Hobby or Peregrine?

To: <>
Subject: Hobby or Peregrine?
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:31:54 +1100
Hi Paul,

Your comments are all fine and true. However I humbly suggest (not knowing
the situation of either of them) that Tom was taking a bit of a presumptive
liberty in suggesting what time and finger power that Greg has available and
what he should do with it. I don't know what time and finger power Greg has
available. The original question just asked what and did not ask why. Why
just Greg? Why not be more positive and address the message to Anthea
instead, to thank her for adding a bit of information? I could easily write
about how that bird can be identified from the photo, but although one or
two of the photos (alone) may still have been somewhat difficult, as a
series, from the bird's shape, body proportions, tail shape and length as
well as the completely diagnostic white throat and dark hood, it is an easy
call. These things are available from books and all answers received were
the same, so there is nothing to debate. Yes to have an expert in the field
describe the process that they use to identify a tern from a photograph is
incredibly helpful and by all means ask for help, but books exist for a
reason and should be a first point of call. Referring people to field guides
is not an action contrary to helping them. It is setting them up to be
better able to do this next time. 

The issue about the recent gull is different, as that is much more difficult
and some would say it matters for the record as to what it is. In this case,
very likely both raptor species are to be expected at that site. 

I see that you have also sent this to B-A and only for that reason I will
respond. I sure hope this does not develop into another tedious discussion. 


-----Original Message-----From: Paul Dodd 
Sent: Thursday, 31 January 2013 5:58 PM To: 'Philip Veerman'; 'Tom Tarrant';
'Greg and Val Clancy'   Cc:    Subject: RE:
[Birding-Aus] Hobby or Peregrine?

I could not agree less with you on this, Philip. Yes, field guides DO show
the differences between species and often highlight the differences between
them. However, it is often the subtle or, at least, not immediately obvious
differences that are diagnostic. I, for instance, really enjoy the debate
and discussion on gull and tern ID as I believe that by following this
discussion it allows me to build my knowledge and will give me the ability
to participate in these discussions in the future. Anyone can look up a
field guide and see that there *are* differences between Common, Arctic and
White-fronted Terns, for example, but to have an expert in the field
describe the process that they use to identify a tern from a photograph is
incredibly helpful. In the case of an Australian Hobby and a Peregrine
Falcon the differences may be more pronounced, but it is no less valuable to
hear an expert point out the key ID features - furthermore, we may have
absolutely no idea of the level of expertise of the people that are
requesting assistance with ID, so to help them out with the key features to
look for is beneficial both to them, and to others reading birding-aus that
may have similar questions. One of the things that people refer to often
about birding-aus subscribers is their generosity in providing information
when requested - let's not kill that off by referring people to field guides
instead of helping them.

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----From: 
 On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: Thursday, 31 January 2013 1:27 PM To: 'Tom Tarrant'; 'Greg and Val
Clancy' Cc: 
Subject: Hobby or Peregrine?


Yes maybe, in the case of a doubtful identification but there is a limit to
how much we should all be retyping the text of field guides. People do have
other things to do. Someone else already provided hints and I could do so
too and add some and sometimes I do, but in this case, there are multiple
cues available on this series of photos why it is Peregrine Falcon, these
are pretty much as described and shown in the various field guides.


-----Original Message-----From: 
 On Behalf Of Tom Tarrant
Sent: Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:02 AM        To: Greg and Val Clancy
Cc: Birding-Aus Aus     Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Hobby or Peregrine?


It might be a bit more helpful to the list if you elaborate why you reach
that conclusion....


On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 6:17 AM, Greg and Val Clancy

> They are Peregrine Falcons.
> Greg
> Dr Greg. P. Clancy
> Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
> PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
> 0266493153 0429601960
> -----Original Message----- From: Sandra & Neil Shelley Sent:
> Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:47 PM To: Birding-Aus Aus Subject: 
> [Birding-Aus] Hobby or Peregrine? Observed a pair of falcons at 
> Gunnamatta Ocean Beach (Victoria) on Tuesday, but can't decide if they 
> were Australian Hobby or Peregrine Falcon.
> Photos can be viewed at 
> *Neil Shelley*



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