and things are a lot different down here. Sure, there is an active birding community, but noone really birds regularly together, and If I want to know how to tell Shiny from Screaming Cowbird, or The high-altitide miners, or The Canasteros, I just have to go look and listen to them a whole hell of a lot, because there is no Rich Stallcup or Guy McCaskie just up the road whom I can ask about the differences in flight calls between Andean and Rothschild´s Swift. It is really showing me what incredible amounts of work a lot of people went through to get birding to where it is today, and how ignorant I, at least, would be without these people. These are the shoulders we are
                  standing on.

                  -Ryan Terrill
                  Buenos Aires, Argentina


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                • Lidia Seebeck
                  For background-I m not an amateur but decidedly not an expert birder. With a life list around 230, I d say intermediate is about right. Sure there are some
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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                    For background-I'm not an amateur but decidedly not an expert birder. With
                    a life list around 230, I'd say "intermediate" is about right.



                    Sure there are some pretty expert birders in this state. Kimball Garrett,
                    Steve Sosensky, Guy McCaskie, Roger Higson, and many others come to mind.
                    Sure there are some less-than-nice birders in this state. I know that's the
                    case in many places. But, on average, California's birders are actually
                    really nice and that even seems to go double for the experts. I know there
                    have been situations when I've failed to get a report in on time, usually
                    for a balky email connection. I really do try to get my reports in the same
                    day and my hubby is nice enough (and now addicted enough to birding!) to
                    help me once we get back to the house so I have the time to type something
                    up. But I can well imagine the situation for those whose spouses aren't
                    birders-especially on a weekend. I haven't yet encountered a situation
                    where I have failed to send a report because of a delicate location, but I
                    can imagine that if a bird were in my neighbors' yards I might not be able
                    to report. One of my neighbors loves birds and knows about my hobby so they
                    might well consent, others might not. So far all my reports have either
                    been in my own yard or else viewable in a more public locale.



                    I do think, however, that birders really should be careful to take into
                    account the fact that our reports, properly checked and documented as
                    necessary, help increase the knowledge base of ALL California birders. I
                    remember a report of an Osprey that I made here in the Inland Empire last
                    fall and I got some reports back thanking me for the observation as there
                    was some sort of survey going on and the Osprey observation was helpful
                    somehow. I think that even an amateur birder with a good observation can
                    make a difference. Of course, accurate reports are the most helpful, and it
                    is important to verify your observation.



                    I don't know the situation that led to the creation of this thread
                    (something about a Woodcock?) but I really can't say that I know of too
                    many birders that would deliberately hold back on reporting something
                    exciting unless there was some odd circumstance that might require
                    discretion.



                    In short-California's top birders are mostly experts, not elitists.



                    Lidia Seebeck

                    Pachappa Hill, Riverside



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Morgan Churchill
                    As someone with birding experience within and outside of California, I will throw in a few cents. First off, I rather agree with Doug on most of his points.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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                      As someone with birding experience within and outside of California, I will
                      throw in a few cents.

                      First off, I rather agree with Doug on most of his points. It strikes me as
                      rather hypocritical to use the list, but at the same time not to report
                      things when a rarity in your neck shows up. However I can see the point of
                      people not posting about birds on military or otherwise difficult to access
                      places. I recently had a dilemna like this...On a field trip in Western
                      Wyoming this past September, I happened upon a Blackburnian Warbler.
                      However...I had literally no idea where it was, as the locality was off
                      several dirt roads smack dab in the middle of nowhere. I didn't want to
                      lead birders on a wild goose hunt for what was likely a unchaseable bird.
                      As for birds where the identity is far from confirmed, I would rather have
                      it posted so others could hear about it and maybe throw in their two cents,
                      then for no one to say anything.

                      Also, I envy the birding situation in San Diego and California (and not
                      being around for birds like Yellow-green Vireo or Bar-tailed Godwit is
                      killing me). The local statewide listserve is nearly dead here, very few
                      birders seem to be active much, and many that I have encountered are not
                      even half the skill of birders I would meet in the field in California.
                      Overall, if you have to put up with a few elitist birders, it seems like a
                      very small price to pay for birding in such a great state.

                      Morgan Churchill
                      Laramie, Wyoming

                      On 10/4/07, Lidia Seebeck <lidia@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > For background-I'm not an amateur but decidedly not an expert birder.
                      > With
                      > a life list around 230, I'd say "intermediate" is about right.
                      >
                      > Sure there are some pretty expert birders in this state. Kimball Garrett,
                      > Steve Sosensky, Guy McCaskie, Roger Higson, and many others come to mind.
                      > Sure there are some less-than-nice birders in this state. I know that's
                      > the
                      > case in many places. But, on average, California's birders are actually
                      > really nice and that even seems to go double for the experts. I know there
                      > have been situations when I've failed to get a report in on time, usually
                      > for a balky email connection. I really do try to get my reports in the
                      > same
                      > day and my hubby is nice enough (and now addicted enough to birding!) to
                      > help me once we get back to the house so I have the time to type something
                      > up. But I can well imagine the situation for those whose spouses aren't
                      > birders-especially on a weekend. I haven't yet encountered a situation
                      > where I have failed to send a report because of a delicate location, but I
                      > can imagine that if a bird were in my neighbors' yards I might not be able
                      > to report. One of my neighbors loves birds and knows about my hobby so
                      > they
                      > might well consent, others might not. So far all my reports have either
                      > been in my own yard or else viewable in a more public locale.
                      >
                      > I do think, however, that birders really should be careful to take into
                      > account the fact that our reports, properly checked and documented as
                      > necessary, help increase the knowledge base of ALL California birders. I
                      > remember a report of an Osprey that I made here in the Inland Empire last
                      > fall and I got some reports back thanking me for the observation as there
                      > was some sort of survey going on and the Osprey observation was helpful
                      > somehow. I think that even an amateur birder with a good observation can
                      > make a difference. Of course, accurate reports are the most helpful, and
                      > it
                      > is important to verify your observation.
                      >
                      > I don't know the situation that led to the creation of this thread
                      > (something about a Woodcock?) but I really can't say that I know of too
                      > many birders that would deliberately hold back on reporting something
                      > exciting unless there was some odd circumstance that might require
                      > discretion.
                      >
                      > In short-California's top birders are mostly experts, not elitists.
                      >
                      > Lidia Seebeck
                      >
                      > Pachappa Hill, Riverside
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >



                      --
                      Morgan Churchill
                      San Diego (SDSU area)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Lilith Mageborn
                      Well. This thread has reinforced my belief that every group is a microcosm of society at large, much as all members would like our group to be perfect and
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
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                        Well. This thread has reinforced my belief that every group is a
                        microcosm of society at large, much as all members would like "our group"
                        to be perfect and free of perceived societal flaws. If any group could be
                        flawless, we'd see a miraculous walking on water, en masse, picking up
                        Bar-Tailed Godwits and oystercatchers, or a parting of the Pacific Ocean
                        in search of certain terns, gulls and albatrosses. ;-)

                        For my part, my irregular hours as a 1099 contract worker working several
                        jobs and raising a teenager single-handedly enforces time and financial
                        constraints (not to mention being perpetually exhausted) precludes me
                        from chasing after confirmed or unconfirmed rarities unless they're local
                        (as was the case with that Red-Faced Warbler in 9/05), but I thoroughly
                        enjoy reading such posts and the discussions in trying to pin down this
                        or that bird's ID because I learn from such discussions and because I'm
                        equally analytical. Well, I'm a proofreader and an editor: I have to be
                        nit-picky!

                        Elitism? I see where Doug Aguillard is coming from, but I also get the
                        impression that the people who post possible or confirmed rarities are
                        the truly hard-core birders. Maybe I'm wrong about that (Lord knows I've
                        been wrong plenty of times before), but you know, if a possibility is
                        posted in Area XYZ, whether that area is accessible or not, then I'd
                        think it would alert us to the **possibility** of a Rara Avis lurking in
                        the general locality; it would then encourage us to keep our eyes open
                        for said possibility.

                        So -- post away, I say!

                        Just my scraped-together two cents' worth.

                        Sue Jorgenson
                        260 life birds +/-
                        Anaheim, CA



                        On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 10:46:20 -0700 "Steve Hampton"
                        <shampton@...> writes:
                        > I think the way to get into any so-called "inner circle" in any
                        > region is to get out there, meet people, be friendly, and, most
                        > importantly, explore new areas and find your own rarities.
                        >
                        > Not everyone shares birds in a timely fashion, and not every bird is
                        > found in a publically-accessible place. That's just the way it is.
                        > Let it go and find your own-- it's MUCH more satisfying.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Steve Hampton
                        > ________________
                        > Resource Economist
                        > Office of Spill Prevention and Response
                        > California Dept of Fish and Game
                        > PO Box 944209
                        > Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
                        > -----------------------------------
                        > (916) 323-4724 phone
                        > (916) 324-8829 fax
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                      • surteesdn@aol.com
                        In a message dated 10/4/07 10:12:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... And that s the most cogent reason for posting all suspected rarities -- if the area the bird
                        Message 11 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
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                          In a message dated 10/4/07 10:12:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                          lilithm3@... writes:

                          > if a possibility is
                          > posted in Area XYZ, whether that area is accessible or not, then I'd
                          > think it would alert us to the **possibility** of a Rara Avis lurking in
                          > the general locality; it would then encourage us to keep our eyes open
                          > for said possibility.
                          >
                          > So -- post away, I say!
                          >
                          And that's the most cogent reason for posting all suspected rarities
                          -- if the area the bird was in is sensitive, say so and caution birders of any
                          restrictions. Don't just keep it for your 'birding buddies'. That's rude!

                          Dave Surtees
                          Hollywood
                          <BR><BR>**************************************<BR> See what's new at http://www.aol.com</HTML>


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                        • Floyd Hayes
                          I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to the elitists for exploring and discovering new hotspots, finding so many rarities that we often see with relative
                          Message 12 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
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                            I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to the elitists
                            for exploring and discovering new hotspots, finding so
                            many rarities that we often see with relative ease,
                            and teaching us about the finer points of
                            distribution, seasonality and identification of birds
                            in California.

                            Floyd Hayes
                            Hidden Valley Lake, CA


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                          • Lilith Mageborn
                            This is why I see both sides of the issue. We DO owe that debt of gratitude to the truly dedicated birders. If not for them, I wouldn t have Lentz s Birds of
                            Message 13 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
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                              This is why I see both sides of the issue. We DO owe that debt of
                              gratitude to the truly dedicated birders.

                              If not for them, I wouldn't have Lentz's Birds of the Southern California
                              Coast or Schram's A Birder's Guide to Southern California, or Kempton's
                              Birding Northern California (or Anza-Borrego, Salton Sea, OC Breeding
                              Atlas, Ocean Birds of the Nearshore Pacific, and the list goes on and on
                              and on).

                              Well, however the issue resolves itself, I will continue to read and
                              learn from the posts and keep my eyes open when I travel on business
                              throughout California, knowing that a suspected or confirmed rarity has
                              been seen here, or there. For isn't it said that "fortune favors the
                              prepared"? :-)

                              Sue Jorgenson
                              Anaheim, CA

                              On Fri, 5 Oct 2007 09:42:45 -0700 (PDT) Floyd Hayes
                              <floyd_hayes@...> writes:
                              > I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to the elitists
                              > for exploring and discovering new hotspots, finding so
                              > many rarities that we often see with relative ease,
                              > and teaching us about the finer points of
                              > distribution, seasonality and identification of birds
                              > in California.
                              >
                              > Floyd Hayes
                              > Hidden Valley Lake, CA
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • John Puschock
                              There s been a couple things stated in this thread that have bothered me, so here are my thoughts: 1) A lifelist is a poor measure of birding skill. Don t
                              Message 14 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
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                                There's been a couple things stated in this thread that have bothered me, so here are my thoughts:

                                1) A lifelist is a poor measure of birding skill. Don't label yourself based on that number. I've found that the larger geographic area a list covers, the more it is a measure of financial resources and time rather than birding skill. I'm usually immediately impressed by someone with a large county or state list, but I reserve judgment for someone with a large ABA Area or world list until I see them in action.

                                2) An elite birder is not the same thing as an elitist. Just because you're one of those doesn't automatically make you the other.

                                For the record, I'm in favor of "Elite Inner Circles" when I'm on the inside but against them when I'm not. :) Unfortunately, I'm generally not.

                                Anyway, I agree with one of Doug's basic points: if you take from the list, you should also give back when appropriate. Also, I think it's better to report a potential rarity rather than wait for confirmation, but chaser beware. If you can't do the time (i.e., miss a bird or find out the ID was incorrect), don't do the crime (i.e., chase).

                                John Puschock
                                San Diego, CA
                                g_g_allin@...

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                              • scre@aol.com
                                I didn t want to get sucked into this but there are a few points that I wanted to make. I don t feel that there is elitism among California s birders. What I
                                Message 15 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
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                                  I didn't want to get sucked into this but there are a few points that I
                                  wanted
                                  to make. I don't feel that there is elitism among California's birders.
                                  What
                                  I do find is, a point already made by several others, that people who
                                  actively
                                  bird and document their sightings tend to bump into each other and become
                                  friends. As time passes you come to know and trust these people and report
                                  birds to them. You're not keeping others out because you are an elitist but
                                  because you don't know everyone on these listserves and don't know what they
                                  might do when you report a bird. As much as we might like to think that
                                  birders represent an atypical slice of the general population, not all
                                  birders
                                  act according to what the majority of us think of as common and decent
                                  behavior. Plenty of people have reported birds on private property only to
                                  have hordes of birders come out and act in a disrespectful manner to the
                                  landowners resulting in that spot being closed for everyone. This has
                                  happened many times at several different places throughout the state. I
                                  have
                                  even heard stories of birders trespassing where people had permission to do
                                  bird surveys, even onto military land (quite the federal offense!).

                                  This type of behavior jeopardizes birding these spots in the future for those
                                  who have worked hard at getting access and keeping it, just because a few
                                  people who read it on a listerve decide to ruin it for everyone. By telling
                                  a
                                  few friends, you are allowing a few people who have proven to be trustworthy
                                  to
                                  see a bird and to help in documenting it. Is this really elitism? I just
                                  can't see being upset about a bird that is found on private property or a
                                  military base and not getting a chance to see it. It seems even more
                                  ridiculous to call it elitism when someone does get to see it because either
                                  a) they have worked to get access or b) they have proven to a friend with
                                  access that they will enter in a responsible manner.

                                  As much as we'd like to say that we don't judge if someone makes a mistake,
                                  there are plenty who do and end up harassing an individual because of a
                                  mistake. This happens even to birders of Mike San Miguel's caliber, so it
                                  ends up becoming a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. People
                                  will be pissed that they chased a bird that might have been misided or, as in
                                  this case, they will be pissed that it wasn't reported.

                                  Another reason not to post is because of sensitive habitat. As much as
                                  we'd like to think that we are all conservationists and won't destroy the
                                  habitat when chasing birds, it does happen. When a mega is found in a small
                                  area that suddenly gets 50 people, they are going to have an impact.
                                  Sometimes the bird and the habitat are more important than a few people
                                  getting to tick it off.

                                  As for those on this listserve it seems that all those who actively
                                  bird do report birds here when it is appropriate to do so. I have read plenty
                                  of reports from Mike San Miguel and others on the birds they have found, who
                                  may not report birds at times because of the above reasons. No one is
                                  obligated to post something here just because they read the messages
                                  (otherwise the majority of this listserve would have to be kicked off). People
                                  are gracious in their willingness to share information when appropriate,
                                  however, sometimes a person has to choose to not share that information with
                                  everyone. Good birding everyone.

                                  David Vander Pluym
                                  Ventura, Ca



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