[CT Birds] Phoning in birds

Nick Bonomo nbonomo at gmail.com
Sun Mar 25 17:42:15 EDT 2007

Hi all,

Good points Bill. When I posted the phone-in suggestion last night, I
meant it as an option for anyone in the field who finds a bird that
they think others might want to chase that same day. I don't think
there should be a go-to-guy....in fact the beauty of this listserv is
that any of the several hundred members can post. So anyone who is a
member can be called with a rare report. Most birders probably have at
least one birding friend that is also a member. Besides, I would guess
that one single person would not want to be the phone-in headquarters.
I definitely wouldn't! I don't think there's any need to do this.

Another option, for the tech savvy of whom Bill speaks, is using the
internet capabilities of cell phones. For instance, I can log into my
GMail account on my phone and send a message from the field if I have
to. This is time-consuming and costs extra money, so calling someone
at a computer is much easier and cheaper. I've never had to do this
because I've always been able to call people, but I've been actively
birding in the state for a few years now and probably have more phone
contacts than most.

Of course there are plenty of variables that would keep people from
doing these things. They might not consider a given bird rare enough,
their cell phone battery might be low or dead, they might be in a
hurry, they might think it is too late in the day for anyone to chase
the bird, or they might just forget that the option exists. Or on a
nice weekend day, none of their birding friends may be near a computer
to help them out.

Back to the go-to-guy idea....there is only one idea that I can think
of that makes any sense. When I was going to school in MA, the
MASSBIRD listserv was THE center for reporting and discussing birds
(and it still is, of course). When birders would find a bird worth
chasing and could not reach any friends at computers to post to this
listserv, they would sometimes call a popular birding store and ask
them to post their sighting. The store owners have constant internet
access and are happy to post updates on rarities. Both sides benefit.
For the birding community, they receive almost instant updates on
rarities, and they have a publicly listed number to call when they
need to get a report out. For the shop owners, they have become a
center for local birding information which has probably given them
more business along the way.

Nick Bonomo
Orange, CT

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