Fwd: [BirdingCalifornia] AWOL-full bird names
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From: Andrew Howe <howe395@...>
Date: Feb 2, 2008 10:45 AM
Subject: [BirdingCalifornia] AWOL-full bird names
IMHO, banding acronyms belong in one place: banding.
The potential for a SNAFU is too great, as most of us
aren't banders (it's not in our DNA), and haven't
memorized the long list of codes, which don't always
correspond to the first two letters of each word.
For instance, both Prothonotary and Prairie Warblers
are routinely referenced as PRWA. There are fewer
than 20 Cerulean Warbler records for the state, but
flocks of CEWA are regularly reported. Once during
Y2K, when a poster only reported one such Cedar
Waxwing, I frantically packed the car for an emergency
chase trip; I nearly had to be given CPR when we
figured out the truth.
The identity of the bird is usually the single most
important piece of information in a post; birders need
this information ASAP, without having to hunt down
their NG guides to look in the index (and if you're at
work, you're SOL--PMF).
The claim of conciseness is mostly BS (PMF), as other
posting practices don't bear out the brevity thesis.
For instance, very few response messages are trimmed
properly, using up archive space at double the rate.
Consequently, there are only three banding acronyms I
support in general usage: SORA, SMEW, and RUFF.
Everything else is just too confusing. To quote
Richard Webster: "LABU should be taboo."
Finally, and I believe as if the following is the most
important piece of information in this entire post, so
please take it to heart: DFTTOTGOWN!
AH (Andrew Howe, not Adolf Hitler)