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Charlie Spencer

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Everything posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. Sadly, there is no way I could have taken as good a photo with a phone as the one @Lady Tiff submitted above. I'm either going to spend the rainy weekend figuring out how to use it effectively or just quit trying.
  2. Well, why the heck not? Congrats on the new bird!
  3. I've put together a Kickstarter to buy this poor bird some new feet. What? Doesn't need them? Why not? Oh.
  4. While I applaud the idea in general, I think there's no 'right' or 'wrong' on this particular topic. Tools are tools. Sometimes right and wrong are determined by how we use them. Sometimes neither apply and we're just discussing personal preferences. @Administrator answered several questions for me in another discussion regarding birding apps before I concluded that they don't (currently) fit the way I bird. ('I bird'? 'iBird'! Get it? I made a funny! HA! I just kill me!)
  5. It looks like an American Goldfinch in typical non-breeding plumage to me.
  6. FYI, I'm a network administrator so I see technology altering the workplace daily. I don't have 'fears' as such (a word I was careful to not use). I'm just used to pointing out the potential negatives of converting an analog process to digital. The downsides are usually outweighed by the productivity gains, but I like people to know up front that downsides do indeed exist. I have little doubt the technology will eventually advance to the point where an electronic tool is reliably more accurate than a human being. I don't see any reason why that would stop anyone from birding unless they were looking for an excuse. Cars haven't stopped people from walking or running for pleasure. We do crossword puzzles manually although a computer could solve them in seconds. Bird Brain said "When we can give them an ID, tell them something about the bird they saw, and maybe even recommend a good field guide for them, it may spark their interest enough to begin actually looking for birds." I realized that regardless why people asks, as birders it's our responsibility to encourage their budding interest. Providing a positive response is our first step to encouraging people. From there we can hope they'll become interested enough to learn about birds in detail, beyond basic identification. I'll just put my soapbox back in the truck now.
  7. I'm reminded of an old Doonesbury comic. Mega-rich rock star Jimmy Thudpucker decides to take up stamp collecting. He calls the local coin and stamp shop and says something like, "Hi, it's me again. Would you send over a full set for Bolivia? Yeah, thanks!" His wife approaches and asks how its going. "That was fun. I'll do Brazil tomorrow!" If the app gets people introduced to birding, great, but I have a concern. To me, birding is about more than adding names to a life list. If people become dependent on visual images as identification tools, they'll be missing out on many of the other aspects of bird identification, and missing much of what I think makes birding an enjoyable lifelong hobby. They may not pay attention to a bird's environment, behaviors, seasonal movements, field marks, or the other factors that would help them identify a bird when they don't have a camera or an app. They may not even learn to look for these factors. That's harmless, I guess, but they'll also likely not develop an appreciation for the birds themselves or an understanding of the role they play in the environment. It's one thing to 'collect' stamps, it's another to understand the stamps you're collecting.
  8. @not_so_lonesome_dove, welcome! Excellent description of the bird's appearance and behavior. Good eye!
  9. I struggle with spring warblers, fall warblers, and any warbler that isn't Yellow-Rumped, Pine, or Prothonotary.
  10. I'm with psweet (and who isn't?) on the third one. The bill looks too long with respect to the head for a Robin. The long streaks on the breast are also a better fit for a Starling.
  11. The pale belly looks more like Gambel's Quail to me, but that doesn't have any business in NJ either! EDIT: Sniped by lonesome55dove!
  12. Routine moulting. Notice the newer feathers that have already come in around the edges of the open area. Also notice the colors on the other feathers are still relatively well defined, and the edges of the feathers are still sharp and unworn. Great photo, by the way! The more I look at it, the more I appreciate it. Every time I look at it, I notice new details.
  13. Like that? Here, have a couple of these: ¡! ¡! ¡!
  14. Or type a question in an on-line translation tool, copy the punctuation mark, and paste it in. I keep one in a buffer along with 'ñ', Señors y Señoras.
  15. I saw my first Pine Warbler of the season at my suet feeder Sunday.
  16. The woodpecker in the third photo looks larger than the one in the others when I compare the size of the birds to the suet feeder. I'm just sayin'.
  17. @Administrator, I pulled those at random. My point was that there are nature sites specializing in other life forms, and was it worth attempting to expand beyond this site's 'core competency'. I'll happily take your word that the old forums had high enough participation numbers to justify bringing them back.
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