Re: My first of today kinglet...and more not bird related :0


To John Sterling, and others.
The open policy that John describes is both welcoming, and sensible. The strictures apparently put in place by EBB-Sightings are not helpful and, in fact, are
counter-productive to both the enjoyment and information sharing that is fundamental to birding. ID, status, distribution, natural history...these, and related topics,
should always be part of the discussion.

Strick adherence to a "list only observation" policy both restricts, and for that matter, negates the above ideals. 

Good birding, all, this early Spring.
Tracy Farrington
Walnut Creek 

On Friday, March 6, 2020, 12:56:26 PM PST, John Sterling <jsterling@...> wrote:

I run the countybirders list and have very open policies regarding postings. Feel free to post about personal birding items for sale, classes and other events, bird sightings, requests for information on species distribution, natural history, status, and other topics relevant to birding culture in all of California. I see no need to impede anyone from making a post that is useful to at least someone in the group. I’ve never had to put anyone on moderated status, ban anyone or deal with ridiculous threads. About ten or so years ago, a couple of non-birding spammers infiltrated the list, but those were dealt with. No problems since.

As has been noted from others over the past decades, if you don’t want to read a post, you can delete it.

Also, I run a WhatsApp group for Yolo Birding (also deals with good birds in Solano/Sacramento area). If you want to join, send me your name and phone number in a WhatsApp text and I’ll add you.

John Sterling

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

PO Box 1653
Woodland, CA 95776A

530 908-3836

> On Mar 6, 2020, at 12:38 PM, Noah Arthur via Groups.Io <> wrote:
> I completely agree with this... I have always thought the East Bay birding community is stunted because of the draconian rules on EBB-Sightings. For example, the ban on posting events has been what’s stopped me from leading informal gull and shorebird field trips in the East Bay. I do that in the North Bay specifically because the East Bay Listserve doesn’t allow the announcements.
> Oh and I saw a Hermit Thrush in the yard today.
> Noah Arthur (Oakland)
>    On Friday, March 6, 2020, 10:46:28 AM PST, Bruce Mast <cathrasher4@...> wrote:
> Hear hear! I too am rather frustrated with the draconian limits on bird
> sighting-related correspondence.
> Btw, just saw a turkey vulture over 4th Street in Berkeley. Poor habitat
> for a vulture.
> Bruce Mast
> Oakland
> On Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 7:21 PM Ethan Monk <z.querula@...> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> Today, I saw the first Kinglet I had seen since March 4th! It was truly a
>> momentous occasion. Now that I have fulfilled the requirement to post here,
>> if you wouldn't mind reading further, I have a few other things to talk
>> about...
>> I have received several emails recently that echo my concerns and questions
>> about this EBB-Sightings/Discussion conundrum, and I figured it would be
>> best to bring these concerns of others and myself to light here, publicly,
>> where we can all weigh in (unless we are all banned from posting here, a
>> real possibility at this point). Concerning several emails I have received
>> about EBB-Sightings v. EBB-Discussion, I am a little confused about the
>> policies that exist here to segregate the two groups. To confirm, one group
>> allows for the reporting of current birds (no matter how important, as long
>> as the bird was seen past few days) but then the conversation must end,
>> period, end of story, full stop. Any further comments on ID, distribution,
>> further questions, history etc. must then be bounced to EBB-Discussion?
>> As anyone who has ever been a member of any business, school, nonprofit
>> etc. in the past couple decades knows, when you wish to respond to an
>> email, you generally do not start a new thread to reply. You use the aptly
>> named "reply" button to, well, reply. The same should apply here, no? If
>> someone writes a post about a female Mountain Bluebird they found, which I
>> still need for the county (and would be a cool bird regardless of its
>> tick-ability) I would think it would be considered appropriate to respond
>> directly to their email to ask how they told their bird apart from a
>> Western Bluebird. Instead, the listserv rules we have been forced to adopt
>> (bit of an oxymoron, that one) dictate that we must instead politely
>> question that ID in a listserv with 900 fewer readers, possibly entailing
>> the original reporter does not even receive the message. I, myself, am one
>> of the 900 members here on EBB-Sightings who is not a member of
>> EBB-Discussion.
>> I have not been a member of these listservs for the longest time, but I
>> remember the time when we were on Yahoo. About the time Yahoo messages
>> started to stall and not come through for hours on end, we sent out a poll
>> (it turned out to be more like 3-4 polls) to see if we should join the
>> other couple bird listserves in the state on this platform. One
>> particularly convincing argument I remember reading was by Colin Meusel,
>> who now lives in the North Bay I hear, but was then a very active member of
>> our community. He cited the Yahoo Groups as a place more than eBird; to
>> discuss ID and distribution and wider topics together as a community. What
>> happened to this free spirited form of a group where we could discuss and,
>> dare I say it, even *vote* on what direction we would take our community!
>> Then suddenly out of the sky came new rules that aimed to make this group
>> into a glorified eBird. I have almost no point for this group between eBird
>> and my phone if we aren't allowed to discuss things other than
>> rare/uncommon birds: I find out about most of the rare birds reported here
>> via. text generally before I get the email, anyways (that being said
>> *please
>> *keep reporting rare birds here, regardless). As well, does it not seem
>> antithetical to Audubon, sponsors and creators of the Christmas Bird
>> Counts, a fantastic endeavor in citizen science and bird distribution, to
>> demote questions concerning bird distribution and helping new birders with
>> bird ID to a secondary, lesser forum?
>> On another note there is the argument of those who simply don't have the
>> time or just don't want to add yet another group to their burgeoning list
>> of listservs. While not the most compelling argument at first glance, it
>> makes sense when you consider that anything rare or out of the ordinary
>> will not be posted to EBB-Discussions, as it will all be here. Clearly some
>> 900 subscribers of this list think somewhere along these lines and have not
>> joined EBB-Discussions.
>> And finally, what I want to avoid here more than anything else is "listserv
>> shame" where members feel reluctant to post because they are worried of
>> being shot down and challenged over trivial grounds they neglected to pay
>> attention to before pressing send on that "Are Barrow's Goldeneye Regular
>> in the County Anymore?" email, as has happened on overly restrictive
>> listserves in other parts of California. I have even talked to posters here
>> who have begun to feel the same. I get the rationale for these changes, and
>> I sometimes get annoyed by the "First of Summer, Barn Swallow!" reports
>> sent in June, but I can choose what messages to selectively read, just as
>> someone here was able to choose to not read any S&d posts, and as many have
>> chosen not to read this novel I've written. And, yes, sometimes discussion
>> on the old yahoo groups could feel overwhelming after reading all 20
>> one-sentence replies to the same post, but I'm not sure we have gone about
>> fixing this problem the right way. Yes, we have made the problem disappear
>> but also with the side effect of stifling much of our conversations. A
>> thread can be closed after 8-9 replies, but let's not close it before it
>> gets even one! And rest assured, I'm sure adding the discussion group's 11
>> messages so far this year to EBB-Sightings will not suddenly overwhelm the
>> average reader. (Oh no, what a deluge will be pouring into my inbox! 1
>> whole new email a week!! My inbox organization will go down the drain!)
>> I firmly believe that experimentation and change are generally positive
>> catalysts, yet I think we also need to be able to recognize when a change
>> has hurt more than it has helped: The segregation of this email group was a
>> good experiment, but I think it is time that we lock this one up in the
>> archives of time, and move on as one cohesive list.
>> --Ethan

Join to automatically receive all group messages.