Ornithology B/C

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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby amerikestrel » August 15th, 2010, 6:43 pm

Some of the Wikipedia articles on lesser known birds are... lacking.
So, improve them. ;)
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby bird_nerd_1 » August 15th, 2010, 9:07 pm

I would loooove to see less emphasis on calls. my partner and i did well at everything else, but we couldn't get the calls down. But binders would be awesome. i hope they have a little more info in the manual. for WI state competition, we had to look at tissue samples under microscopes. one of them was telling whether the tissue was male or female. Ugh. But, we still got 6th place. :)
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby sciolygrl258 » August 15th, 2010, 9:27 pm

Binders would be amazing but highly unlikely. I'm hoping to see more calls on tests. I spent a long time trying to learn all of them but there were only 2 or 3 on the actual tests. I was really happy to see a whole section of calls at reginals.

Does anyone know when the rules are coming out?
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby soobsession » August 16th, 2010, 2:19 am

Binders would be interesting, though I do kind of like the event the way it is. The specimen on the list shouldn't change much, but I have to admit that the calls did give me (or actually my poor partner) a bit of a headache. There weren't many calls on the test though, so it was okay. I would probably use a binder to study, but the lack of binder during competition kind of makes it more challenging. But I really don't want to start that debate right now so I'm going to drop that subject.

Rules probably won't change and they come out. Eh... my memory isn't serving me well... September/October? The list comes out much earlier though... late August. Last year it came out a day before the Fossils list I believe...

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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby FueL » August 16th, 2010, 4:57 am

Some of the Wikipedia articles on lesser known birds are... lacking.
So, improve them. ;)
True that. :)

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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 5:03 am

Lack of binders in the competition does kind of make it more interesting, but I think that using binders would give the writes an all-new sense of freedom in the questions. If we use a binder to study, I think we should be able to use it in the event.
I misinterpreted the rules on field guides, and didn't realize that some information might not have been in them. I don't think I ever seriously sat down to study birds last year- not like I did for anatomy at least (somehow I placed at Nationals 8-) ). Oh right, the calls- I studied the vocalizations.
In all honesty, I think that vocalizations are kind of ridiculous to include in the event. It can take a professional birder years to learn vocalizations by heart. Does that mean that someone who is a student in middle or high school with a lot of other things to do should have to learn them just the same way in 9 months? I know we have to learn less calls than a professional birder, but it still takes a lot of time that could be dedicated to learning things for your other events.
At the very least, the rules should explicitly say that calls should only be used in ID-only stations. That way, if you don't get the call, you don't get screwed on everything else too. Have five or six or ten calls- the number doesn't matter. They kind of did it that way at Nationals, but they had very limited question as well.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby FueL » August 16th, 2010, 5:14 am

In all honesty, it takes maybe a few weeks of sitting-down-to-learn-these-calls to get the most common call down for each of the birds tested - and bird calls are one of the few things that you can't cram into a binder or notesheet. The event is trying to emulate the things you'd encounter as a real birder, and their calls/songs are a very important part of that; I hear birds more often than I see 'em.

It's not an enormous amount of time, and competition-wise they've done the more obvious ones of the list.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 5:19 am

I don't agree with that. They have not done the most obvious ones, because the most obvious ones are the non-passeriformes. The only non-passeriform that I remember hearing was a Sora. If they were doing obvious birds, they would do Red-tailed Hawks, Trumpeter Swans, Mallards, Bald Eagles, Greater Prairie Chickens... even the Chickadees or Tufted Titmice are okay. For some reason, no matter how much I studied, they always seemed to pick a call that I had never heard. Maybe they should have an official source for the sounds, so we know which ones can appear on the test.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby FueL » August 16th, 2010, 5:29 am

Haha, I'm going to have to disagree too. I dunno about nationals, but regionals was very straightforward - loon & some non-passeriforme - states was all passeriformes, yeah, but we got by okay.

But no, I think that would take a lot out of the event. While we're at it we could also have an official source for pictures, too?
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 5:38 am

Yes, Regionals was very straightforward. But States and Nationals were not (which is to be expected).
An official source for pictures is not necessary.
ImageImage
You can tell that these are both Common Loons. Digital photographs don't lie. Now click on the name of the bird I just mentioned and listen to the sound at the beginning and end. You'll notice it sounds very different.
Again, now click on this link. Notice that at the side of the call it says:
Resonant series of eight or nine hoots, "hoo-hoo-to-hoo, hoo-hoo-to-hoo-aw." Also raucous jumble of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles.
Now what if they gave you a random assemblage of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles? Any bird can caw and cackle. Would you have any idea what bird it is from?
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