Friday, March 16, 2007

Collinson blog post

Here.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Didn't we already know that the lunneau video was of a Pileated?

What are we doing here? Bouncing the rubble?

Anonymous said...

I am delighted that Mr. Collinson published his paper because it brought a great deal of publicity to the topic.

That said, I have to agree with ibwo atheist when he stated:

Collison, like most of the ornithologist skeptics, further compounds the problem by lending some credence to the sightings, reaffirming that the IBWO may still be out there, and agreeing that it is thefore useful to continue searching for it.

From the paper: There appears to be no reason to question the anecdotal sight records of Ivory-billed Woodpecker presented in Fitzpatrick et al (or in many online sources) because some of them appear credible.

And from Martin's blog... but I really have no reason to doubt the recent sight-records. What DOES ring alarm bells for me (in general - not IBWOs), in the realm of birding record assessment, is any one or more of the following:
1) Repeated 'possible' sightings without positive confirmation
2) When poor sightings suggest a rarity but good sightings turn out to be something common.
3) When brief sightings suggest a rarity but prolonged sightings turn out to be something common.
4) When a small number of people see the rarity several times, while other equally competent observers never see it at all.


Come on Martin! If you have no reason to doubt the sightings, you have no reason to doubt the existence of the bird. Therefore the bird is likely there, the search will continue forever and the fiasco will never end, because one thing I can tell you without question is reports will continue to come in even if there are no living Ivory-bills.

However, we all know four for four of these "alarm bell situations" apply to the IBWO fiasco.

When your child reports a monster under the bed, you take a look under there, report there's no monster to be seen, and politely explain it was an honest mistake. You don't try to protect the child's feelings by saying "I believe you. He's probably here somewhere. We'll look some more in the morning. Good night!"

Anonymous said...

Yes, in a lot of ways, Collinson is a gutless wonder. He praises Cyberthrush for being reasonable. Whaaaa?

Collinson seems to be a witless flack who just doesn't really have the stomach to say what he believes. Or worse, doesn't know what he believes.

Good to see Sibley weighing back in however.

IBWO atheist said...

"There appears to be no reason to question the anecdotal sight records of Ivory-billed Woodpecker presented in Fitzpatrick et al [1] (or in many online sources)"

Apparently Collison hasn't read enough of our blog postings. He really should have done his homework before publishing this statement. I was not too surprised when American ornithologists let us down, but I expected better from a representative of the British birding community, which I had hoped was more critical and less forgiving than ours. If Collison can accept our bogus sight records of IBWO, then American birders should publish a note in Science accepting ALL recent Slender-billed Curlew reports as valid because to us, in our ignorance, there appears to be "no reason to question" these and we can't be bothered to read Birdforum.

"I don't get it. Didn't we already know that the lunneau video was of a Pileated?"

Haven't you read the response in the latest Science? According to this, there is no reason whatsoever to question the IBWO ID as this is fully consistent with the Luneau video. I hope you're not being misled by blog postings. Those people (we) are not nice. You should only consider peer-reviewed (?) online responses by famous ornithologists.

Anonymous said...

The IBWO is turning into Schrödinger's Cat?
Or was it always?

Anonymous said...

Then it's agreed, we are just bouncing the rubble.

The next real touch point will be May 31. Hillcrow will have nothing. Then what will he do?

Even the airport doesn't care about him anymore. His and Mennill's grad students will only hear jokes for the next 10 years when they submit their resumes.

Fitzcrow already hears jokes at conferences. Yes, May 31. All the pretense disappears.

Anonymous said...

emupilot on BirdForum said... I don't think it is reasonable to assume that the Nolin birds would have continued at that wing beat rate.

This is the argument of somebody who doesn't know much about birds. The bird was shown to be capable of a certain wingbeat rate for 1/2 second. To say that it's not reasonable to assume that the bird could sustain that for 1-2 seconds is just naive. The overarching generalizations made by some of these believers are glaring examples of ignorance about bird behavior.

I had much stronger words in mind, but "naive" is probably best.

IBWO atheist said...

From Collinson's blog:

"None of these records would last 10 minutes in front of a rarities committee assessing a record of that magnitude. That's not so hard is it?"

I agree completely, and find it strange that he correctly discount the sightings in his blog, whereas in his published paper he stated that they were credible and that he saw no reason to question them. Isn't this inconsistent? In my opinion, a sighting not worthy of review by a bird records committee should not be characterized as credible in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Evidently his blog more precisely and accurately reflects his well-justified skepticism towards the sightings.

Apparently he forgot that bogus Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings were accepted by four out of five members of an official records committee, albeit not one up to British standards.

I sincerely apologize for misspelling his name. I wrote "Collison" instead of Collinson because I had remembered the similar surname of Dan Collison, producer of an NPR story on Brinkley, Sufjan Stevens, and "The Lord God Bird" At least I didn't call him "Collins"

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that Ivory-bills are currently being sighted. None of these records would last 10 minutes in front of a rarities committee assessing a record of that magnitude.

I reduce by criticism to "partial witless flack". Hey...that's some progress...

Why didn't he just say that in his paper. None of the sightings are credible. Is that so hard to say?