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Hello Vince:  I have repeatedly viewed comments or inferences that an
individual bird whether it is escaped or a natural vagrant has the same
beauty.  Often one backs up this inference by putting in the camp that can't
appreciate beauty, listers, those that adhere to ABA guidelines and those
that don't appreciate escapes or probable escapes.  The other  camp seems to
be those that can appreciate the beautiful bird for just that, a beautiful
bird to be looked at.

Beauty can be defined in many ways and the ABA rules strive to establish a
type of biological purity and acknowledgement that an individual bird
arrived at its location by pure and natural means.  Also it is a
documentation or confirmation that two things that make birds "beautiful",
flight and migration/dispersal has occured.  To some the knowledge that a
Garganey they are looking at came from China and has overshoot its normal
west to east migration route makes the sighting and the individual bird much
more animated and interesting.  A wild Masked Duck in Florida creates many
more interesting questions and important questions than an escape:  Are they
from Mex., Hisp., or Cuba.  Have these areas had any known droughts, or
substantial rainfalls that could explain the dispersal or expansion.  Has a
swamp been filled in somewhere in the tropics that could explain the
occurance, etc.    A natural penetration of a zoogeographic barriers gives
one an insight into natural range extensions, gene flow, weather patterns
and dispersal possibilities.  Sometimes it is a sign of environmental
damage.

A certain segment of the people listed in the above "don't appreciate beauty
camp" are striving for a beauty well beyond the superfical and
anthropomorphic beauty we hear often when an escaped parrot, scarlet ibis,
etc lands somewhere.  The phrase beauty is only skin deep comes to mind when
people insist that  the escaped bird is beautiful.  Is the outer morphology
of a bird and how it rates on the human scale of beauty all that some see in
birds or value in birds?  An Ani in Florida, the survivor of a storm with
only its flight feathers left is much more beautiful than a Mandarin Duck in
the same area to some.

Remember that escapes to some represent one more careless person or group
that didn't know there would be bears in the area to break open cages or
that a hurricane would release all the birds in an aviary.  Escapes, through
no fault of there own have become behaviorally and often genetically
altered, they have become cows.

A bird's beauty is a compilation of many things, its spirit, warriness, its
song, its survival instincts, its ability to have lasted through that storm
and land here.  To some beauty can be more than feather deep.

Good birding
Fred Virrazzi
----- Original Message -----
From: Vincent Lucas <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 6:37 AM
Subject: [FLORIDABIRDS-L] The Duck Days of Summer


> Paul Bithorn recently wrote:
>
> >Subject:     [FLORIDABIRDS-L] The Duck Days of Summer
> >Sent:        5/31/20 5:23 PM
> >Received:    6/4/01 7:15 PM
> >From:        Paul Bithorn, [log in to unmask]
> >To:          Florida Birds List Serv, [log in to unmask]
> >
> >Now that the duck days of summer are upon us I felt a tinge of birding
> >withdrawal this Saturday. With the Masked Ducks (if ultimately they
become
> >verified as wild birds) closing out a personally tremendous winter and
> >spring of birding (11 Florida lifers), upon completing my yardwork, I
> >thought I heard a Black-whiskered Vireo calling in my yard. Well, having
20
> >native species in my yard certainly paid off. I located the vireo in my
> >Gumbo Limbo tree (Bursera simaruba), #86 for 7500 square foot yard list.
I
> >immediately quaffed a Red Stripe lager to celebrate my good fortune. This
> >morning while meeting with DERM and FEC Railway at the Village Hall I
heard
> >another Black-whiskered Vireo calling , which turned up in our champion
> >Short-leafed Fig (Ficus citrifolia). I have never heard much less seen a
B-w
> >Vireo in the Village and now two in just three days! While touring the
local
> >canal system in hopes of establishing a hydrilla removal program, by
> >introducing sterile Triploid Carp, my tour saw an unscarred  6 foot
Manatee
> >swim into the Miami River from the FEC Canal and later saw a
Swallow-tailled
> >Kite over the Miami Springs Country Club. Life is good.........
> >
> >Paul Bithorn
> >Virginia Gardens, FL
> >Miami-Dade County
> >[log in to unmask]
>
> Hey Paul:
>
> Out of curiosity, if somehow (and I'm not convinced that this is even
> possible) the Masked Ducks in Pembroke Pines were proven to be
> captive/escape birds, I'd be interested to know how this would effect
> your perception of seeing these birds. Would their beauty be diminished?
> Would their "presence" at this small wetland somehow be less than that of
> a more wild bird? Would they be "imperfect" somehow? To me, it matters
> little even though I can understand that you want them to be ABA
> countable. (So do I, but I've already seen them in the wild in Texas
> anyway.) I've often wondered about people's perceptions of things. The
> recent discussions on countable exotics vs. escapees started it. . . .
>
> Good birding.
>
> Vince Lucas
> Naples
>
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