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I don't think anyone needs to apologize for not using the 4 letter bird
codes. I personally don't like them, and have trouble reading them. I don't
think a mobirds email should be treated the same as recording data in the
field. I do find it interesting that there was an outcry when some birders
used the scientific (Latin) bird names -- I believe the argument was that
some readers would not understand them -- even though they could be easily
looked up. Even easier, it might be argued, than finding the 4-letter codes.
Plus the Latin names help one learn bird taxonomy.

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Edge <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The question was asked, "how many more seconds does it take to type out the
> name itself?"
>
> Few, of course, either typing or writing field notes...each time the name
> is used.  But that's not the only aspect.  The four-letter code is a really
> useful tool.  And that is the most important thing to remember:  it is a
> tool.
>
> When recording birds seen in the field, those few seconds may make the
> difference of seeing a bird or having your head down, writing.
> When communicating with other birders, it is a quick way to convey
> information.
>
> I notice that the sender has no problem with FOY.  That is another
> short-cut tool, with the same function.
>
> I find that many people who balk at the four letter code for bird names
> often do so because they haven't learned the "official" name of the bird.
>  Knowing that a robin is an American Robin; that a goose is a Canada Goose,
> not a Canadian Goose; that a buzzard is a Turkey Vulture, etc.,  is a step
> along the way of learning about birds.  Yes, it is not necessary to ever
> take that step, but it can be a big help in learning about birds, where to
> find them, and what you're seeing when you do find them.
>
> Learning and using the alpha code is one aspect of learning about birds.
>  It isn't an essential part for some people, but it is used by thousands of
> people as a routine way of recording and discussing bird sightings.  We use
> it because it is a useful tool recognized and employed by birding
> enthusiasts and professional ornithologists in all ornithology-related
> activities.
>
> Edge Wade
> Columbia, MO
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
> On Mar 22, 2011, at 8:22 PM, Archie Keiper wrote:
>
> I hit Levee Road in Monroe County (unincorporated Columbia) IL today.  FOY
> Willet, Pectoral Sandpipers (abt 30), and Little Blue Heron.
>
> Sorry -- I am not educated enough to use the four-letter anacronyms for the
> species.  The system seems simple enough, but what do you do with Canada
> Goose vs Cackling Goose, or Barn Swallow vs Bank Swallow?  Besides, how many
> more seconds does it take to type out the name itself?
>
> Archie Keiper
> Columbia, Monroe Co, IL
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
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