Should all small, flittery birds be shot?

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at
Sun Nov 11 08:18:32 PST 2001

Dear Tweets,

I know some Texans who would sympathize with Kelly Cassidy. They had expected me to lead them around Skagit County and find all those easy lifers for them. MacGillivray's Warbler? No problem. Black Swift a week before they're "supposed to" show up? Done. Red-breasted Sapsucker? Pick a Douglas fir, any Douglas fir.

Could I find a Pacific-slope Flycatcher they could actually see? Or hear? "Well, Gary, I'm a-gettin' on in yearsh, don't hear them small, flittery birds too good any more."

"You mean you can't hear that pseeet call? It's only about four octaves above the piccolo part in the Turkish march section of the last movement in Beethoven's fifth symphony. Can't you hear that?"

Needless to say, they went back to Austin, sans flycatcher. The next day I was sitting on my friend's deck with a PSFL about two meters from me, almond-shaped eyering plain as day, even to me with my eyeglasses off.

Good birding,

Gary Bletsch

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