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Greetings -  Currently in California there is an adult male Smew, who's provenance is being questioned as to whether it is an escapee (there are no obvious signs such as bands, feather wear or pinioning) or a wild vagrant.

The following email accurately surmises the premise that a bird should be innocent until proven guilty.  Here in Florida we need to consider this, in such cases as the Southern Lapwing from last summer at St. Marks.   There is no logical reason why a bird with the possibility of being a vagrant, sans evidence of captivity, should be summarily passed off as an "escapee".

Bob Wallace
Alachua

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Jon Winter <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]; Stefan Schlick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 7:11:50 PM
Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Re: more Smew stuff









  


    
            You have to go with the evidence that it is wild unless there is compelling

evidence found to the contrary.  Once you get on the wild/escape train ride

you can argue that everything is a possible escape and that will lead

nowhere.  If there is compelling evidence that it might be an escape it will

come out eventually.  I have not seen or heard anything that would suggest

that it is not wild thus far.  A lot of so called "evidence" amounts to

little more than guessing or opinion and that will hold little credibility

with future generations.   The burden of evidence should be to demonstrate

that there is a good possibility that it is not wild, not the other way

around.



Jon Winter



----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Stefan Schlick" <[log in to unmask] com>

To: <CALBIRDS@yahoogroup s.com>

Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 3:29 PM

Subject: [CALBIRDS] Re: more Smew stuff



> Mark Brown's posting has a lot of good data in it. I think we can say

> that so far nothing is pointing away from this bird being wild.

>

> It would be great to ping the local aviculturists in the area for

> help/information. How common are Smews really in private collections

> in the US? Considering the hefty price tag on this bird, I suspect

> that folks would come forward if they had lost one. It seems unlikely

> that somebody would just release a bird like this.

>

> Also to be considered are factors like timing (i.e. when the bird was

> found) and climate conditions at the time. With the recent cold fronts

> in mind, it seems at least conceivable for birds to come down south to

> the Central Valley.

>

> Stefan Schlick

> Folsom, CA

>

>

>

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>

>

>

>





    
  

    
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