How PMCA forum is perceived by some...

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With the forum unavailable over the last few days I spend more time than usual reading looking at new sites; I came across a rather disturbing topic on the Birdforum:

It is amazing how things can be (and are) taken out of context by ignorant , narrow minded (not to mention prejudiced) individuals.

The post in question should remind us of PMCA's forum rules and regulations and why they should be adhered to.

Edited to modify link.
Last edited by Guest on Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Remember, we are communicating on the World Wide Web....

That particular forum is an international birding forum based in Europe, or at least most of its members are. Europeans get very upset over our attitude towards their two imports to America - English House Sparrows and European Starlings. These are birds that they cherish as much as we love our Purple Martins and Bluebirds.

The Europeans may not be aware of - or may not believe - the destruction that those exotic species have inflicted on American cavity nesting species. They claim HOSP and EUST are perfect bird citizens in their own countries.

It is also very likely that some of the Europeans protesting do not even realize that HOSP and EUST are NOT native to North America!

You will notice that posts on the Michigan Martin forum are their main target. Mark, the administrator of the MM forum engaged in a very long, passionate, time-consuming, and largely fruitless debate over this topic on that international forum.

I stay away from that forum; nothing I would say could possibly change their minds.

I wonder whether they are aware that wildlife agencies in certain states have begun exterminating Mute Swans....
Apparently some of them do know: ... 10325.html
Part of a group of non-native Mute Swans on Whitmore Lake, MI. Yes, folks, that's an Australian Black Swan with them.
Part of a group of non-native Mute Swans on Whitmore Lake, MI. Yes, folks, that's an Australian Black Swan with them.
SwanLake2small.jpg (4.86 KiB) Viewed 37567 times
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
J and J
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 8:07 am
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Just finished reading the Bird Forum thread. Whew!!! Mark really took a lot of heat. Thanks Mark for your efforts. My opinion of the thread was that there were a lot of folks there who had their own opinion and basically did not want to be "confused by the facts. ".

I agree, Mary, it may be best to stay away from that forum....But we all need to remember that what we say on any forum can easily be taken "very literally"....and may inadvertently offend someone, ...Doesn't mean we should not feel speak freely, but should be done with forethought and courtesy....This is a wonderful forum to share knowledge, experiences and ideas.......My experiences both posting and just reading has been very positive...Thanks to all of you who contribute....
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Texas/Anna (north of dallas)

Well, an interesting way to spend a mornings free time....

Obviously, groups of people see the world thru different glasses. The BIG PICTURE is the overriding concern. They can't let the FACTS get in the way of their world view. Individual cases are unimportant. As Stalin said, "One death is a tragedy, 20 million deaths is a statistic."

DDT is bad (even in very small quantities); therefore is it OK to let millions of people die of malaria.

Nuclear enegy is bad; therefore, it is (preferable) OK to burn polluting coal, and add to the perceived CO2 problem. What the heck, let's just put up huge windwills, and kill half the migratory birds in existence.

Medical Experimental on animals is bad; therefore, it is OK allow human beings to die because life saving drugs aren't developed.

Killiing of any animal for any reason is bad; therefore, the demise of the entire Purple Martin E. North American population due to predation by introducted species is too bad....but sorry, nothing we can do about it.

We can't let the lunatic fringe influence what we do. But we need to be careful what we say.... The world is watching.

The Question is ... What would these Birders do if some introducted species began to wipe out all of their favorite Birds?
Dale Hrncirik

Now I'm wondering who is stirring up the pot with the EU birdlovers...Mark from the great white north, was that you? Those guys over there are totally clueless as to what is happening here in the US of A. They are probably still ticked at us for what transpired over a century ago. What really gets me (after going thru that very long thread) is their feeling of superiority over us redneck heathens here in the states. They are very quick to label PM landlords as brutal assassins. Why don't they just worry about their own problems? Surely they have enough to keep their narrow minds occupied for a long time.

PS You notice how none of them have their names displayed but instead use nicknames. What are they hiding from? What a joke!


My lovely neighbor is from England. She said that they call sparrows "flying mice" where she came from! So apparently not all British feel the same about sparrows. We didn't really talk about starlings though. She knows about my problems with sparrows and commiserates with me.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Is there an old saying (maybe Chinese) that says something like this: Before you condemm others, be sure to look at yourself first. Sounds to me like the whole thread is more political than about killing sparrows & starlings. I hate to have people "look down" at us, as though they are superior in knowledge to the people on the forum. Thats my last time to read junk like that, and I sure won't go back there. And I might add, I hope they don't read anything on this forum, we can do without them.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

I actually like the, you just have to be cautious with your words. When I first started chatting over there, my patriotism for America seemed to set them off. They have what I refer to as the "buddy system" and if you challenge the views of any of them, you will be up against all of them. But the key is not to argue with them, just state the facts and let them ramble. They leave my post alone now because they know I will not drop to their level. On several occasions I have made them out to be the fools they are.

One of the things that struck me as strange is how the topic originated. User 'birdforum' would indicate a moderator? . Three links to PMCA and a short text of:
Would you really want to associate with these people ?

would indicate to me an intentional attack, fully aware of what it could lead to. All attempts to explain the situation by Luke, Mark and others were completely ignored. I fully agree with Mary that the only way to deal with an organization/individuals of that nature is to ignore them.

Matt F.
Posts: 3900
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

I also just finished reading that thread. Mark Dietrich really stood his ground, and did a great job of informing those folks about the true threat S&Ss pose.

I'll bet he opened up the eyes of many on that that forum.

Bravo Mark! Image
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

I agree that Mark did a great job in that debate. If he didn't sway any minds, perhaps he planted some seeds that will sprout as they learn more about the problems caused by invasive species.

I have a hard time understanding how people concerned about wildlife can tolerate and even foster exotic, invasive species.

The top two factors generally believed by biologists to cause extinction of species are:
1. Loss of habitat
2. Introduction of invasive non-native species

For more info, see: ... t_Loss.asp

In some places, like Hawaii, invasive species are a bigger problem than loss of habitat. That's because certain invasive species directly cause immense loss of fragile habitat.

Fred Kaluza recently attended a public meeting by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in which they stated (in Fred's words):
The two most common elements leading to the decline of so many native things are habitat fragmentation and invasive species. The estimate is that an invasive species becomes established in Michigan every 18 months and that doesn't even count all the ones that get here and die off.
Many of the folks were shocked that Purple Martin landlords label invasive species as bad.
Their blind insistence that certain invasive species are good is the real threat to wildlife.
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"

I say lets introduce the purple martin to Europe-if they do well somehow, I wonder how the brits would deal with it. Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing but those of us with intesinal fortitude find a way.

I don't like killing anything-a toad jumped into my weedeater and I felt terrible all morning. But some of us in America have taken upon ourselves a responsibility that once undertaken, cannot be shirked.

Purple martins east of the Rockies rely on us to be their stewards-and will in perpetuity. Those Americans who don't want the responsibilities of being one of those stewards should never put up a house. If [/i]every martin house was properly managed, I think these alien species could find themselves on the ropes here.

I agree all of us in the forum should perhaps be mindful of the mindsets of those who might see our discussions worldwide. But we shouldn't have to sugarcoat the realities of wildlife management and environmental stewardship. [/i]

J, I don't thinK introducing PMs to 'bird loving conservationists' (That is how some members of that forum call themselves) is a good idea - here is an exert from one of the posts :

"Maybe we should post over there that we saw a Purple Martin last year (some did) and shot it after we saw it disturbing a house sparrow nest. I wonder how they would react?

:D That is actually a marvelous idea! Imagine the responses you would get :D

It would also show them what it is like to be on the receiving end.

Individuals sitting in their back yards shooting house sparrows with BB guns does not make a difference. They just use that as an excuse to revel in killing things"

Thank god that they are civilized,; can you imagine what they would post if they didn't have all that sophistication?
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Very interesting point of view in this paper:

Under the section "Why are Species Introduced"
Cultural imperialism
During the European settlement of the New World, there were many plants and animals brought over because the colonists were unfamiliar with New World species and thought the familiar species were superior to the unfamiliar ones. This rather arrogant attitude has been called Cultural Imperialism by Crosby (1986) and went hand in hand with the conviction that Europeans were superior to native peoples as well. As discussed in Chapters 1 and 2, many European settlers feared the wildness of the Americas and introducing species familiar to them was a means of reducing their uneasy feelings. Even today, many of our most familiar animals and plants are European in origin, including the grasses along the roadsides and the house mice in our homes and gardens. The four species discussed in the case studies to follow, the European starling, house sparrow, common carp, and brown trout, were all brought intentionally from Europe as creatures superior to their local equivalents.
Here's the reference:
Crosby, A.W. 1986. Ecological imperialism: the biological expansion of Europe, 900-1900. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, England.

Of course, it was our ancestors who did the introducing, not those who stayed in Europe.
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
Michael Sanford ~ OK
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:00 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Edmond

So we are upsetting Europeans? That must mean that we are doing something right!
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