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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/14/2018 in all areas

  1. Alright here's my take, as a teen birder: I honestly just don't see the value here. I have never heard of "minibooks" before this, and I will likely never buy one. I see no problem with just getting a paper/hardcover and plopping down somewhere to read for a few hours. I don't need to feel like I'm swiping through an Instagram feed to read. I rarely take a field guide into the birding with me as is, and really haven't since I started birding. I never used one of those "pocket-sized field guides" just because they did not have the detail that I could get within a Sibley or NatGeo. I'm just trying to imagine something with even smaller font/images. When I started birding in mid-2015, my NatGeo proved to be a very useful guide, as I could see similar species and compare the two on one page. It seems to me that in a "minibook" that this would not be possible, just due to the tiny page size. With the smaller page size too, I think that many of the illustrations would lose much detail, with many of the key identifying features being harder to see/not visible at all. I honestly don't see the problem with a phone either. Granted, they do have battery life (which I just pack a good portable charger for), but the cellular issue can be fixed fairly easily by downloading packs and whatnot for offline usage. The advantage about the field guides on a phone too (I only have Merlin), is that they offer birds in multiple natural positions, as well as a variety of sounds. To me, there really would be no need for a minibook field guide. I'd much rather save my money for something I'd actually use. PS: The demo image technically violates forum rules, the words second from top left and somewhere in the middle on the bottom page seem to be a bit expletive.
    4 points
  2. I had to look up the term Luddite [**see below]...yep, that would be me, especially since I'm 70+% English. I do not own a Smart cell phone or even a Stupid one...I have a telephone sitting on a table in my living room and one hanging on the wall in my kitchen...no joke! I hear this all the time, ''I tried to call you but no answer'' ...''yeah, well I wasn't home'' ...''you need a cell phone'' ...''um, no I don't...I have an answering machine, leave a message, I'll get back to you'' ...''well, I don't talk to answering machines'' ...''well, I don't walk around with a phone in my hand so good luck trying to talk to me.'' **LUDDITE:[per Wikipedia] The word Luddite is generally used as a derogatory term applied to people showing technophobic leanings. The name is based on the historical legacy of the English Luddites, who were active between 1811 and 1816. As for the new-fangled book...Would I buy it? No. I do not carry a guide in the field...usually, all I take is a camera, binoculars and maybe, if I remember to grab them a pen and notepad. For me it doesn't sound like a '' user-friendly'' book...small, thin pages with small print. I've been birding since I was old enough to say, ''birdie''...so about 60+ yrs. As you can most-likely imagine given my age, the old eyes are not the best even with bifocals and fumble-fingeritis has set in...plus I already own a slew of bird books so this book won't be on my wish list. And, I've never been one to fall for everything that comes down the pike as some folks do...darn Luddite DNA! πŸ™‚
    2 points
  3. I agree with the above responses. I would like to add to Aveschapines' response and say that I think this is a fad. Being a 16 year old birder who I would say is well versed in modern culture, this idea is not going to take off. You say this should appeal to young people who have their faces stuck in their phones - I say quite the opposite. I am part of the online teen culture of birding and they would not like this idea, even new birders. They prefer online websites like birds of north america, all about birds, and now eBird (new explore species feature), even when in the field. When the internet is out or people want better comparisons, they use a normal field guide and at that point it would be pointless to have a smaller guide. (It's pretty much a miniature meme that young birders don't like iBird (mainly because of the illustrations)). In an online world where the culture can change within a month, week, even a day, this will fall by the wayside as just another fad. People like simple, ordinary, and practical. I think someone might buy it just for the idea, but then realize that it's hard to use in the field and, as Aves said, does not withstand the heavy use that comes with birding. At first I thought you posted this to see what we thought about the idea in order to decide whether or not this should be put into production. But it seems you showed up with preconceived notions as to what the response was going to be, and now you're disappointed it's not what you had hoped. Since birders like the people on this forum are your audience, I suggest you take into account their responses instead of throwing them aside simply because they don't look positively on the idea. True, we're just a small sample of people, but we essentially represent your audience. Not trying to be rude, but I think you're just looking for affirmation and anything other than that is just something to be argued away without full consideration. But it's not your opinion that matters - it's the consumers'. If people see a product like this on the market, this is the response people will give. Since the consumers on this website are obviously looking on this idea negatively, I think you should reconsider putting this into production unless you want to risk it on the few people who buy it once and never recommend it to anyone else. You say that other people have already made up their minds, and that if people are worried about a negative response, they should "simply not respond". So far you've posted already having made up your mind (complete with articles and other facts that argue your idea), and with all the negative responses you've replied with "this may not be the best place to ask my question", indicating you're choosing ignoring the opinions simply because they don't agree with yours. But it doesn't matter how stupid the consumers' opinion is - it's the opinion that dictates whether or not this will be a success. You can't change the minds of your entire audience unless you have a highly skilled advertisement company and a lot of money, at which point it might have been better to simply forget about the idea. If you don't believe me, I can post this topic to all 60 or so young birders, many of them new, on discord and ask their opinion. I'd be glad to and it'd hopefully be good info for you. I wish you the best of luck.
    2 points
  4. I have always loved tiny versions of everyday things, so a mini book holds appeal for me, and I have some. But not because they are full-sized books shrunk down to tiny size; rather because they are short books designed for a small format. However, I don't see much advantage to these personally. I imagine I'd get used to the orientation in time, but tiny print and super-thin paper sounds like a terrible idea for a field guide. Since I'm not a 20-something I'd need to pack strong reading glasses and possibly a magnifying glass, so no one-handed use. I can read a regular field guide in the field without glasses if the light isn't too bad, so no need to fish the reading glasses out of my pocket or backpack most of the time. And hard-to-turn pages won't offer much advantage when you're trying to hold the binocs in one hand, the camera in the other, and the field guide in the other... and the granola bar that has just come out of its wrapper, of course, when the unidentified rarity shows up. How will they stand up to sweat, mustard smears from your sandwich, coffee drips from thermoses, sudden rain (or rarites seen in a downpour, causing the field guide to come out of the waterproof bag), dropping open page side down on a damp mossy log in the rain forest, bird poop, grease spots from all the *itos that birders eat in the field, etc.? I also normally don't take a field guide into the field anymore, and when I do often only use them for something to browse through while I take a meal break. I do study and them at home, and prefer to get first a good description (which I write in my field notebook) and then if possible photos, for later ID at home. When I do take a field guide, it's not my Sibley or my Howell and Webb, because they are like hauling around a couple of bricks, but a smaller one; and I put a pocket for that purpose on my birding vest. BTW some of us need the big Sibley, because we get both eastern and western migrants here. I also believe you when you say the tiny books are selling well, but are they going to be a long-term success or just a fad? Why won't the kids, etc. just go back to reading on their phones once the novelty wears off, and you still need a pocket stuffed with books for a trip instead of hundreds of books in your phone? I am having trouble getting used to reading books on phone, iPod, etc.; I got the new Central American Peterson in digital form, and it's just not the same, even though I can take it into the field on my phone. But if I felt totally comfortable using books on electronic formats, why would I want a paper book to imitate that experience? Why not just read it on my phone?
    2 points
  5. I found a couple of snow geese today
    2 points
  6. Looks like the rare Black-footed Greater Yellowlegs. Actually I agree with Greater based on the long bicolored bill that's lighter at the base.
    2 points
  7. If that's your idea of a joke I fail to see the humour there.... *shakes my head* You can tell Kemosabi that he can take that idea and....(use your imagination) You asked for opinions and then call people luddites because their opinions don't agree with your's? I will keep my opinion to myself from now on and wish you all the best in marketing your silly gimmick to those that are silly enough to buy into it.
    2 points
  8. Hawk Aransas NWR 10-18
    2 points
  9. I didn't see that this had been reposted since the crash. So here we go again! Neck band and leg band. I'll let you know the history when I get the report back Snow goose
    1 point
  10. There are no eBird records of Belding's north of Santa Barbara Co., so I'd say you'd have to be really sure to identify one in the Bay area.
    1 point
  11. Maybe. I'm not sure about the subspecies ID if either of these. They do look a little darker and more strongly marked (especially the first one), but I'm not sure. I have a bit of personal experience with Belding's and just don't know if the coloring is quite in range for that ssp here. Belding's are definitely found in California as you said, but they're rather localized. They're not widespread throughout the state, meaning you can't expect to have them generally. I can't pull up an eBird map now, but I'd like to know if the spot these were seen is a known Belding's spot. Savannah subspecies are often distinctive, but there can certainly be some ambiguity at other times.
    1 point
  12. @Administrator, understood. I was composing my reply before your previous explanation hit the page. I've also seen too many posts with 'LOL' in at the end even when there's no joke, to the point that it no longer has any meaning to me. Some people append it to every post, as it were a period or a editor's '-30-'. But based on the peer messages I've received, lonestranger and I weren't the only ones confused by your phrasing. It doesn't help that you're being inconsistent with your descriptions: That's not going to encourage positive feedback for this or any other print format Then they won't already be accustomed to holding one, or holding a book shaped like one. That may be, but I saw it as a replacement for standard sized printed field guides. Based on the comments, that's the comparison others are making, too. I don't see how you can condense the information described in the first quote above into just a top and bottom page; maybe ditch the ''Fun Facts'? The glaring omission is a range map. Also, I don't understand what information is being conveyed by the icons at the bottom of the page. I'll assume there would be a legend in the front. In that case, you'll have to avoid having too many different icons for people to conveniently remember. Otherwise they'll have to check the legend regularly, which may be a turn off. Are any of them reference works readers will jump around in, or are they all fiction and other genres written to be read front-to-back? I'm certainly playing Devil's Advocate here, but I doubt we're being as rough as a venture capitalist or board of directors would be. And we're still opining on something we don't have access to, which makes informed opinions difficult.
    1 point
  13. Very good points Helen, and they will all bear on the success of any Mini-book based Field Guide. I too wonder how the thin pages will stand up in the field, how hard will they be to turn, what is there shelf life if they get wet or stained. I found on the copyright page that these thin pages are called Thinopaque by Tervakovksi in Finland. The copyright page also included this: Dwarsligger (TM) is a new book concept created by printer and publisher Royal Jongbloed bv (Heerenveen, the Netherlands). The web site is https://www.dwarsligger.com. I emailed dwarsligger yesterday and asked if they have the capacity to print in color, which is critical for the success of any field guide. I'll let everyone know what I get back. I'm not sure why kids (or whoever is buying these books) prefers them over the phone, that would need a long study to determine. You can slip the tiny mini-book (they call them Flipbooks) in any of your pockets along with your cell phone and so I think maybe its not an "either or" type of purchase. Truth be told I think the majority of birders that own guides won't be excited about these books. But another factoid is that 90% of sales of apps and field guides go to people that are new to birding, rather than experienced birders. Thanks for your feedback.
    1 point
  14. This looks like the Pipit I saw on the same day, but....not really. Thanks for your help. Pipit by Mark Featherstone, on Flickr
    1 point
  15. 1 point
  16. Agree with Savannah
    1 point
  17. Savannah Sparrow. Pipits have thinner bills and longer tails.
    1 point
  18. Greater White-fronted Goose by chipperatl2, on Flickr Untitled by chipperatl2, on Flickr
    1 point
  19. Wild birds in south Texas and the Neotropics are all dark with white wing patches, it's the domestic/feral ones like those in Florida and city parks elsewhere that can be mostly/entirely white. When we talk about wild Muscovies I think we mean those that still naturally occur in the tropics and we exclude the Florida population even though they are technically ABA countable.
    1 point
  20. Can anyone rule out a dark morph Short-tailed Hawk? Seems most likely option based on location.
    1 point
  21. Muscovy Ducks are ABA countable as both a natural vagrant to south Texas and as a feral population in Florida. They most definitely belong in a field guide in my opinion.
    1 point
  22. 1 point
  23. Northern Mockingbird is correct. Size is often challenging to judge in the field.
    1 point
  24. I don't care for this idea. I find field guides extremely useful especially in comparing two bird species so I'm not against paper books. Firstly: I have tons of bird books including Sibley, Stokes, National Geographic, and even some vintage Peterson's and all of them have better illustrations that iBird(which I assume is the idea for this), no offense. Secondly: I also have several smaller pocket-sized guides and they sit on the shelf and I never use them - particularly because it's very easy to bring a regional Sibley that's infinitely better than a tiny pocket book. Also, I feel like most people who bird wear some sort of backpack or something else that holds essentials like a water bottle, a camera, lenses, etc., maybe a snack, in which they could place a Sibley without much discomfort (we're already dealing with discomfort with binoculars and everything else, what's a relatively lightweight field guide gonna do?). I get the idea, but it's just not for me. I'd rather bring a high quality Sibley's.
    1 point
  25. I'd like to hear what others say, but I personally don't see much value in the idea. The main reason people look in field guides is to get an identificaton. Birders generally would find much more value in images, rather than a description, especially when time is limited in the field. How is an illustration on a tiny page going to accomplish that? What's the best way to get that visual? I don't think that a mini pocket book would be very beneficial in making an ID. The size seems to be the obviously problem, IMO. Why not just use a smartphone app (or even just the internet) that provides an essentially unlimited supply of high quality images at numerous angles, lighting, distances, age, sex, molt condition, abnormal birds, hybrids, subspecies, etc. I don't see how a mini hand-held paper book could provide anything near what an app or even just a Google search, All About Birds, eBird Media/Macaulay, Audubon, etc can. The internet in itself uses no trees πŸ™‚
    1 point
  26. Wet birds can be difficult or impossible to sort out. Here the bird in the first two photo is fairly legible. With the heavily streaked breast, fine, dark, slightly decurved bill, short wing bar/patch it is your Cape May. The bird in the second set of photos is more of a challenge but it still looks good for your Blackpoll. The orange feet of a Blackpoll aren't visible in these shots but that is a good mark to look for. The coloring looks good along with the fine streaking on the upper back. The bill is shorter and more blunt that on the Cape May.
    1 point
  27. 1 point
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