STOP -- Excellent Points

Leslie Ann Rose sylph at nwlink.com
Tue Mar 5 05:32:10 PST 2002


Steve, makes some excellent points and I, for one am in complete agreement with him. I enjoy a rare siting as much as the next person, however, imagine yourself as the property owner looking out the window to scores of people hovering nearby with binoculars and scopes training on your yard. These are great opportunities to help educate people on bird ecology and how their actions might help or hinder all species - bird and non-bird alike.

In 2000 I was privileged to be contacted by a local homeowner curious about a 'different' bird that had been hanging around their feeder and my partner and I were asked to come over and have a look. Turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous male Indigo Bunting. The homeowners, who have become avid birders as a result, were thrilled to learn about this bird and kindly remarked that we were welcomed to share this information with others. My partner and I thanked them for their thoughtfulness, but explained that they really wouldn't want us to do that because word would get out and they could possibly end up with a mob at the edges of their yard. My partner took one other person out there in an effort to help document the siting, but other than that, we stayed silent for all the reasons Steve has already so eloquently expressed. Initially, I took some heat about our selfishness, yadda, yadda, yadda, however I stand by that decision.

As a scientist, I'm as pleased as anyone when a siting is accepted because it adds to the store of knowledge. However, accepted or not, a great siting is a great siting. I know a lot of knowledgeable and well-respected birders who have had one or more of their sitings rejected, so I figure I'm in good company. If collecting records and such were my goal, I guess I'd be a pretty disappointed person. However, my goal has always been to get out, see some new country, go for a walk and look at birds. Any birds that want to make themselves known at that particular time are fine by me. A great day is a great day. Some are more memorable than others and some days I've done the round of slogging and slushing and chasing and bushwhacking to get a just-a-little-better-view.

Leslie Ann Rose
Commencement Bay, WA


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