Because Chaos Is Fueled By Absence of Right – 1st Draft

Rules Updated: 6/5/15

“It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by, and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.”  – Wallace Stegner.

National Crane Foundation

It is a new month, so figured it was time to get this post out of the way.  As you know, I fit the profile of a Birder.  If you have been reading my blog of late you may also know that my brother Ron also fits the profile of a Birder.  He is a more recent entry into the birding hobby but quickly making a name for himself as his life list is growing at a rapid pace.  In light of this accomplishment, I now affectionately refer to him as the Doerfler of DuPage County.   If you see him stalking a bird while out in the nature preserves, stop by and say hi.  Be sure and talk to him as looooong as you can – he likes that – ask him what birds he has seen, where he’s been lately,  his favorite McDonald’s menu item, maybe even something about the Nomography Cult.  Take care to talk really loud too (he is a little hard of hearing) and maybe take some firecrackers with you – yeah, firecrackers – light them off at random times.  What you may not know is we have a little friendly competition going.  One area we do differ is unlike my pacifist demeanor, Ron is extremely competitive.  Couple that with his near anarchist pension to push boundaries in pursuit of victory it is a necessity to establish very clear and concise rules as to guide our little competition.  Victories are hollow if you don’t know the criteria that separates a win from a loss (although I lack a competitive DNA I do feel strongly about competitive events having winners and losers and strictly opposed to the concept of everyone wins – if that is what you want, fine, call it a picnic, not a sport).  In an effort to alleviate any grievances or scoring discrepancies, I’ve created a set of Competitive Birder Rules of Engagement.  It should be noted, that this is as much in the bird’s best interest as it is for our little challenge (again, Ron is uber-competitive and we do not want any winged ones getting harmed in the process now do we!?!)

Caroline Stevermer summed it up well – “How dreadful…to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.”  I am considering this as the first public draft and welcome comments to help provide clarity or shore up any gaps/deficiencies that may exist.

Hit the jump to read the first set of rules!

Field Guide for Competitive Birder Rules of Engagement:

  • Rule 01: First rule of birding competition is there ARE birding competition rules
  • Rule 02: Causing harm to the birds including the destruction of remaining species so as to have the only opportunity to photograph said species is right out
    • Addendum 1: Stun guns, grenades or any other temporary disorientation is not allowed.
    • Addendum 2 (added 6/5/15): Rocket propelled nets and chemicals are not allowed
    • Addendum 3 (added 6/5/15): The Linda Rule: Fellow birders or companions are also not allowed to cause harm to a bird being photographed
  • Rule 03: Bird must be alive when photographed
    • Addendum 1: Photos taken of photos of birds or other mediums is not allowed
      • Addendum 1a (updated 6/5/15): It is permissible to scan to digital or digitally copy a previously taken bird on film as long as you took the original shot
    • Addendum 2: Photos taken of stuffed birds is not admissible regardless of how lifelike they may be
    • Addendum 3: It is not a violation to count a bird if it has passed away before processing is completed as long as the demise of the bird was not intentional See Rule 02 above regarding causing harm to subjects
  • Rule 04: Bird must be photographed to count.
    • Addendum 1: Photograph must be identifiable and preferably highlighting a distinctive feature – multiple angles (side, back, front, belly, etc) is highly encouraged
    • Addendum 2: If you do not execute as well as a fellow birder with you does, you may reference this collaborating shot on your behalf as long as fellow birder properly confirms and willing to vouch that you were indeed taking pictures of the same bird. Confirmation is preferred in writing to avoid discussion in the future
  • Rule 05: Live baiting is not allowed
  • Rule 06: If you have a working blog you must feature bird before counting
    • Addendum 1 (added 6/5/2015): Applicable only if you have featured a bird on a post previously
  • Rule 07: Photoshopping a similar bird into a different species is not allowed
  • Rule 08: Birds taken at feeders are allowed, however wild settings are preferred
  • Rule 09: You are not obligated to stop birding when birding companion experiences non-life threatening situations that require that person to cease or suspend birding activities.
    • Addendum 1: This includes attention to bodily functions
    • Addendum 2: This includes discovery of alligators near to birding location
    • Addendum 3: Ticks although creepy as hell is not a life threatening situation.
      • Addendum 3a: It is required that fellow birder inform you if there are ticks or similar creepy as hell insects and such in locations you cannot see
      • Addendum 3b: It is required that fellow birder assist in removal of offending creature in the case of Addendum 3a
    • Addendum 4: Bears are considered a life threatening situation
      • Addendum 4a: Pulling down pants or similarly impeding the ability to escape from life threatening situation is strictly prohibited
  • Rule 10: Birding time limitations should be considered guidelines only
    • Addendum 1: There is no time limit between when shot is taken and when it is posted for the count
  • Rule 11: It is the obligation of fellow birder to distract individuals wanting to carry on a discussion regarding the other birder’s photography equipment
    • Addendum 1: It is not permissible to point out fellow birders photography equipment in an attempt to fend off people wanting to have a discussion about your equipment
  • Rule 12: Taking a picture of a bird and then proceeding to engage in activities such as yelling, throwing objects or otherwise preventing fellow birder from experiencing the shot is strictly prohibited
  • Rule 13: All missed bird shots due to “chimping” is the fault of that individual
  • Rule 14: Bird shots taken on manual mode are superior to those utilizing programmed mode and therefore those shots will contribute an extra .01
    • Addendum 1: Decrementing a programmed shot to .99 is also an acceptable handicap
  • Rule 15: It is permissible to begin birding without fellow birder if fellow birder is late by over 15 minutes from mutually agreed upon time
    • Addendum 1: It is perfectly acceptable to “scout” out birding location prior to companion arriving but scouter is obligated to disclose all finds and any birds discovered on exploration so fellow birder has an equal opportunity to get similar shots.
    • Addendum 2: Requirement above is voided if fellow birder is late by more than 45 minutes
  • Rule 16: It is customary to suspend birding activities for at least two weeks after fellow birder completes a long birding trip to provide that individual to process their shots without fear of falling behind on counts
  • Rule 17: Petitions for rule changes and amendments must be submitted in written format
    • Addendum 1 (Suspended temporarily 6/5/15 due to fruitless challenge): Regardless of vote totals Brian has final authority on decision
  • Rule 18 (added 6/5/15): Birds shot in captivity (such as a zoo) are not eligible for the bird count
    • Addendum 1: Birds that happen to be in an area of captivity but free to leave area are eligible
    • Addendum 2: This includes birds put into temporary captivity such as bird banding stations
  • Rule 19 (added 6/5/15): Birds shot while on a corporate funded trips are  permissible as long as fellow birders are informed before the trip where you are traveling and that you intend to bird on corporate funds.
  • Rule 20 (added 6/5/2015): Bird image must be posted on a publicly accessible web enabled gallery to count
  • Rule 21 (added 6/5/2015):  You are obligated to stop birding when birding companion experiences a life threatening situation
    • Addendum 1: Birder can not cause life threatening situation for fellow birder
    • Addendum 1: Being attacked by a bird does not constitute a life threatening situation
    • Addendum 2: The fellow birder may continue getting a bird in the tin if it is a likely new bird and it was noticed prior to the life threatening situation.
      • Addendum 2a: The fellow birder must cease shooting after 7 minutes and attend to the fellow birder  experiencing the life threatening situation.
    • Addendum 3: It is recommended that you take first responder training
    • Addendum 4: If life threatening situation were to resolve itself, the fellow birder may resume taking pictures
      • Addendum 4a: Resolution of life threatening situation would include the unfortunate demise of the fellow birder
        • Addendum 4a1: All new birds shot after the death of fellow birder must include an asterisk signifying a complete lack of compassion for fellow birder and the fact that it results in disproportionate competitive advantage
        • Addendum 4a2: Fellow birder is not allowed to cause the demise of fellow birder (the fact that this rule is necessary is a little disturbing)

There you have it, the initial list of birding rules.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Because Chaos Is Fueled By Absence of Right – 1st Draft”

  1. Young men know the rules, but old men know the exceptions. — Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Competitive, moi? No, sir! Maybe with the birds, but they’re really sneaky.

    Here are my initial comments for the three-month preliminary review phase of the first draft of the Rules of Birding.

    Rule 02: Causing harm to the birds including the destruction of remaining species so as to have the only opportunity to photograph said species is right out

    Harm, harm, who’s to say what’s harmful? Rocket-propelled netting is used to capture birds all the time by conservationists, and whether it’s disorienting is difficult to tell, really. I think it’s OK. Also, I would like to point out the careful wording that provides a loophole for a photographer to take a photograph after someone else hits a bird with a vehicle. With all due respect to Linda, this loophole should be closed.

    Rule 03: Bird must be alive when photographed
    Addendum 1: Photos taken of photos of birds or other mediums is not allowed
    Addendum 1a: It is permissible to scan to digital previously taken bird on film as long as you took the original shot

    A slight edit: It is permissible to scan to digital or digitally photograph a previously taken bird on film as long as you took the original shot

    Rule 06: If you have a working blog you must feature bird before counting

    You only have to post the bird before counting it if your blog in any way has ever featured posts on birds. Otherwise it’s not applicable. I do agree that you have to post it to an online gallery before counting it.

    Rule 10: Birding time limitations should be considered guidelines only.

    As you know, I maintain that the bird’s identification must be made prior to leaving the county in which the bird was photographed.

    Rule 11: It is the obligation of fellow birder to distract individuals wanting to carry on a discussion regarding the other birder’s photography equipment
    Addendum 1: It is not permissible to point out fellow birders photography equipment in an attempt to fend off people wanting to have a discussion about your equipment

    This rule and amendment would negate my biggest tactical advantage in the field! Too late anyway, I’ve already ordered a t-shirt with a large arrow that points out your lens. “World-famous photographer! See his pictures! Free tutorial!”.

    Rule 14: Bird shots taken on manual mode are superior to those utilizing programmed mode and therefore those shots will contribute an extra .01

    I personally believe that knowing when to use automatic mode is a sign of a professional.

    Rule 16: It is customary to suspend birding activities for at least two weeks after fellow birder completes a long birding trip to provide that individual to process their shots without fear of falling behind on counts

    This is a misprint. What you meant to write was ” It is customary to suspend birding activities for at least two weeks after a birder completes a long birding trip to provide other birders time to take new shots without fear of falling behind on counts.”

    Rule 17: Petitions for rule changes and amendments must be submitted in written format

    Done.

    Addendum 1: Regardless of vote totals Brian has final authority on decision

    Vetoed.

    Not a bad start on rules, overall! I suspect additional modifications to the rules will follow.

    Ron

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  2. wow – that is an impressive review of the rules. I will need to take each on into consideration and make the proper additions (if I agree of course). I remembered the one about the zoo the last time we were talking so that is definitely and addition. I tell you right now you are not getting your rocket propelled nets – not to mention if we can’t even carry firearms into Illinois State Parks we sure as hell can’t be bringing in rockets! I will definitely close the Linda loophole and clarification that you must be the one who took the original film shot – nice catches. I had not thought of the clothing caveat. I can counter this with a shirt saying – ask my brother to go and show you the Eagle he just shot. I agree, a professional does indeed know when to use Automatic mode – NEVER! I also know for a fact you were birding every day I was on vacation and racking up counts so the concept of needing to catch up is a weak argument at best. Were you not just complaining you were falling behind on processing your shots with just day outings? Imagine the difficulty when you come back with a 100G or shots that must be waded through – pretty sure that rule was written correctly. I definitely expect to add rules because I know you will spend your nights finding loopholes and testing them out in the field – hell, a number of these came directly from your previous violations! hehehe

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