Monday, May 23, 2011

Do No Evil

Timing is everything. Within half a day of my post on BirdJam, I read this interesting piece in the local newspaper. The takeaway: recorded birdsong apps stress the birds. Which is why I carefully noted that the tool be used judiciously and that an earphone really ought to be used when comparing an unknown song in the field to possible solutions on the iThing or other handheld device. Tools like BirdJam and iBird have an important role to play in developing the birder's knowledge, and like any tool can be abused. I will continue to make the odd playback in the field, but sparingly. I certainly wouldn't call for the suppression of the resource, just for another item to be added to birder etiquette. Like Google, we should all strive to learn within limits: do no evil.

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