Birding in groups

When joining a bird count, you might be placed into a team or join with your own team. Teams are usually small, I've never seen one with more than four people and it's usually only two people. Being in a team has a number of advantages, like more pairs of eyes to notice things, safety, additional witnesses in the event of a rare bird, having the option of splitting up for large areas. It's especially handy for driving, having one or two passengers makes birding by car so much easier. One thing I've seen before with newer birders, is that they're afraid to join a count because they think they'll get in the way, if you're thinking that, join up and volunteer to hold the checklist and keep the tally. That is incredibly important (it's basically the reason everyone's out) and this way the experienced birders can keep eyes and ears up.

If you come to a large area and decide to split up, remember, you are now creating an extra team and need to track your time/miles split-up separately. Something people sometimes forget is that it is just as important to know how much time and how many miles were covered by how many teams as it is how many birds were found. Without that information, the bird data is worth significantly less.

I would say don't let your team get over four though, at that point you practically need two vehicles, and with a second vehicle, two people could make up a second team to go to another part of the circle.

When you are in a group it's perfectly alright to talk, but remember that the primary reason you're out is to find birds so if someone sees something then everyone stop talking and look for birds. Also this is not the time to bring up your favorite controversial opinion and it is entirely possible that the fun likable guy you're birding with doesn't agree with everything you believe. If you're unsure what to talk about, well how about birds, I would assume that you both like those. As a compiler I would be annoyed if a team turned in a low list because they spent two hours arguing about climate change.

One important thing to remember, if you are signing up for a count and are bringing your own team (spouse, friend, kids ect), tell the compiler that when you sign up.

What if you join a smaller count and don't get put into a team? This isn't necessarily a disadvantage, and if you're a bit competitive, this can be fun, to quote Kipling: "Down to Gehenna, or up to the Throne, he travels fastest who travels alone." Working solo allows you to be a little more decisive in how you work the circle in a way that would make you a bit of a jerk if you did that with a team. I've also found that I can have my route planned out more before hand. Something that I do when working solo which I've found to be useful is I don't stop for a lunch break, I take snacks that I eat over the course of the day, this gives me an extra half-an-hour or so to look for birds and means better coverage.

Working solo or in a group both have advantages and can both lead to a fun and successful count, they just have slightly different tactics to employ to be successful.

Publicado el diciembre 27, 2021 12:35 TARDE por neylon neylon


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