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g Birding Site

BellaOnline's Birding Editor


September 2 2013 Birding Newsletter

Here is the latest article from the Birding site at Bellaonline.com:

“Killing Barred Owls – The Big Lie”: if you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.



The Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, posted the following on his website on August 19, 2013, and it reads in part:

"Edward R. Murrow, one of history's most influential broadcast journalists, said:

"To be persuasive, we must be believable;
To be believable, we must be credible;
To be credible, we must be truthful."

I have always felt that his words speak to several fundamental ingredients in the great tradition of success by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Scientific integrity is and must be a key compass point for the organization. Our credibility is grounded in our competency as a science-driven organization.

That is why strengthening our scientific capacity has been my highest priority as Service Director; why we have a strong code of scientific conduct; and why we have a process to investigate and correct issues of scientific integrity.

As a science-driven organization, we have an obligation to foster an environment where the science we produce and use, and the process we employ to make science-based decisions, is robust and of the highest quality. When we do this, history confirms, our decisions stand the best chance of being seen as believable, credible and truthful – within and outside of the Service." --Dan Ashe, USFWS


These are honorable sentiments, and I am sure that none of us could possibly disagree with his stated priorities for the USFWS. If you believe that the Director should be aware that no scientific studies have been made to determine the cause-effect relationships between the presence of the Barred Owls and the population declines of Spotted Owls, and if you agree that the “experimental” killing of Barred Owls is an inane, unfortunate, unscientific approach to doing so, please contact him by letter, telephone or email:

Daniel Ashe, Director
US Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240


The US Department of the Interior is the governing body for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. If you wish to also contact Dan Ashe’s boss, please write, email or telephone:

The Honorable Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Mail Stop 7060
Washington, DC 20240


The Pacific Northwest states are Oregon, Washington and California. You may contact the lead Audubon Society chapters for each of these states to express your dismay at their unfortunate delusion, as follows:

Oregon: Conservation Director Bob Sallinger, bsallinger@audubonportland.org, 503-292-6855
Washington: Executive Director Gail Gatton, ggatton@audubon.org, 206-652-2444 x101
California: Executive Director Brigid McCormack, bmccormack, 415-644-4603




Cornell Lab of University has sent out a press release announcing the debut of their Central American ebird access point which can be found at: www.ebird.org/content/camerica.

The site is bilingual (Spanish and English), and is an excellent place to keep up with avian announcements from Cornell, as well as being the portal for recording your sightings for your own records, and for the sharing of them with the international community.

The Central American eBird team includes Liliana Chavarría (Nicaragua), Jan Axel Cubilla (Panama), John van Dort (Honduras), Knut Eisermann (Guatemala), Lee Jones (Belize), Roselvy Juárez (El Salvador), Oliver Komar, Darién Montañez (Panama), and Jim Zook (Costa Rica).

The Honduran contact is Oliver Komar, Zamorano University, Honduras, okomar@zamorano.edu

If you need more information from Cornell, that contact is Chris Wood, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Chris.wood@cornell.edu


From six continents (North America, Africa, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia) and forty countries around the world is this new PBS NATURE series called EARTHFLIGHT. The first of six parts will air this WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013 at 8pm.

Each of the first five consecutive Wednesday nights will reveal a new continent (episode 5 is both Asia and Australia) and the sixth will be a behind-the-scenes look at how the filming was accomplished. A truly unique and awe-inspiring view of the bird in flight. The footage was gathered by the use of small HD cameras attached to trained birds set loose in the wild flocks, radio-controlled drones, and para-gliders who flew with the birds. Really an amazing opportunity to truly experience a bird’s-eye view of avian life. If you have ever wanted to fly with the birds, this will get you pretty darn close...

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TELEVISION ACCESS, you may stream the programs each week beginning the day after they are shown on the air.


BirdLife International has announced the release of the State of the World’s Birds 2013 report. The purpose for disseminating these yearly reports is to give pertinent conservation information to governments that will hopefully drive positive changes which make sense economically, culturally and environmentally from a global perspective. It is the forest AND the trees approach, using “canaries in the coal mine” as the vehicle for change.

This link is for the pdf files written in English, Spanish or French: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/SOWB2013

This is the webpage for the report, and to the links for 350 case studies around the world: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb



You might be interested in this article about Pishing. What it is and a brief discussion of the ethics surrounding an increasingly problematic birding method: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art181216.asp


Please visit http://www.bellaonline.com/site/Birding for even more great content about Birding. There are three previous companion articles to the one named above that may be of interest to you: “Killing Barred Owls – Who Are the Players?”, "Killing Barred Owls" and "Barred Owl Debacle".


To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Birding located here:

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I appreciate your feedback- whether we agree or not!

Please feel free to pass this message along.

Warmest regards,

Carrie McLaughlin, Birding Editor

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