Convenient birder hypocrisy ?

This might be construed as a storm in a teacup, but nevertheless ... I didn't take over eBirdsNYC to have some individual take pot shots at my ethics on public forums. It tends to annoy me. Ergo:

Both Lloyd Spitalnik and myself posted (and continued to post) the location of the 2004/5 Central Park Boreal Owl on our respective groups (Lloyd's is Metro Birding Briefs, mine is eBirdsNYC). Rob Jett objected to this, and posted his reservations about this in multiple forums (i.e. BTBlue, eBirdsNYC, NYSBirds-L, his own blog). Rob seems to like to cast this in terms of birder ethics (or at least, list owner ethics). I consider myself as having good ethics as a birder and (just as importantly) as a bird photographer. E.G. see my post on the old eBirds NYC about Long-eared Owls in winter 2003/4. It's no secret that I'm especially irritated by this implicit slur propagated by Rob Jett on public email lists and his blog site (and in private email he has said quite plainly "the bottom line is, I've lost a lot of respect for some folks that I assumed had good birding ethics." - note I quote this without the sender's approval). Rob doesn't run a birding email list, either, which removes him from having to make any decisions like that in the first place. My rationale for posting the Boreal Owl location in December 2004 was posted on eBirdsNYC and a link to that posting was sent to NYSBirds-L. Angus Wilson's post on NYSBirds-L about this can be found here, and was posted after both Rob's and my posts turned up.

Rob also has a blog, in which he posts items in a similar vein. Although Rob is entitled to his opinion, it's notable that he also came and saw the Boreal Owl himself on the Monday afternoon following it's discovery - utilizing the information that we had posted, and also showed a picture on his blog that Sean Sime took of the bird that Monday, via the same information. That's a rather too convenient a position to take, for my tastes: using the information for your own benefit while decrying it's release to the wider birding community. To me this is nothing short of hypocrisy. Conveniently he also seems to have used information propagated on the RBAs or email lists to locate a Snowy Owl at Jones Beach, also posted on his blog.

Side note: Rob cites Bill Lane's email in at least two of his public posts - I'd consider Bill's advice to "throw it a mouse" to be extremely dubious birder ethics, although a ploy in widespread use by bird photographers to give them close shots of owls. I'd strongly advise against using this method to attract or "feed" any owl, much less a Boreal in Central Park.

Rant over, perhaps.

Marginally modified over the original version to make the dates a little more obvious. Otherwise no meaning has been changed, although I changed the tenses of a couple of words to make it more grammatically coherent. - PDJ