Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Prefer Photos Over Scientific Bird Jargon

For me the enjoyable part of birding is all about the places you go, the birds you see, and the circumstances under which see them. Another aspect I have come to enjoy is being able to log in some of my sightings online and letting eBird organize them for me. One thing I didn't like about eBird is that I found their system of  uploading photos to be inconvenient so I didn't bother.

That can be a problem when you are reporting a rare bird like a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (1st photo) or Black-backed Woodpecker (2nd photo). When you report a rare bird like that you are expected provide details describing the bird using terms like tertial feathers, supercilliums, and blah blah blah. I always feel silly using these kinds of terms. I don't like pretending to be a forensic ornithologist. It's like being forced to wear a suit when you're a t-shirt and jeans guy or learning a couple of French phrases to use on vacation when you don't really speak the language. It just feels phony like I'm copying it right out of a field guide.

 I am thankful that eBird has set up an easy drag-and drop photo system making things much easier for the user. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Lorraine said...

As a new birder, I love the new photo feature too, taking photos of interesting birds is what drew me to birding in the first place.

I'm also frustrated by the scientific descriptions, I just can't envision what they're seeing. A picture is worth a thousands words after all.

I also enjoy seeing the photos as much as I like taking them, even of more common species.

In my short time using eBird, I've seen 3 out-of-season rare birds - a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose, a Black-crowned Night Heron, and just the other day, a Yellow-rumped Warbler. I couldn't have gotten confirmation without photos of each.

Larry said...

It's a great time to start birding with all that's out there to enhance an experience.

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, I agree with you and I have just started loading photos into my checklists, but I have a lot of catching up to do!

Love the fork-tailed flycatcher shot! I have never seen one!

The Furry Gnome said...

I'm with you. Birding should be a fun reason to get outside and visit new places.

Larry said...

Thanks for the comments-Fork-tailed Flycatcher was high on my list of birds I wanted to see!

June said...

Wow! Beauties!