Recording ferals and putatative escapes - don't be a bird snob

To: "Dave Torr" <>
Subject: Recording ferals and putatative escapes - don't be a bird snob
From: "Hugo Phillipps" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 22:16:56 +1100
Hi everybody -

I heartily sympathise with the sentiments expressed by Dave Torr. If you compile bird lists (as probably almost of us do) as a private vice then consider whether it is purely for self-indulgence, in which case it really does not matter what biases, prejudices and conventions you abide by - it is all pretty harmless). If, however, you actually want to do something useful with your data (such as sending it in to the Birds Australia Atlas database), then please do not degrade it by arbitrarily subtracting data that does not please you aesthetically. I know, from having spoken with with numerous atlassers, for example, that some would not include records of Rock Dove (feral pigeon) or anything else that just might be an escaped individual. Maybe they had records of, say, Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), which they dismissed as escaped birds and did not consider the possibility of a new feral population. If you see a Cockatiel in inner suburban Melbourne, record it (unless it is actually inside a cage or kissing someone). Do not assume; just record. Let the people who analyse the data later, and who have access to far more information than you do, make the judgement. Or do the analysis yourself when you have access to all similar records. Maybe you will surprise yourself by discovering a new feral population, or a drought movement pattern, or...


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