Secrets in Birding

M. Donahue mgd at
Wed Mar 6 10:25:59 PST 2002

I'd like the opportunity to chime in with my two cents on this dialogue...

Having been birding in this area for over 30 years, I remember the days of
the "inner circle" of birders who were in on all the good birds. However,
I would maintain that much of that was due to "communication
opportunities," NOT on exclusivity.

Back then, if you saw something rare, you would simply call those birders
you knew to share your excitement and information. You would also report it
to the rare bird hotline. This hotline, for those of you who don't remember,
was a taped message that the manager of the hotline recorded every few days;
it was rarely updated daily, and often only weekly. Nowadays we can post
on the Internet, or call the Birdbox on our cell phone while still
observing the bird!

I'm not saying that there aren't a few elitist birders out there, but in
my experience, I think the vast majority of our birding community is very
open, willing and eager to share birding information. If you consider how
competitive many birders are, this is even more commendable!

And by the way, I'm not in anyone's "inner circle." I get my information
on the Internet and Birdbox like everyone else.

Mike Donahue

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