To: Ross Macfarlane <>, Shirley Cook <>, Messages Birding-aus <>
Subject: afo
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 16:05:35 +1100
Ross, can you please clarify what you mean by "things the researchers don't 
always see"?  Do you mean that amateurs approach things differently and 
therefore might notice things that a researcher might not?  Or that there are 
more amateurs, and therefore they're likely to notice things that a researcher 
wouldn't notice simply because they aren't there?

As for Vic Babbler articles being less accessible, why not send them to 
Wingspan instead?  If people don't see them in Babbler, they certainly aren't 
going to see them in AFO, which it appears most people don't subscribe to.

Peter Shute

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Ross
> Macfarlane
> Sent: Monday, 1 March 2010 3:52 PM
> To: Shirley Cook; Messages Birding-aus
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] afo
> There is definitely a place for amatuer observations as they
> (we) see things the researchers don't always see. I can think
> of a couple of examples of my Dad's (Neil Macfarlane). I have
> a copy somewhere of one jointly written with Jack Hayward &
> published in The Victorian Naturalist in the early 70s, re
> the changed behaviour of black-shouldered kites in a mouse plague.
> The other was a letter published by the Vic Babbler about a
> year ago. That was in response to an article about the
> decline of quail . Dad had undertaken a project for Birds On
> Farms & in about 250 20-minute, 2-hectare searches at 8 (?)
> sites in NW Victoria & SW NSW over 2 years - in which he
> recorded quail just twice (and yet the hunting season
> continues - another
> story!) He was able to offer his own insights re the impact
> of changed land use (continuous cropping instead of rotation
> of pasture / fallow / crop,
> etc.)
> So there is a place for it, & it would be good to have it
> captured in a formal way and accessible to everyone in the
> country, including the reseachers - which may not be achieved
> by publishing in Vic Babbler, which is published by BA Vic
> Group & distributed with Wingspan to Victorian BA members only.
> Ross Macfarlane

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