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Re: [CALBIRDS] The Elitist

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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 1 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
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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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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