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GBBC and Statistics

Nathan et al.-
  A friend just alerted me of this list a few days ago. I have
thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts and learning of the true diversity
of birds we have in the NC/SC area. I am a relative neophyte when it
comes to birding. I have only had a good field guide and a set of optics
for a year or so, though i am getting hooked fast. 
  I actually just received my first feeder as a Valentine's gift, and
contributed my first count to the GBBC. It felt really rewarding and i
was glad to be able to contribute, even if most of the 13 species we saw
were common birds for the area.
  I am finishing my Master's in Fisheries and Wildlife right now and am
getting a minor in statistics. I have always had a fondness for
statistics (somehow!?) and your points about the GBBC are well made.
But, unfortunately for you, most everyone already knows what you're
saying - get off the soap box! You obviously arent a field biologist or
you would understand the struggles we have with data and the sacrifices
we make when using statistics to describe data such as that recorded by
the GBBC. Sure, there are lots of assumptions violated and we get into
all sorts of trouble with the statisticians, but the information is
still valuable. And, as Charlotte mentioned, the main point is to get
people involved and interested (like myself), which is working. If
people publish on the data, so be it... you can get ticked off or "red
in the face," but that's silly and childish.  
  Basically, I dont think you picked the right forum for your banter,
and i am rather certain you arent gaining anyone's respect or
admiration. I am pretty sure myself and others would much rather read
posts about actual birds.

Dave Hewitt
Raleigh, NC