RFI from visiting NZ birder

To: Russell Woodford <>
Subject: RFI from visiting NZ birder
From: Alan McBride <>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2010 08:51:08 +1100
I'd be happy to help and I have already e-mailed Alan.

I understand where Russell is coming from too. He's the listowner and moderator 
and as such needs to act in this role. Given he has a day job as well I think 
he does remarkably well. I'm absolutely certain he didn't want or intend to 
upset Alan. 

The end result for Alan is he should get to see the good side of Birding Aus 
too and not end up with the wrong opinion of birders here.

I think posting GPS is probably a no-no but any dedicated egg or bird collector 
probably knows more than we do and uses the list on the off chance!

Good luck Alan and thanks Russell.


Alan McBride, MBO.
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On 03/03/2010, at 22:34 , Russell Woodford wrote:

Dear Birding-Aus members

I unreservedly apologise for casting doubt on Alan Beszant's request. He has 
emailed me a few of his photos, as well as contact details for a  number of 
birders he has met up with, to prove his bona fides.

I need to explain my caution (some referred to it as "paranoia"):

Some years ago, visiting US  researcher used birding-aus to track down bowers 
for breeding Satin Bowerbirds. She posted information that showed she had 
ethics approval for her study. Then it came to light that she intended to 
capture and kill a number of these breeding birds (15 comes to mind but I could 
be wrong). She had intended to take the approved number of birds, dissect them 
and examine stomach contents, then return in a different season to do the some 
with non-breeding birds. This sort of study quickly divides the birding 
community, even when the outcomes are to protect birds or improve our 
understanding of them so that we can contribute to sustaining a population. 
However, this research was for a Psychology student who was merely doing a 
comparative study - there was no positive outcome for the birds. There was an 
outcry, appeals to JAmes COok Uni who were partners, and eventually the 
approval to take birds was withdrawn (after a few were "collected").

I also have fairly convincing info that wild bird collectors have used birding 
aus to try to track down certain species or eggs. We have to be a bit careful, 
especially when we get a request to see something that might well appeal to 
smugglers. I know some birders will not reveal GPS coordinates for certain 
species, especially breeding birds.

I erred in posting my doubts about Alan's trip to the whole list, and should 
have asked a few discreet questions instead - I'm sorry that I cast any doubts 
on the credibility of someone who is clearly a genuine birder - and a fine 

I hope some of you will help to correct my error by showing him around when he 
comes to your area.

Russell Woodford

Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia


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