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Fellow Floridabirders,

Any time a group of us are inclined to throw in their two cents worth (3
cents Canadian) I fight the urge to join in.  This time I lost the fight.
Even without the disastrous results of a similar effort to collect for
identification reported by Vince Lucas, I think we would be well advised to
continue our attempts to name the species of swallow at Viera by observation,
including photographs.  I have no expertise in the field but after 4 years of
volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic, I have become a believer in
the concept of minimizing contact between humans and wildlife.  Vince's point
that such contact can put tremendous stress of the animal is very well taken.
 Less dramatic, but of no less importance, is the fact that too much
attention paid by humans to wild animals can, and often does, lower their
natural aversion to human contact.  We want our dogs and cats to be
comfortable around us but we want our wild animals to keep the wildness which
is part of their overall survival scheme.  If the bird were to die a natural
death and the remains could be located then in hand observation, DNA
analysis, etc., would be of some scientific and birding value.  While it is
alive, let's just look at it and listen to it.  Besides, as soon as Vince
McGrath has seen it, we will all know for sure what it is. :-)

Dick Beeler
Fort Myers, FL

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