[CT Birds] Fork-tailed Flycatcher revisted

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Wed Oct 3 07:29:16 EDT 2012

Interesting entry. We have in the past had, and will continue to have, misidentifications based on escapes and introduced birds here in CT. Many years ago a basic plumaged Whydah or Bishop was misidentified as a LeConte's Sparrow in Stratford. During the search the reported LeConte's generated we relocated the bird and I realized it wasn't even a Western hemisphere species. We couldn't identify it to species at the time due to its basic plumage and our relative inexperience with basic plumaged Eastern Hemisphere finches (this was before the era of digital photography.) Now nearly every sighting gets extensively photographed, which is very helpful.

However I will say this, I think most birders would rather have a call get out quickly and have it be a mistake, than have a call be withheld because the observer was afraid of being mistaken. Not every identification will be correct, and that's okay because misidentifications that are caught are the very best learning experiences for many birders, including veteran birders. Mistakes should never be ridiculed either. Ridicule is a destructive tool used by the weak of character. If you are a birder there will only be one point in your life when you will make no more identification mistakes. When you're dead. Till then, the best you can do is try to make fewer and fewer mis-calls. Heck, I'm pretty happy with myself when I don't call my kids by the wrong name. 


David Provencher
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