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The "phish" of the computer i.d. thieves is pronounced as ph in
philosophy.

Paul Baicich, former editor of Birding and now with Swarovski, has for
many years encouraged birders to say "spish" instead of "pish."  The
latter has a different meaning in Yiddish--an activity also often
undertaken in the bushes.  During his editorship the word always
appeared as "spish."

A bit of pishing to attract birds is, on the scale of intrusiveness,
very near the bottom--certainly little or no higher than that of a
normal human conversation conducted in the immediate vicinity of birds.
If one carries the line of reasoning about not disturbing them at all to
its illogical conclusion, one should not ever even walk in areas where
wild birds might be foraging.

Golly, gee whiz, I feel like Doug Willis and I are attendees at a
Friends of Bill W. meeting...Hi, my name is Edge and I'm a pisher...

Yup, like Doug and the vast majority of birders, I pish.  Also like
Doug, my style, volume, amount of pishing varies with the situation.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are often the first respondents.  My pishing
often resembles their scolding (and kinlgets').

One nuance I pass along to other birders is that I often imitate the
rhythm of a specie's call or song when I pish.  This seems to add a
degree of attractiveness to some.

Sure, pishing alters the immediate behavior pattern of birds.  Is it
harmful?  Consider that the birds respond to any disturbance out of
curiosity.  It is a survival skill/trait.  Perhaps birders' occasional
pishing actually helps them keep this response honed.

Good birding,

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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