Ornithology B/C

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amerikestrel
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby amerikestrel » August 16th, 2010, 6:20 am

I agree that the rules on vocalizations should be more specific, but what test writer would play a "raucous jumble of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles" and ask for the barred owl? It's extremely likely that you'll get the most common or best known call/song for each bird.

Oh, and congrats to ornithology for being the first event thread with more than one page.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby Halkyon » August 16th, 2010, 6:22 am

I'm hoping to see less emphasis on calls. At the very least, they should be more specific in what they want. For instance, should we know the call only, or the song only, or all of them.... that needs to be fixed.
I'm hoping for more stuff on bird calls. We didn't have any of them at regionals, and only two at state. My partner and I put a lot of time into learning the calls and we didn't even get to use it.

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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 6:25 am

I agree that the rules on vocalizations should be more specific, but what test writer would play a "raucous jumble of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles" and ask for the barred owl? It's extremely likely that you'll get the most common or best known call/song for each bird.

Oh, and congrats to ornithology for being the first event thread with more than one page.
An inept one. Someone who randomly searches for a bird sound and uses the first one that comes up, regardless of what it is.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby bird_nerd_1 » August 16th, 2010, 9:01 am

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
It doesn't take long to learn the calls- for most of them, especially the more common calls. But there were a lot of calls that sounded a lot alike that we would've had to study for a couple of months to figure out the small differences. But i agree with paleonaps95 that they should have more common calls. after all, i'd never heard a kentucky warbler before. i just think they could improve it. But, i suppose i don't care, as long as they have it. :)
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby FueL » August 16th, 2010, 10:52 am

Yeah Naps, I do agree that there should be more specifications on what exactly they want from us vocalization-wise. It would be unreasonable to expect us to know all types of calls for each of the birds they listed.

However, you may see the same specie of bird in two different positions in digital photographs, but you can identify it anyway with no problem. The underlying features haven't changed. Same goes for bird calls, which is why I think having an official sound bank would be going too far. I dunno, but to me your example of the common loon's calls was characteristic of their "yodeling" and loud wailing laughs. I understand your point though - I learned to recognize the Indigo Bunting's song by the fact that the notes always come in pairs. But their alarm chips could be mistaken for any passeriforme, and they apparently have a "zeep" call too which sounds nothing like their song. There should be restrictions to protect against the "inept test-maker" you mentioned, but the point seems moot since I don't think anyone here's encountered a bad call on the test, and if the test-maker was truly bad, then they would likely botch the rest of the test as well.

I was suggesting that there be more of a presence of bird calls on the test - but not bad calls that could be mistaken for more than one species. :P

And I think if anyone would put a barred owl call on the test, it'd be the "who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all" call, not a "raucous jumble of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles." XD
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 11:54 am

You have some valid points. However, inept test-makers are probably less common than you think. I mean, states like Connecticut, Utah, Wyoming and Montana have Science Olympiad, but aren't very competitive. With a state with less than 20 teams TOTAL, you can expect some inept test-makers. (I mean no offense to anyone from these states).
For an Official Sound Bank, they should just say "The Macaulay Library will be the source of all vocalizations in this event." Not "Call number 3 on AllAboutBirds.com is the only approved call for this species". I had a bad experience with this, when someone on my team made me a test. She's very smart and nice, but since she did not do birds and had no idea what the sounds should sound like. The calls were pretty bad. (I mean no offense to her, either)
Case and Point- New York is a competitive state. However, the CoT supervisor was inept. He reversed the magnets twice and did not even take the time to make a good endpoint. He used his jacket stuffed into a shoe box. Now imagine someone who is commissioned to write an event for Birds. He doesn't know anything about birds, so the event is largely based off of Wikipedia and the first sound he finds, even if it isn't good quality. The sounds at NATIONALS were pretty bad, for god's sakes. Either that, or we didn't study enough.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby FueL » August 16th, 2010, 3:51 pm

More common, I think you meant. ;)

Sadly enough, I hadn't heard of the Macaulay Library before you mentioned it, so time to go check it out. That doesn't sound like a bad idea, though I suspect ML (or any other resource that covers so many different birds) would have some of the "bad" calls you mentioned.

I'm interested in hearing about the nationals bird calls. :P

And on another note, does anyone know when the 2011 bird list is coming out?
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 16th, 2010, 3:58 pm

There are some bizarre sounds on there.
I have no idea when the list is coming out, but probably very soon.
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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby soobsession » August 16th, 2010, 6:12 pm

And on another note, does anyone know when the 2011 bird list is coming out?
Last year it came out on August 26ish... (don't ask how i remember because I'm probably remembering wrong). It came out a day before the Fossils list in late August.

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Re: Ornithology B/C

Postby paleonaps » August 17th, 2010, 5:32 am

Sounds good... I hope my state's list will be up soon too.
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