Print

Print


To question the 'motives' of Robbins, Prum, and Jackson is ludicrous.  Doing 
so is more of a statement about 'yourself' than them.

Physical evidence either supports sight records or it doesn't.  Asking for 
physical evidence doesn't make somebody a bad person.  Making an 
observational mistake doesn't make somebody a bad person, either.

A little example just occurred in MO.  The Four Rivers tern was observed at 
close range for extended periods of time, and positively identified as a 
ROYAL TERN by a host of credible and experienced observers including a 
former Missouri Bird Records Committee Chairman, and another existing MBRC 
member.  I tried for the bird myself - failed - but chalked it up to my own 
bad luck.  Never for a moment did I doubt all the observers were wrong just 
because I didn't see it for myself.  Now the physical evidence doesn't 
support the ID.  No one blames the observers, the photographer, or One Hour 
Photo - it was an aberrant-plumaged bird - stuff like that happens all the 
time.  It's just another wonderful part of birding!  The lesson is pretty 
simple for me - physical evidence helps eliminate human error (or identifies 
individual aberration!).

Aberrant plumage can occur within any bird species, including Pileated 
Woodpecker.  Glimpses (sight records) of a flying, aberrant-plumaged 
(individual) Pileated Woodpecker **could** be mis-interpreted, similar to 
the Royal Tern episode.  It was not unfair to consider that fact in asking 
for physical evidence. The blurry video did not qualify as convincing 
physical evidence to a lot of people, and thus needed to be 'openly and 
honestly discussed', as Kenn Kaufman stated.  Mssrs. Robbins, Prum, et al 
were willing to ask for that discussion, and last Saturday, we were ALL 
rewarded with quality physical evidence that delighted EVERYONE.  No shots 
were fired.  Nobody died.  Respect and friendships are intact.  These are 
professionals, and my hat is off to them for finally **unifying** a divided 
scientific and birding community on this issue.  Yes, they actually helped 
move the Ivory-billed program forward!

Moving on, this 'cold' front should produce some very interesting birds - 
maybe the season's first Long-tailed Jaeger?  Stint(s)?  Tomorrow and Friday 
will be great days to skip work and head to your favorite patch.  Good luck!

Chris Hobbs
[log in to unmask]

__________________________________________________
###########################################################
*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
*                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
* https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To access the list archives, click here:                *
* http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
*                                                         *
* To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
* Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
###########################################################