BAD birding, a way to bird more often with a special focus

To: Paul Dodd <>
Subject: BAD birding, a way to bird more often with a special focus
From: Tom Tarrant <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:07:00 +1000
Well put Paul, now where's that URL?


On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 3:21 PM, Paul Dodd <> wrote:

> I think that we need to understand that birding is a broad church and what
> one person gets out of their participation may be vastly different to what
> another person gets out of it. The fact that some people like to compete -
> Twitchathons (Big Days), Big Months, Big Years and so on, whilst others
> don't engage in competitions is simply the way that it goes. That one
> person
> doesn't understand, or is uninterested in, another's mode of participation
> is, quite frankly, irrelevant. I, for instance, am competitive by nature
> and
> will (given the opportunity) turn anything into a race or game. On the
> other
> hand, some of my friends are completely turned-off by the idea of
> competing.
> I suspect that Ruth has developed a competitive streak due to participating
> with me. Similarly, birding is not necessarily about data collection or the
> direct understanding of birds and bird behaviour, and nor is it necessarily
> directly about conservation (shock, horror!)
> As someone that is keenly interested in increasing the participation in
> birding as an activity, I am acutely aware of this. Whilst some activities
> may seem frivolous, they often have a serious side. For instance, the
> discussion in this thread is about the "Bird A Day" activity. Some people
> participating in this event may consider this to be a competition, others
> are simply participating for the enjoyment of it. Bird A Day was held, in
> North America, for the first time in 2008, and has been going ever since.
> As
> far a I am aware, the first participants in Australia were this year
> (possibly some people had a go in 2012). The rules have been tweaked
> slightly, but the design of the event is to have people participate in
> birding on a daily basis (for as long as they can manage). The competition
> aspect is designed to make people think about their birding - plus, there
> is
> an element of strategy about it - for example, if you see a Grey Falcon and
> a Common Starling on the first day, you would clearly count the Grey
> Falcon,
> because there is only a very slim chance of seeing that again for the
> remainder of the year, unless you knew that you were going to a site that
> could guarantee that species. Bird A Day was designed to accommodate bird
> watchers of all ages and levels of experience, and was specifically
> designed
> to accommodate birders that want to (or are able to) travel, and those that
> do not or cannot.
> Don't underestimate the value of participation and its impact, ultimately,
> on conservation. I took the liberty of looking up the word "complacency"
> when writing this response - a particularly apt definition, from the
> Merriam-Webster online dictionary reads, "an instance of usually unaware or
> uninformed self-satisfaction". I make this observation simply because, in
> my
> opinion, participation leads to awareness, resulting in much less
> complacency. To my mind, a key part of the conservation puzzle is to have
> people aware of issues - and a way to have people become aware is to
> participate. And sure, participation does not necessarily mean engaging in
> frivolous competitions, but there is certainly a place for this sort of
> thing. I tend to find that young people in particular enjoy an element of
> competition - and if this helps in any way to raise awareness, then I for
> one say, "let the games begin!"
> Paul Dodd
> Docklands, Victoria
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Philip
> Veerman
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 11:41 AM
> To: 'Alan Gillanders'; 'Birding'
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] BAD birding, a way to bird more often with a special
> focus
> Seems like yet another weird idea for a competition. Not one I would ever
> bother with or be interested in. I can't afford to travel around but that
> is
> not my main reason. But surely the issue is whether you need to choose
> which
> is the species you nominate for that day (at the start or end of each day?)
> and if this is now set, or if you can juggle these around later to fit in
> with what happens later, as your examples show. A computer spreadsheet
> should be able to accommodate either method. It appears "one cannot store
> birds for future days when BADing" answers my question. That makes it sound
> like the first alternate is the way it is done and that an arbitrary rule
> (one cannot) has been set by other people (for whatever reason I can't
> imagine), with no reason to apply it to yourself, except to set the object
> of the event as a lottery combined with a rather frivolous competition
> (like
> a TV show), in which the rules make it hard to see how this data method can
> contribute to adding to bird knowledge.
> Philip
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Alan
> Gillanders
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:37 AM
> To: Birding
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] BAD birding,a way to bird more often with a special
> focus
> Greetings,
> I bird nearly every day and have done so for some years but this was
> something new for me.
> I have had fun taking up the Bird a Day (BAD) challenge made last year and
> started at the beginning of the year; adding a bird species each day to my
> BAD list. Now with 21 days to finish the year I have only eight sure or
> near
> sure things left. It is unlikely that I'll make it through the year but it
> has been fun and I would recommend the exercise to others for a year when
> you know you are going to do a fair amount of travelling. Russell Woodford,
> who I think laid down the challenge, scored 191, Stephen Murray 254 and
> John
> Kooistra 294 birds a day.
> It does get you out birding more often, providing more joys and
> disappointments. For instance, the first two times I went looking for
> Oriental Cuckoo I found it on both occasions but also found less common
> species so did not use the cuckoo as the bird for that day, Black Falcon
> and
> House Swift. I then saw Black Falcon another 5 or more times during the
> year
> but when searching for O C, failed to find it. I did find it but chance
> recently. Finding 4 more birds for the home block helped too. Another
> frustration has been seeing two unusual birds on the one day and picking
> the
> wrong one as to which is more likely to still be there the next day. I have
> not kept a year list but it would exceed 1 000 as I was in North & Central
> America and Europe for two months and called into Hong Kong for three days.
> Three short trips in Australia also added to the birding but one cannot
> store birds for future days when BADing. As I stated before if you want to
> get through the whole year you should count on doing a fain amount of
> travelling but one can set one's own challenge.
> If you want to give it a go next year then go to
> and
> register. One can start at any time of year but it is usual start with the
> new year.
> Good birding and all the best for the festive season to my birding-aus
> friends, Alan
> Alan's Wildlife Tours
> 2 Mather Road
> Yungaburra 4884
> Phone 07 4095 3784
> Mobile 0408 953 786

Tom Tarrant
Kobble Creek, Qld

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