[tn-bird] Re: Tess Cumbie and Hummers and Pishing

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 16:12:39 -0400

Tess Cumbie, TN-Birders:

Tess, since you and I are personal friends from birding in the
Northeast Tennessee area and enjoy mutual memberships in 
a bird club, I know you will understand me and know that I am
not being critical of you.

I know you are well intended in saying that persons who are
banders (I have been for 35 years), pish birds and use tapes
now have a chance to speak up for what we do.

I do all of the above and a lot more.

I am not going to speak up for what we do.  That has
been done over and over for decades.

TN-Birder Sheb Marsh,of Paducah, KY, has exercised a
right to an opinion about all of the above.  Sheb has the right
to hold whatever opinion.  I am not going to argue about

And, I am not going to debate the merits of holding, banding,
disturbing, using tape calls, etc. etc. etc.

Sheb has now told us all what we must stop doing!  Sheb has
told us what Sheb believes to be wrong with all of that
and what is ethical about it.  Sheb has said that even
Sheb, like myself and everyone else, can stand a little self
reflection and revamping of our ethical view of all that is done.

I keep using Sheb's name, not out of disrespect, but because
I don't know whether Sheb is a male or female.  If I knew, I would
write he or she as would be more appropriate.  It doesn't make
any difference whether Sheb is male or female.  It just makes
a difference in how I word this.  There may be another better
way but I can't think of it.

Sheb has had space on TN-Birds to put all of this before 
everyone else to think about.

Tape recordings and pishing and banding have been
the subject of debate by those who know what they are
talking about, those who are just discovering the subjects
and those who know almost nothing but still spew opinions
on every listserver on the internet.  The subject had been
worn out since before most people had computers.

As one small but important example:  yes,  Bob Sargent
has allowed hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of
persons to hold birds which he has banded.  There
are wonderful accounts of all this published everywhere
for interested birders to read about.  You wouldn't have to
be hatched out your egg but a few short hours to learn that.
Bob makes a massive impact on education by doing that.
He is a champion of that activity.  He is held in reverence
for what he does with banding and what he has learned.
He is not held that way by chicks who have just hatched
and opened their eyes to the world.  He is held in that
great esteem by people of many varied and informed
and learned views of ornithology, birds, and just good,
solid and valuable conservation and good science.

I and many others have read so many messages on so
many lists that we don't worry about good and wonderful
people like Sheb Marsh expressing an opinion.  We just
hate to see the same old banding, pishing and tape
recording  issue explode into a mail server choked with
arguments, informed, uninformed or as poor as this one.

Tess, thanks for  opening the door for me to say this.  
Like many more on this list, I read carefully every word of
Sheb Marsh's posting.  I thought about it.  I thought about
what was good and what was any other way.  Now I have
that stored away and I'll move on in life.  I am not asking
that comments with new views and similar thoughtful 
pieces such as Sheb's not appear on TN-Birds.  I am
just asking that everyone else do as I say and not as I
do.  Just don't sink us in the quicksand.  Give us something
sturdy for our footing so that we may be truly informed.

Let's go birding.....

Wallace Coffey
Bristol, TN

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