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August 2022

Vol. 50, No. 4

Musings from the Blind Birder: Random Thoughts from the Raspberry Patch

Martha Steele

Random thoughts while preparing our Vermont raspberry patch for summer growing as Broad-winged Hawks call and circle overhead:

We are puzzled periodically by the details that birders provide for unusual bird sightings. A northeastern Vermont report of a Bohemian Waxwing in early April was unusual for its lateness in the region. This observation thus merited details about the sighting. Details were indeed provided but left us shaking our heads: “Sitting atop a tree.” Okay, so any bird we see sitting atop a tree is a Bohemian Waxwing? Similarly, an unusual report of a Rough-legged Hawk was accompanied by “perched in a tree.” Perhaps we need to periodically remind ourselves that regional reviewers require field marks, habitat descriptions, photos, recordings, or similar details or documented evidence to help them determine the validity of an unusual sighting.

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