Magnuson Park

Matt Williams mattwilliamsjr at
Sat Feb 9 06:30:46 PST 2002

Lee & Lori Cain wrote:

>Ellen, I encourage to you post again another day.


>As less-than expert-birder myself, and one who has mis-posted bird sightings

>before and been embarrassed (and no doubt will again), I have to

>respectfully differ with Dennis about public postings of observations.


>I teach kids biology, and have added birding to my other tricks as a way to

>re-awaken their natural interest in science. Kids learn by making mistakes

>best, not by being told only what is right, and so do adults. Posting

>online (and reading the polite corrective responses) has played a major part

>in honing my birding and general natural science observational skills.

>Without it I probably would still be far more incautious.


>I think that posting publicly is a great way to increase the education of

>the beginning birders out there, given the number of very knowledgeable

>birders out there who are willing to politely correct. I am sure that

>Dennis did not intend to squelch your enthusiasm to share what you've seen.


>Besides, I didn't know that Westerns were rare at Magnuson in winter, and

>now I do...thanks for making the mistake for me! :)


>Lee Cain

>Aquatic Biology/Integrated Science

>Astoria High School

>lcain at



Ellen, let me add one more voice to the chorus. I am a reasonably good
intermediate birder with a Life List of 540 species in the Lower 48
states. Last Spring I posted a report noting Blue Grouse hooting.
Several posts later, and one confirming field trip I know know that
those hoots were Mountain Quail. Without my erroneous posting I would
never have had the fun of really knowing what those hoots really were,
and when I finally saw a brood of 20+ adult and baby Mountain Qual a few
weeks later, I wouldn't have had such a broad warm smile on my face. It
was like the feeling you get when you meet in person for the first time
a "telephone friend" with whom you have had lots of great conversations.

Good birding!

Matt Williams
Davis, CA

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