[Tweeters] Sky Larks

Elias Elias fabflockfinder at gmail.com
Mon Nov 22 07:40:55 PST 2010

Hi Steve and Tweeterdom,

I would implore all bird record committees to include all exotics, free flying or captive(!), on the list of birds known (read correctly IDed) to have occurred in their region of interest.

This is important for many reasons. Chief of which: birders are defacto historians who collect data on ecological experiments unfolding around us. By constraining the playing field, fringe biota are devalued and ignored by too many. We birders are crazy for birds! Why can't we be crazy for all of them? If not us, who else will do it?

Will the two free flying Common Mynas which I saw in California a month ago be the progenitors of a new population? Will these two mynas be denied by the SoCal environment of 2010 or will they be given the thumbs up by Ma Nature? Will it be an ephemeral population? Will be persist for millennia and eventually become a distinct species? At this point, we can not know how it may unfold. But I entered my sighting into eBird and those two birds now reside on my Orange County list. If we don't discuss incipient populations, the taxon may fly under the radar until it is too late.

Imagine if there was a culture of snake watchers on Guam when the brown tree snake was introduced. Currently several bird species are on the ropes due to this snake. Hawaii: introduced species out number natives. Well you get the picture. My environmental ethic requires that I count and record these fringe species. I think the environment will be best served if we incorporate these lessons into our birder culture via our regional, state and national committees and maybe eventually it will spill over into the larger culture. And maybe bioregionalism will become a prevalent religion--in the broadest sense of the word. A set of beliefs which constrain human behavior.

I'll step off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.


Arcata CA
Walkie talkie 707-633-8833

On Nov 21, 2010, at 20:20, Steven Mlodinow <sgmlod at aol.com> wrote:

> Greetings All


> The Am Black Duck is still on the web-list, but per my notes we voted to remove it from the state list, though there may be some effort to obtain details from pre-Everett Sewage Pond introduction dates. If nothing arises to that regard, it will be removed I believe. If retained, it would be because of the existence of an acceptable black duck record not apparently related to that introduction, or the apparent small free-flying population currently present in s. King County.


> As for Sky Lark.... that species occurred here as a vagrant from the introduced population on Vancouver Island. Since that population remains viable, the species remains on the WA list. If that population were to vanish, then the presence of Sky Lark on the WA state list will be reviewed.


> And... as to Mute Swan... this species is such an amazingly common escapee (I saw several when I lived in CA, far away from any established population), very long-lived, and so mobile that it is virtually impossible to say if any here are from the Vancouver Island population or local (or even not so local, as escaped birds can wander a great distance) escapees. After all, if a Black Swan (clearly not wild) can occur in Port Angeles, why would a Mute Swan there be deemed necessarily wild? In any case, Mute Swan records have popped up all around the state, at all seasons, not inducing one to joyously jump to conclusion that they are wanderers from Vancouver Island, though some Mutes might indeed be from there... and of course, some of the birds around Victoria and Vancouver may not be from the "established population", but might be local escapees. Mute Swan is a mess, admittedly. I am tempted to count the 6 wary immatures that I saw on Lake Stevens one cold winter day, birds present for just one day... but I am not doing so at this time.. In any case, one's list is personal... the BRCs decision is not meant to dictate one's personal decisions.


> Cheerio

> Steve Mlodinow


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