[CT Birds] ID questions/Bird photos

David Provencher davidprovencher at sbcglobal.net
Sun May 20 00:02:53 EDT 2007

I would be most remiss if I didn't take a moment to respond to a few
comments regarding the thread initiated by Donna's photos of the vireo.
Firstly, there is absolutely no need to apologize for the quality of the
photos Donna. It is very difficult to get good photos of birds under the
conditions you were working with today. Indeed you should be commended for
making the effort to get pics at all. Nor should you ever apologize for
asking for help. The birding community is full of people who are happy to
share knowledge, opinions, and experience. It is a privilege to be able to
try and help.


Secondly, I have found that identifying birds by photograph can be more
challenging than identifying birds in the field. In a photograph you have a
snapshot in time that is often misleading due to odd lighting effects,
angles, etc. Additionally there is the issue of an image looking different
on one computer monitor than on another computer monitor. In the field you
have the full gamut of varying views, observed movement and behavior,
vocalizations, varying lighting, etc. that paint a much more complete
picture for the observer. 


Thirdly, while I still believe the bird is a Philly, I second Greg's comment
that I wouldn't be shocked if a better image showed Warbling to be a better
fit. No matter how long any of us do this we will still get it wrong
sometimes. In light of our human fallibility I would certainly hope that
everyone keeps expressing their opinions and that  contributors keep
"playing the devil's advocate" by asking good questions like Luke. The only
birder who has nothing new to learn is either dead or a complete fool. I'm
not dead yet and I'm only a fool part of the time so there is plenty to
learn still.

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