[CT Birds] About Reporting

Marty Swanhall swanhallm at gmail.com
Fri May 18 07:06:22 EDT 2012

Hi Roy:

I have seen some reports in which the species name is all in capital
letters - "what's up with that?"

Marty in Woodbury

On Thu, May 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM, Roy Harvey <rmharvey at snet.net> wrote:

> Everyone,
> Because I have to go through all the reports in detail each day when
> compiling the daily report, I get a different perspective on the way
> reports are written, and what is often missing.  Also because I have
> occasion to search archives of CTBirds and older reports I know some
> obstacles that crop up.  Here are a few ideas about basic things that
> should be included.
> The Town.  This is pretty basic.  A report that gives specific street
> intersections but doesn't mention the town (because the town was in a
> message yesterday) leaves you with incomplete information.  Likewise
> mentioning a park or other well known or obscure location without the
> town.  You probably know the town, and it is easy enough to include.  It
> may not matter much if the place is Hammonasset, but there are very few
> Hammonassets.
> The Species.  Nobody is going to get upset if you say Woodcock instead of
> American Woodcock, and Nighthawk when you mean Common Nighthawk isn't going
> to confuse anyone.  But someone searching five years of messages for
> Whip-poor-will isn't going to find a match if you just say Whips, and
> Bonnies won't be found in a search for Bonaparte's Gull.  The same is true
> of other nicknames and even worse when banding codes or even shorter
> abbreviations (I'm thinking of some hawk watchers here who get down to two
> characters at times) are used.  It should not be necessary to go back to a
> previous day's message for an explicit statement of the species being
> reported (kite vs Swallow-tailed Kite, for one example).
> Your Name.  One of the rules of the list is that every post has to have
> your name and town.  I am very lax at enforcing this, but even ignoring
> that it is a rule it seems like common courtesy to everyone getting your
> message to identify yourself.  I've never cared for anonymous
> communications.  This can be as simple as updating the default From line in
> your email heading to include your name.
> Finally, I would like to thank everyone who tries to provide reports in
> the format used in the daily report that summarizes.  There is nothing
> special about that format except that it makes my life a little bit easier
> each night.  I don't consider it a requirement, but I do appreciate it when
> I find it.
> Thanks, and good birding!
> Roy Harvey
> Beacon Falls, CT
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