[CT Birds] Fwd: CTBirds Digest, Vol 2047, Issue 1

Angeladimmitt at aol.com Angeladimmitt at aol.com
Wed Oct 3 11:03:36 EDT 2012

I very much appreciated Dave Provencher's discourse on mistaken  
identifications as I am apparently known for such a sin.  However, my motto  has been 
for a very long time, to paraphrase and with apologies to Ogden Nash (?  I 
"'Tis better to call and misidentify a bird and be thought a fool, than to  
remain silent and never know what good bird you missed"
Sometimes I am right!
Angela Dimmitt
New Milford

Message: 11
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 07:29:16  -0400
From: David F Provencher <david.f.provencher at dom.com>
To:  "CTbirds at lists.CTbirding.org" <CTbirds at lists.CTbirding.org>
Subject:  Re: [CT Birds] Fork-tailed Flycatcher revisted
<1E4A9ED453FC3D4E8BE062238B9197F409CF73D2BE at DOM-MBX03.mbu.ad.dominionnet.com

Content-Type: text/plain;     charset="us-ascii"

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 

End of CTBirds Digest, Vol 2047, Issue  1

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