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IVORY-BILLS  LiVE???!  ...

=> THE blog devoted to news and commentary on the most iconic bird in American ornithology, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO)... and... sometimes other schtuff.
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"....The truth is out there."

-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

-- Hamlet

"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

-- Arthur Schopenhauer






Tuesday, August 14, 2007

 

-- Late Night Thoughts --


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Given the aspersions skeptics have cast at those claiming to see Ivory-bills I'm wondering if all past Christmas/spring bird count reports turned in by the likes of Hicks, Guthrie, Hill, Gallagher, etc. etc. should be automatically tossed out, or at least closely reviewed? If they are mistaken about the Ivory-bill how many other of their 100's or 1000's of bird identifications have been wrong?
Of course a lot of other people who participate in counts are even less experienced than these IBWO sighters. Surely for the sake of accuracy their count reports must also be discarded as untrustworthy.
And I s'pose too the recent extensive Audubon study evaluating declining bird species, based upon 40 years-worth of anecdotal, unverified data coming from just such folks, clearly lacks validity, and ought be tossed aside as deeply flawed (just trying to be consistent here).
Now that I think of it the whole biological definition of "species" seems to always be in flux or debatable, and with ornithological "splitting" and "lumping" and name-changing occurring on a yearly basis, sheeeesh, maybe it's just time to give up on birding altogether. Anyone for Scrabble...?
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Comments:
"I'm wondering if all past Christmas/spring bird count reports turned in by the likes of Hicks, Guthrie, Hill, Gallagher, etc. etc. should be automatically tossed out,..."

Of course not, no one ever suggested this. It's a classic strawman argument.

"...or at least closely reviewed?"

Yes, in the case of undocumented claims of rarities!

"If they are mistaken about the Ivory-bill how many other of their 100's or 1000's of bird identifications have been wrong?"

Nearly all their IDs of common birds are likely correct, and if a few are off no great harm has been done. However, I wouldn't believe all their rarities, especially birds much-desired for lifelists and big days. Stringers always string the rare ones.

"Of course a lot of other people who participate in counts are even less experienced than these IBWO sighters."

But most less experienced birders recognize their limitations, are not stringers, and don't claim rarities unless they can document them properly.

"Surely for the sake of accuracy their count reports must also be discarded as untrustworthy."

They certainly will be as soon as they start reporting extinct species!

"And I s'pose too the recent extensive Audubon study evaluating declining bird species, based upon 40 years-worth of anecdotal, unverified data coming from just such folks, clearly lacks validity, and ought be tossed aside as deeply flawed (just trying to be consistent here)."

More of your same tired straw man argument.
 
...indubitably!
 
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