[mou] [mnbird] The Journey + Fox Sparrows

RICHARD JILL WOOD rwoodphd at msn.com
Thu Oct 11 20:58:26 EDT 2007

Hi all,

My experience is that most times people are nicer when you meet them face to face than when they send you email.  As someone just recently pointed out to me, " Email is a strange and dangerous method of communication. Anyone
can easily send out a message with one intended interpretation, only
to have it completely misinterpreted by receivers", and I completely agree with that.  I also agree that people don't post many times because they fear being criticized; witness the responsed to the recent posting of a Great Kiskadee (?) in Minnesota.

I've not been in Minnesota as long as Pastor Al, and I have had some tell me I should leave because of my views - my love and respect of wildlife and my anti-hunting stance, and my equating the needless death of a human being to the needless death of an animal, namely, both being a senseless and terrible thing, yet I would not hesitate to meet up with any of these people to go out in the field and bird.  I've had some call me a troublemaker, yet I've also heard that this same person that called me a troublemaker has harassed others on these various bird lists.  Oh well.

Minnesotans aren't alone in this behavior; I've seen it happen elsewhere.  I've had sightings questioned and criticized here, as well as other places; I stick by them, even though others don't like it (or me).  On the other hand, if nations can't always get along, how can we (and should we?) expect any different of birders?

Peace and good birding to all, and hopefully those inquisitive ones amongst us will win in the long run.


> From: pastoral at princetonfreechurch.net
> To: mnbird at lists.mnbird.net; mou-net at moumn.org
> Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 12:10:46 -0500
> Subject: [mnbird] The Journey + Fox Sparrows
> I moved to Minnesota four years ago.
> The birding has been terrific.
> Most of the birders I've met - serendipidously or on field trips - have been 
> terrific as well.
> On occasion I hear criticism of other birders, particularly of the "names" 
> in the field, or of leadership.
> On occasion I hear that people will not post due to (perceived or real) 
> attacks or criticism.
> Once in a while I've been criticized - often justly (frankly, I'm not as 
> detailed or as thorough I should be - learning this has been painful but 
> very healthy) - a couple of times unjustly.
> Since I'm a pastor as well as a birder, the occasional gossip, attacks, 
> reluctance to share sadden me.
> As a communicator, I've wanted to address the situation.
> Today it hit me.
> I don't need to point fingers at others.
> To do such would be hypocritical.
> Frankly, sometimes I've participated in the gossip.  I've criticized, 
> sometimes ignorantly.  I've become angry on occasion - even lashing out.
> So, to put it simply, I want to say I'm sorry.  Instead of being part of the 
> problem, I want to be part of the solution.
> Life is too short.  The journey is too much fun.  Birding is too excellent 
> of an avocation.
> (Fox Sparrows finally arrived in the area today - is there a more glorious 
> sparrow?)
> Good birding to all!
> Al Schirmacher
> Princeton, MN
> Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties 
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