[Tweeters] Someone's Spoiling the Story - and the Fun.

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 6 16:05:30 PST 2021

Interesting study -

I think a lot of the power of the findings might well be coming down to the focus only on ‘mega-rarities’ — I would love to see the same study replicated with ABA Code 3 birds include or another broader measure.

To give a feel of how rare code 4 and code 5 birds are, out of the 520 species on Washington’s official list, I believe only 22 are code 4 or code 5.
Half of those have only been seen once in the state, and half have not been seen in over a decade here.

So, we are talking about birds seen about once a year in all of Washington. If that’s the level of frequency, it isn’t surprising that a Patagonia Picnic Table effect would be unlikely to be found using that sample set.

If they looked at ABA Code 3 birds, we’d have another 29 species from the WA list included — Even with that, though all the Washington-rare but ABA breeders though would not be a big enough deal to be caught by these ABA-wide abundance codes — Birds seen in the last decade at Neah Bay include: White-winged Dove, Zone-tailed Hawk, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Orchard Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Field Sparrow, Lucy’s Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, or Dickcissel to name a few — all birds we think of as Neah Bay rarities that would not even show up in a study expanded to cover ABA Code 3 birds.

I don’t think the study is necessarily methodologically flawed in its analysis — I’d assume they are processing the data correctly. But the framing really doesn’t reflect the meaning we use when we think of rarity hotspots.

Just because I was interested enough to dig it up, here’s the list of the 22 code 4 & 5 birds on the WA list [21 are code 4, only Swallow-tailed Gull rates a code 5 rating] - I’ve listed the most recent year seen in WA and the number of accepted records.

Baikal Teal (2009) 4 records total
Garganey (1994) 3 records total
Falcated Duck (2017) 5 records total
Eurasian Dotterel (2007) 4 records total
Little Stint (2019) 2 records total
Jack Snipe (1993) 1 record
Spotted Redshank (2014) 1 record
Swallow-tailed Gull (2017) 1 record
Black-tailed Gull (2019) 8 records
White-capped Albatross (2000) 2 records
Providence Petrel (1983) 1 record
Nazca Booby (2020) 1 record
Blue-footed Booby (2006) 2 records
Eurasian Kestrel (1999) 1 record
Eurasian Hobby (2014) 2 records
Variegated Flycatcher (2008) 1 record
Red-flanked Bluetail (2015) 2 records
Dusky Thrush (2002) 1 record
Redwing (2004) 1 record
Siberian Accentor (2020) 3 records
Gray Wagtail (2016) 1 record
Little Bunting (2015) 1 record

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

> On Feb 6, 2021, at 2:06 AM, dick <dick at dkporter.net> wrote:


> Maybe Neah Bay is over-rated?



> https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/news/birdwatching/patagonia-picnic-table-effect-is-a-myth-study-says/



> Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


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