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Re: The Elitist

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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 1 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
      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 2 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
        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 3 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
          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 4 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
            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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