Reporting rarities-from the other end
Lovcukes at aol.com
Lovcukes at aol.com
Thu Mar 7 23:37:47 PST 2002
I've been reading with interest this thread on reporting rarities, and having
been on the receiving end of birders affections for a rarity, I felt I must
comment. Some of you must remember the Hooded Oriole from last May that
showed up in the Bothell area. Many, many birders came out to view this
beauty and I was well aware of what I might be getting myself into by making
it known to the world. I received numerous e-mails asking me how I planned
to handle the crowds, if I knew what I was doing, was I crazy, etc. I must
admit that I began to doubt myself and wondered if indeed I had lost my mind.
I am not a lister, I am a backyard birder and my knowledge of birds outside
my own yard is limited. But I know a stranger when I see one and I knew the
Hooded Oriole was definitely not from these parts. And so the drama began.
I would not have EVER kept this bird to myself, regardless of the intrusion.
The feeder was no more than 5 feet from my front door but the people coming
were not there to gawk at me. Why would I not want to share this rarity
with those who could appreciate him most? Of course I realize that being
familiar with birds makes the situation a bit different from someone with
little interest. It seems that a birder would have higher tolerance for
other birders, no? Even my neighbor, who also had the bird at her feeder was
quite happy to be sharing him - if only from a distance because of her dogs.
Everyone I met, without exception, was polite and courteous and their
enthusiasm was contagious. Many even apologized for their presence. So I
have not seen this rude and aggressive behavior that some are talking about,
although I don't doubt that it exists. But I believe it is wrong to deny
interested parties involvement in such a rare occurrence in nature, providing
people act reasonably, responsibly and respectably (the three R's). Just my
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