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Greg Neise
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Well Mike, I think we are slowly circling the drain of agreement here. My point is this: jerks and a**holes simply are. Being a good, or "elite" birder has nothing to do with it. I can easily think of, off the top of my head, several terrible birders ... who couldn't tell a Common Tern from a Common Gull if their life depended on it, who are complete a**wipes. So as I see it, it has nothing at all to do with being "better". As I said above, I can see how some newbies might get that feeling when birding around really good birders who are intensely working a flock of gulls or shorebirds (for instance). I've been in situations at lakewatches where I'm calling jaegers and things a half-mile out, and newbies get frustrated, because they don't have a scope and there's no way to "share" the bird ... but that's part of the learning curve. That's not elitism. In summary: jerks are jerks at all levels, and it has nothing at all to do with their being a good, great, epic, newbie or miserably terrible birder.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2013 on Open Mic: A Handshake for Everyone at ABA Blog
"Let's talk about that chip on Dave's shoulder, rather than dismissing it. It has roots. His is not the first or only time this issue of perceived "elitism" among certain birders has come up." You missed the point too. Dave put the chip on my shoulder, where none exists. I find the whole idea of elitism among birders to be silly. I've been birding over 40 years. I know a LOT of "elite" birders: people who write identification guides, well-known tour guides ... etc. etc. I've never experienced it, and I don't know anyone who has.* As Liz points out below, there are a wide array of personality types in the world. Aggressive, passive, outgoing, introverted, and so on ... and some of those people are birders. I remember a recent comment, I think on one of the ABA Facebook groups or pages, from a woman who went on a trip to Alaska, led by an "elite" birder. She told a tale of woe about how she was not expecting to be standing in strong, cold winds, staring at the sea for hours watching for alcids, tubenoses and gulls a mile away, that she couldn't identify even if she could see them. She was mainly a backyard-birder, she described herself. She tried to relate it as a situation where the "elite" on the trip ignored her because she wasn't as good as they were. Read between the lines, and you find nothing was farther from the truth (and she came back and said just that and apologized). Birding takes effort and concentration ... sometimes lots and lots of it. Some people simply don't want to put that much work into it—to them it's a pass-time, no big deal—and when they meet people who do, to whom it is a big deal, they feel put off. This is where I think the whole myth of "elitism" among birders gets it's start. ### * I have run into birders who are unfriendly ... but they're not "elite", just a**holes. And they exist in every walk of life.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2013 on Open Mic: A Handshake for Everyone at ABA Blog
Well, I think that Dave grabbed the point I was making in my post "The Secret Handshake", and ran to the wrong goalpost with it. Before I get to that, though ... the Bald Eagle "situation" is humor. Even though it's true. We've all been there, usually on a big day, or something like that, when a fisherman comes over to ask what you're looking at, and when you say "birds", he goes on and on about where we can find eagles. That's awesome! And I, and all the birders I know and bird with are nice, and polite, and often chatty with non-birders. But as "Not Elitist" points out, most of the time the just want to be able to tell you something you don't know. Which is fine. But if I show them the scaup I'm trying to figure out in my scope ... their eyes get glossy, and they go back to telling me about eagles. Among birders, being told where to find eagles is a bit of an inside joke ... and this IS a blog about birding. So, "Uh-oh moments" #1 & 2 are really the same thing, a shot of humor, and a bit of birder-to-birder camaraderie that just shot past the author. It happens. Humor can be a tricky thing, especially subtle humor. Most people seemed to get it, though. The post was read thousands of times, and this is the first I've heard of any "cringe-worthiness". "Uh-oh moment #3": okay, this is where Dave really didn't get it at all. I have no idea how someone can read what I wrote... "Instantly, her perception of me had changed, and the involuntary step back was replaced by an eager step forward as she asked what else I’d seen. “Cerulean Warbler” was the secret handshake. I was now a friendly, and could be trusted. We chatted for ten minutes, and continued happily on our way(s). Birding is a great equalizer. Age doesn’t matter. Cultural differences don’t matter. It’s like being in kindergarten all over again. We’re all the same, and all that matters is the birds." ...and come away feeling that I was being "elitist". Again, "Not Elitist" in the first comment nails it (thanks!). My expression "secret handshake" has nothing to do with "worthiness". It's that spark of recognition when you meet a stranger with the same passion, who speaks the same language. Dave takes that idea, and runs the wrong way with it—turning it into a chip on one's shoulder. Not what I meant at all ... and judging from the dozens of emails and messages and comments that I got about that post, only one person took it that way.
Toggle Commented Jun 26, 2013 on Open Mic: A Handshake for Everyone at ABA Blog
Great effort! One of the things I love about doing big days is that it's just as much, if not more, "bird-finding" as "bird-watching". You have to be cognizant of each habitat you pass through, and try to pull everything you can out of it. By the way ...the beauty of the Big Day module at Listing Central is that it's designed so that you can create your own big day definition: Multi-country/single-country Multi-state/single-state Multi-county/single-county ...and any area you choose to define within a county. And the narrative field has a full-blown WYSIWYG editor that allows you to upload images and other files (which I can't *imagine* Floyd taking advantage of). So go and get it entered. You would have the only Big Day in Colorado, and that might get some others to get their days entered...
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2013 on The Bare-Naked Big Walk at ABA Blog
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Greg Neise on what we all know as birders... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at ABA Blog
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If the link above is missing, here it is: http://listing.aba.org/
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2013 on The ABA presents Listing Central! at ABA Blog
Sunday, December 18, 1977. The week had started out dreadfully cold in the Chicago area. It was -12° during count week, and there was a good amount of snow on the ground. In the days running up to the count, a warm front pushed in, bringing some more snow with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2012 at ABA Blog
I don't think "rare" should necessarily mean "vagrant". Say's Phoebe is not a rare species. I think that part of the Code ("or is rare in your local area.") should be struck. And Aaron's Eastern Phoebe is not "uncommon" ... it's a common bird that's just late. "Threatened", "endangered", "special concern", have meaning that is easily defined and understood. "Rare in your local area", is confusing, open to interpretation and misunderstanding.
Not really ... but it seems that they haven't (though, as you point out, I don't know why). But the bigger reason for doing it the way we have is that people expect it. We will probably be moving to a sort of mailto: shortener (as we have done with links over 30 characters) in the future.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2012 on How to Use the Intertubes, Part 1: Links at ABA Blog
That's true, they can ... but in birding listervs they are pretty obvious. I've never seen a spammer take the time to write a believable message that included shortened links. Usually, it's something like "You gotta see this!"
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2012 on How to Use the Intertubes, Part 1: Links at ABA Blog
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Keep 'em short and sweet I would like to introduce myself. When you click over to ABA Birding News and send a comment or a question, I'm the guy who gets it. Since mid-August I've received nearly 1,000 messages from people reporting glitches, making suggestions (thank you!), or offering praise... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2012 at ABA Blog
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In many parts of the ABA area, October and November are the most exciting weeks of the year. Young birds and post-breeding adults wander, get pushed by winds and vagrants are on everyone's mind. The weather this past week was again dominated by the Greenland block, a warm high-pressure system... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2012 at ABA Blog
I'm painting in broad strokes, to define essence, not necessarily specifics. Look at it like this: Listing: yellow Competitive Birding: blue "Enjoyment": green I would say that what Alan and Facebook User are describing are shades of yellow.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2012 on Long Live Lister! at ABA Blog
Fourth paragraph: "Listing is just that: keeping lists (oh, and notes). You go out and you keep detailed, accurate lists of what you see, how many, when and where. eBird listing is a great example ..." As for your suggestion that Carolina Wrens aren't "native" to Wisconsin; they most certainly are. Just as Roseate Spoonbills are "native" to Iowa. Birds have wings, and unlike us, move when the conditions are right (or wrong). Birds expand (or contract) their range in response to weather patterns, as well as all sorts of other things such as human agriculture ... and conservation efforts. The term "non-native" is used for species like Rock Pigeon or House Sparrow, which are introduced to new areas by humans, rather than getting there under their own power, for their own reasons.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2012 on Long Live Lister! at ABA Blog
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It's been said that listing is the heart-and-soul of the ABA. The roots. The base. There's a lot of truth to that, even though the ABA is much, much more. Conservation efforts like Birder's Exchange. Education efforts like the Young Birder Program, and of course, the fine publications like Birding,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2012 at ABA Blog
hmmm ... I may have to retire to Erie Curve.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2012 on #ABArare - Kelp Gull - Ontario at ABA Blog
Yes, O'Brien L&D is inside the city limits of Chicago ... so Chicago is at 21.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2012 on #ABArare - Kelp Gull - Ontario at ABA Blog
Off the top of my head, the only gull I can think of that's been recorded in Chicago, but not (yet) at Montrose is Slaty-backed Gull.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2012 on #ABArare - Kelp Gull - Ontario at ABA Blog
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Over the past 4 weeks, we've received (and responded to!) hundreds-upon-hundreds of emails from users of ABA Birding News. Some were kudos, some were gripes, and some were suggestions. In the suggestions column, one request outnumbered all others: "what about a mobile version?" Well, how's this? As of this afternoon,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at ABA Blog
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We've now read—and replied to—all of the messages we've received from you over the past two weeks concerning Birding News. Having tens of thousands of beta-testers has helped us immeasurably in identifying and eliminating problems. We've also gotten some very good suggestions. Chief among these is that we offer the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2012 at ABA Blog
It's been a solid week since the ABA launched Birding News, or you could say "rebooted" Jack Siler's ubiquitous Birdingonthe.net. To say that the past week has been a busy one would be a bit of an understatement. We asked for your feedback, and over 400 of you responded. We... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2012 at ABA Blog
...not any more. ;-)
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2012 on Birding News Updates at ABA Blog
That's just me being dyslexic and overworked ... thanks for the catch.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2012 on Birding News Updates at ABA Blog
Here is a list of current issue and feature requests that we are ware of and working on: http://birding.aba.org/updates.php
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2012 on ABA Debuts Birding News! at ABA Blog
I just got the List Archives up...
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2012 on ABA Debuts Birding News! at ABA Blog