Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is this blog about, who are you, and what you guys doing?
A: Short answer: we are casual birders documenting the our birds over a year. For a longer answer, please see the About Us section or the first post of the blog titled Welcome to the Year of Birds!
Q: Doesn't being in different areas of the continent (not even the same country) offer a disparity in the variety of birds each of you see?
A: Absolutely! Especially since Damon lives on the east coast, with regular trips to see family along the Jersey Shore and the Chesapeake Bay. But Paul lives nearish to the Great Lakes and has trips to other parts of the country set up that Damon doesn't, so it probably evens out.
Q: What if you see a dead bird, does it count? Do things like domestic ducks and mute swans count?
A: We discussed this and dead birds won't count, and neither will birds that are from farms or zoos. The main criterion for us is that the birds must be free living birds. Living mute swans or ring-necked pheasants in the wild count.
Q: What if you see a bird that you just know is a certain species, but aren't 100% sure.
A: We strive to only go with 100% identifications (or at least something approaching 100%). There will be times where we go back and change an identification or drop something from our list if we get new information (this is more likely with birds that are new to us).
Q: Why don't you use the four letter official abbreviation for each species?
A: We don't like those, so we just write out the birds or give them our own abbreviations or nicknames. If we wanted to be actually official, we would use the proper genera and species (which we sometimes do).
Q: What is with the bird capitalization?
A: Well, there is a tradition in birding and ornithology of capitalizing bird common names. The tradition itself is crappy for many reasons, but sometimes we like to capitalize them to have them stand out or for emphasis. It depends on our mood about how much we think the whole capitalization thing is stupid, so we are inconsistent about it. We are fine with that.
Q: I want to be involved! Can I join in on the fun?
A: Yes! You can follow along and post comments about different things as they occur. When we post our week tallies, feel free to add your own within the comments. Heck, if a few people do that, we'll post a followup with everyone's tallies along with ours.
Q: But I want to be more involved, like, you know, write stuff.
A: Well, that is a different story. Contact me and we'll see what we can do (use Damon's email via gmail that is damonors).
Q: I want to sponsor you!
A: Sure, leave a message or email me or something! (Note: this is not frequently asked, or even ever asked, but we are nothing but optimistic. How else are we going to get to the west coast this year?).
Q: Who's images do you guys use?
A: Mostly we take our own pictures, and we always try to mark who took them on the picture, but if we borrow any images from other people, we cite them and give credit properly. The red headed woodpecker picture in the background was taken by Paul. Standard copyright issues apply, so don't steal our images please.