[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Mississippi Kite retraction
- To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, RJDNC@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Mississippi Kite retraction
- From: Norman Budnitz <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2000 14:19:58 -0500
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
After much hand-ringing and even more thought, we have decided not to count
the Mississippi Kite (MIKI) that I reported 3 weeks ago for the Durham NC
Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Here's the story.
When I sent in the information about the MIKI to the count compiler, Mike
Schultz, he immediately noted that this species was not listed on the
master CBC checklist that goes out to compilers all across North
America. In other words, this would have been a first record for a CBC
anywhere in North America. Upon reflection, we felt that a 5-10 second
look at bird flying away from us, even though in good light and from a
reasonable distance, was simply not good enough to be acceptable for such a
noteworthy first record.
I asked folks on this list for comments and got a few. Those comments were
food for thought, but didn't really change my mind about my particular
identification of this particular bird. That is, I had already ruled out
the species those people suggested. But I thank them for their suggestions.
Two other people have been back to the same site and have not refound the bird.
So was it a MIKI? Might have been. I've seen 1000s of them in my
life. (Literally 1000s, in April, in migration, in south Texas. That was
a sight!) But I felt I just didn't really have enough unequivocal evidence
on this occasion. So the conservative explanation seems to be that what we
saw was likely something else, though we will never know what that might
have been. Can I live with that uncertainty? Sheesh, I sure hope so.
Do I regret my initial posting reporting the bird? Absolutely not. Better
to report it and get other people to go take a look. Maybe they could find
the bird again. And I've eaten crow before (in a manner of speaking) and
probably will again. (Hmm, was that just American Crow, or was it
Tamaulipas Crow? My memory is that every time I eat crow, it's pretty spicy!)
Norman Budnitz 919-684-3592 (day)
email@example.com 919-383-0553 (eve)
(work) Department of Zoology, Duke University
Box 90325, Durham NC 27708-0325
(home) 4115 Garrett Drive, Durham NC 27705-8005
PROGRESS: the victory of laughter over dogma.
(Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)