[CT Birds] Regarding: On This Date

Dennis Varza dennisvz at optonline.net
Mon Jun 7 16:38:54 EDT 2010

When I started “On This Date” I considered it an interesting little  
exercise with some educational value. But as the months passed, it  
became boring at times and frustrating at  others. Each record was  
presented in isolate. The only thing they had in common was date. The  
only context for the records was what the reader brought to it.

There are two ways to look at bird records, they can be a collection  
of individual records or examples of a larger pattern. Science is the  
process of finding patterns that connect. The more samples (records)  
one obtains the more clear patterns become. This is the main point  
for keeping records as individuals and collectively as a community.

The Connecticut Bird Record Archives has roughly 45,000 records,  
older than 2000. I figure about 100,000 records are needed to really  
get a handle on patterns over time.

In the meantime I decided to break each month into thirds which would  
allow for clustering of records and perhaps expose some of the more  
obvious patterns and provide a more objective context. The format I  
present the records in is quite fluid, since I am making this up as I  
go along. Right now we are in the breeding season. So, for some  
species that are infrequently reported as nest I have enumerated the  
towns thinking someone might be interested enough to go looking for  
them. It should also be an opportunity to provide historical context.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Dennis Varza

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