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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989
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The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989 - Image 2. June 1989 - July 1989. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 26, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4332/show/4323.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(June 1989 - July 1989). The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989 - Image 2. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4332/show/4323

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989 - Image 2, June 1989 - July 1989, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 26, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/4332/show/4323.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Spoonbill, Vol. 38, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989
Alternative Title The Spoonbill, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 6 - 7, June - July 1989
Contributor (Local)
  • Price, Libby
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date June 1989 - July 1989
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Ornithology
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • newsletters
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 2007-023, Box 12, Folder 5
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9874
Original Collection Outdoor Nature Club Records
Digital Collection Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections/
Use and Reproduction In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 2
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b012_f005_006_002.jpg
Transcript UeilihlUlri by Noel Pettingell 10 YEARS AGO/FROM JUNE 1979 SPOONBILL "The Contribution of the Amateur to Ornithology by Allen R. Phillips (from the Colorado Field Ornithologists' Quarterly Journal, Winter 1979) There is often a quite unwarranted diffidence among amateur birdwatchers regarding their contributions to ornithology. The only real requirement, if one wishes to contribute to the science, is a sincere interest in the birds. Science is a search for truth and understanding, which frequently implies abandoning our own preconceived ideas (as well as others') as we learn better. Theoretically, training in ornithology in a university should give one an advantage; but this is not mandatory, for the great and lesser classics that fill our libraries were practically entirely written by men untrained in zoology. If they had any training at all, it was as doctor (Coues, A.K. Fisher, Mearns, Roberts, and many others), dentist (Vaurle), or artist (Peterson). Some perhaps qualified as 'professionals' by holding jobs as ornithologists, like the great Ridgway and Ober- holser; but most worked for the love of science, just like Wilson and Audubon. The greatest life-history study was done by a housewife, Mrs. Margaret Morse Nice (who also wrote the first 'Birds of Oklahoma'). So just who is an amateur? This is not to say that- we_have no irainecL professional ornithologists today, or to deny their competence. But they are few and scattered. More often than not, too, the professional is burdened with administrative duties, classes and perhaps public relations—a slave to the telephone. If he is to keep abreast of the situation, particularly regarding bird distributions and populations, and to give sound advice when called upon, the 'amateur' must be his eyes and ears. Some, but not all, of the problems we now face are obvious. All of us are well aware of urban sprawl, 'developers' and bulldozers, obsessed dam- builders, tree-cutters, concrete-layers, etc., and the various chemical and physical poison advocates (the end always justifies the means). How can we preserve the brushy habitat needed by Bell's and other vireos? What is their present status? Do they raise enough vireos to maintain themselves, or only cowbirds? Profesionals in wildlife conservation may monitor waterfowl, but woodpeckers, orioles and Yellow Warblers should also concern us. All this depends, then, on the amateur and his degree of organization. He alone has the time and interest to watch and count common birds. His lists of species and numbers will increase in value with the passage of time. [Ed. note: This article, while directed to Colorado birders, is singularly apropos to birders everywhere.]" (continued from page 1 ) should be restated so that "common" and "fairly common" in the 6th Edition would be changed to "abundant" and "common" in the 7th, with the definitions modified accordingly, as was also done for the "uncommon" and "rare" categories. "Irregular" was added to "very rare," and the definition shortened, while "vagrant" was changed to include 2 to 9 valid records instead of 1 to 10 in the 6th Edition. The numerical key and breeding status were also revised, with a special symbol being added for species which can only be identified by song or call. Another innovation to be found in the 7th Edition is the year of the latest valid UTC record (LVR) for all vagrant, accidental, extirpated and extinct species. Incidentally, the earliest LVR for any accidental is 1877 for McCown's Longspur and the earliest reference to any UTC species (under explanatory notes) is 1837 for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Both records are cited in The Bird Life of Texas (1974) on pages 959 and 530. The Committee also decided to divide both families and sub-families with heavy lines because of the extensive rearrangement of families and species by the A.O.U. in 1982. The major task of the Committee began with the compilation of a list of some 470 species by David Dauphin which were reviewed and researched both during and in between a series of seven meetings at Ed Rozenburg's house from February 15 to March 22. Seasonal status of all abundant to vagrant species was decided, as well as the validity of every accidental, with all final decisions being unanimous. The first computer printout in graphic form was presented by Ed on April 5, and final revisions of species occurrence, definitions, codes, explanatory notes and layout were made during the meetings on April 17, May 10 and May 17 (there were 13 in all). Some idea of the intense deliberations and difficulties involved in producing a graphic checklist of over 400 species may be grasped by keeping in mind that seasonal occurrence is divided into 48 weeks and relative frequency into 6 categories from "abundant" to "vagrant." Since there were also 10 supplemental codes to be considered, it was necessary to make up to 720 decisions for some of the abundant to very rare species occurring year-round. Although the 7th Edition has seven graphed pages versus nine in the 6th Edition, the number of species is nearly the same: 413 in 1989 (excluding 27 accidentals) versus 418 in 1980 (including 17 accidentals). Also appearing in the 7th Edition's graphed section but not included in the total of 413 A.O.U. species are Empidonax/species, Brewster's and Lawrence's Warbler hybrids and Bullock's (Northern) Oriole. A total of 317 species fall into the abundant-to-rare category, i.e., occur annually, in the 7th Edition, including 36 warblers. Of the 58 wood- warbler species which have been recorded north of Mexico all but the following 11 have occurred in the UTC area: Bachman's, Colima, Crescent-chested, Kirtland's, Gray-crowned, Red-faced, Slate-throated, Fan-tailed, Golden-crowned, Rufous-capped and Olive. The cover illustration of the 7th Edition is the same as that which was originally designed by Ben Feltner for the 5th Edition (1974). Sharp-eyed listers will note that the map still shows three UTC "hotspots"—Galveston's South Jetty, Bolivar Peninsula's North Jetty and the Texas City Dike. Noel Pettingell