Non-Contributing Members

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Non-Contributing Members
From: "Myles" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 14:54:52 +1000
Topic:  Non-contributing Members

Dear Dave Torr, Peter Thompson, Colin R, and Learned Members,

Thank you for opening up this thread about Non-contributing Members of this excellent group. I hope that I will not be "burned publicly" as Colin R puts it, for my humble contribution.

I joined this group and a local ornithological society a couple of years ago, in order to learn a lot more about birds and birding. Over the period I have read most daily [BIRDING-AUS] posts and attended the great majority of the society's meetings.

My conclusion from personal observation and a few contributions to both groups is that there is no obvious place in either of these vast birding knowledge resources, for the keen newcomer to birding to post "learner level" questions. Learner level here does not mean "stupid" questions.

Experts have a very important role to play in protecting birds, researching other scientific bird issues, and talking among themselves. In my opinion, they also have a vital role to play in bringing up the next generation of "birders". I see very little of that newcomer focus in this group, or my local society. Perhaps newcomers should belong elsewhere, but where?

I do however give great credit to a couple of individuals in my local society, for the time and effort that they put into short Identification courses, but that seems to be the sum total of "nurturing" of newcomers.

As a result I have joined the band of do-it-yourself birding database builders (using Visual Basic, SQL and Access Database) purposefully aimed at helping me identify birds by colour, size, overall shape, location etc etc. instead of browsing backwards and forwards through field guides, hoping to find "my bird"!

When it was suggested to me that this programme was potentially very useful in teaching other newcomers, and even potentially "commercial" in the birding newcomers market, I tried to get the interest of some local birding "experts", to no avail.

So, in essence I hope that this [BIRDING-AUS] thread could discuss this group's current and future roles in relation to both "experts" and "nurturing newcomers", and the ornithological "industry" (which dare I say includes local birding societies) approach to taking the birding faith out to the heathens, and developing their birding faith thereafter?

In this vein, I hope public burning of dissenters and fools really did die out centuries ago!


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU