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Old 7th March 2019, 08:36 PM   #441
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Remember where you are. This is skepticism.

I don't recall if you participated in Bigfoot or Yowie threads. I don't know of your belief for these. There are at least a hundred thousand people who say that they have seen Bigfoot. They say that Bigfoot exists. And yet we still have a flat out refusal of Bigfoot from some. Just what is it going to take to get these people to entertain the idea that the forests are capable of having Bigfoot? These people are stubborn.
Except we know that birds exist. Some of these birds have been observed hanging around wild fires to catch a tasty morsel trying to escape the flames. They also have been observed making nest using sticks and twigs, They know a thing or two about stick portage.

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/rendezv...86fd24a303d38a



Not sure if this allowed so get it while it's hot.

Go here: http(colon)//watchfree.biz

Type in: Magical Land Of Oz: Season 1

Click on image/title. You'll be directed to another page. Below the video are three green buttons 1 thru 3. Click on number 2 and the video should play. The action starts @ 54:00 or so

Don't expect it to be in HD!
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Old 7th March 2019, 08:58 PM   #442
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Except we know that birds exist.
Yes, and that is different compared to Bigfoot. But what makes it the same is that we are presented with anecdotes rather than functional evidence.

Okay, I watched the full footage. It is staged and highly edited. This is not a documentation of the behavior in the wild. It is a fabricated representation of what the claimed behavior might look like. It isn't real. At least 3 different sticks are used and probably 4. This is a trained bird.
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:11 PM   #443
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:11 PM   #444
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Yes, and that is different compared to Bigfoot. But what makes it the same is that we are presented with anecdotes rather than functional evidence...
It still ain't the same as Bigfoot.

Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
...Okay, I watched the full footage. It is staged and highly edited. This is not a documentation of the behavior in the wild. It is a fabricated representation of what the claimed behavior might look like. It isn't real. At least 3 different sticks are used and probably 4. This is a trained bird.

Yes, they had to get the shots.
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Old 7th March 2019, 09:26 PM   #445
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There is nothing more to say other than that the ABC program does not show a wild kite starting, or even attempting to start a fire.
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:17 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There is nothing more to say other than that the ABC program does not show a wild kite starting, or even attempting to start a fire.
But it does show a kite flying with a stick that could start a fire, overcoming objections based on fear of fire being an obstacle to such behaviour.
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:19 PM   #447
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Yes, and that is different compared to Bigfoot. But what makes it the same is that we are presented with anecdotes rather than functional evidence.

Okay, I watched the full footage. It is staged and highly edited. This is not a documentation of the behavior in the wild. It is a fabricated representation of what the claimed behavior might look like. It isn't real. At least 3 different sticks are used and probably 4. This is a trained bird.
Its not an extraordinary claim. Little is at stake. Annecdotes will do for provisional belief.
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Old 7th March 2019, 11:21 PM   #448
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Too often skepticism is used as a badge to cover ignorance...the term is "informed skepticism".

Neils Bohr could be skeptical of Einstein and vice versa. The foundation of science is peer review and being skeptical without being informed is simply a reason to be dismissed in hand.

Bigfoot is like the thylacine....it's a huge ask so requires very strong proof and what has been offered for bigfoot so far has been debunked entirely. ( DNA tests etc )
That is not true with the FNQ thylacine ...but it still requires much greater evidence than anecdote or one distant video ...to that end James Cook U here in Cairns has mounted an effort to follow up on the anecdotes.

A smart raptor using fire to flush prey is not a big ask given how demonstrably comfortable around fire these birds are and the very long association with human prey flushing by fire by Aboriginal Australians that goes on til this day. And they are smart.
There has to be a reasonable basis for a claim to be put forward....could the behaviour be in the envelope of the possible and for that you need some knowledge or rely on the knowledge of the person putting the thesis forward. The main proponent has certainly the background for the thesis and has reached out for more evidence ....this is good science.

Dismissal without knowledge to justify the dismissal is just another form of wilful ignorance.

Outback Australia is a survive or die kind of environment ....so unique behaviours are not the exception.
The reproductive cycle of the kangaroo is simply astonishing and if presented to the ill-informed would be dismissed out of hand in misplaced skepticism.
The Platypus was another example when first presented to the Royal Society.

Some of the comments in this thread verge on bigotry.....from the very people that would die in a day or two if placed in the Outback without modern resources.
Yet they dismiss knowledge hard won over millenia and eyewitness witness reports by those who live there.

That's not skepticism...it's ignorance.

Here is a good case of anecdote to established fact.


https://i.cbc.ca/1.5047691.155199555...ller-whale.jpg

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/k...pe-d-1.5047643
Hear hear.
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Old 8th March 2019, 03:20 AM   #449
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Remember where you are. This is skepticism.

I don't recall if you participated in Bigfoot or Yowie threads. I don't know of your belief for these. There are at least a hundred thousand people who say that they have seen Bigfoot. They say that Bigfoot exists. And yet we still have a flat out refusal of Bigfoot from some. Just what is it going to take to get these people to entertain the idea that the forests are capable of having Bigfoot? These people are stubborn.
It's true. I saw bigfoot myself. Yet I also know that it easily could have been the light and vegetation playing tricks on my eyes. So I certainly cant even consider my own eyewitness as evidence. I just didn't get a good enough look at it to be sure.

However, there is very good evidence of birds learning rather advanced food hunting techniques very similar to the firestick claims. The best documented are birds using bread crumbs or other items and chumming up the water with them, then catching the fish that are attracted.

This has got to be right within the same level of cognitive ability. I wouldn't assume it true without seeing it documented on film, but now that MAC has brought forth pretty decent footage as evidence, I got to say I have flipped sides on this one.

Might not convince everyone here, but it convinced me.

Now I consider it to be the burden of proof on those still skeptic to prove deception using trained birds. Burden of proof has switched due to pretty decent evidence to back up eyewitness accounts.

No quality Bigfoot evidence has ever been presented. So no, burden of proof still rests on those claiming Bigfoot, not the skeptics.
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Old 8th March 2019, 11:32 AM   #450
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Um and?

Originally Posted by Sideroxylon
Indigenous Australians in the northern tropical savanna start and spread fire in a controlled burning tradition.


It is not only done by a (relatively tiny) group only, and in one area only, it is done country wide and by government departments as well, because it is not only a 'tradition' but a very effective means of reducing the intensity of wild fires later in the summer...
Your post made it sound like it was something 'strange and unusual' confined to that one area, which it is not
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Old 8th March 2019, 02:09 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Now I consider it to be the burden of proof on those still skeptic to prove deception using trained birds. Burden of proof has switched due to pretty decent evidence to back up eyewitness accounts.
I'll never be your beast of burden.
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Old 9th March 2019, 10:48 PM   #452
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
The thing that is completely unconvincing .....is your cocked up distraction about miracles.
Then you are completely missing the the point I was making.

Believers in the catholic religion repeat these unconfirmed stories of miracles by something or someone they regard as sacred in order to reinforce their belief and to “prove” the actuality of these beliefs. Some religious scholars try to use these religious stories as proof that the word of bible is historic fact.

In the case of the kites, we have a small group of people retelling Dreamtime stories about something they regard as sacred in order to reinforce that lore. We have an ethno-biologist trying to prove that these stories are actual natural history fact.

The only people who believe in catholic miracles are those that have a religious agenda and personal bias to do so.

The only people who believe in Dreamtime stories are those that have a spiritual agenda and personal to do so.

The only people who claim to have observed this behaviour is a very small group of people that have religious/spiritual stories about this animal.

Despite the bird having a worldwide distribution and to have been observed worldwide to frequent fires to feed, it is only this small group of people that claim to have seen this behaviour.

Not just in the world, they are the only group of people with this belief in Australia and are making this claim.

Quote:
The same species of birds have different songs around the world, so do whales. Bonobos teach differently ...animals and birds have cultures ... - some teach their young and others have developed advantages through natural selection.

You do understand natural selection do you ??? You might want to think your negativity through.
You may wish to rethink your examples.
All of which are based on repeatable scientific observations by a number of independent sources and not on anecdotal, spiritual campfire stories coming from a handful of people.

As I said, if we were talking about the biased stories of some miracles of the catholic faith we’d mostly be scoffing.
These stories are little diffferent from catholic lore - they are merely religious stories to reinforce a faith.
Quote:

Do you know of any other raptors that hunt in packs...but they don't always hunt in packs...



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris%27s_hawk

That kites don't do something in one region and do it in another is meaningless and the kites are not the only species observed - the brown falcon as well.

Gosford has 20 eyewitnesses ....and the original aboriginal observer in 1964 that piqued his interest hardly has a "vested interest"
Or course they did. It is a spiritual story that reinforces their
Belief in a sacred animal from their Dreamtime. That’s about as invested in this as you can get.

Quote:
What have you got ....nada.
Exactly.

We have absolutely nothing, except campfire stories from a handful of people in the NT about a hawk that steals fire from a dingo to cook a yam.

A hawk cooking a yam.
Over a fire stolen from a dingo.

You do see how ridiculous that sounds - that is my point about comparing this to catholic miracle stories. These are stories repeated around campfires to reinforce a spiritual belief about an animal.

To date, that’s all we got - nada science, just campfire stories.
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Old 9th March 2019, 11:18 PM   #453
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Another interesting “absence of evidence” is that AustrLia, and certainly the NT, is going through a particularly dangerous and prolific number of bushfire “seasons”.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of alerts and advisories have been issued by state, territory, federal and local authorities about; fires in progress, efforts to fight same and measures to prevent or mitigate them.

Not a single one of these alerts or advisories has included the words “Black Kite”.

Is this a case of these authorities having absolutely no clues about how to control the spread of a bushfire?
Or is it a case of them never, ever, having to consider such a contingency because it doesn’t actually exist?

It reminds me a bit of the IBWP farce.
The more evidence they gathered, the more apparent it became that that their initial position was not supported.

Why are fire authorities throughout Australia ignoring this danger from firebug kites?
Why do no bushfire modelling studies include Black Kites as a factor?
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Old 9th March 2019, 11:26 PM   #454
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
A handheld camera is not absurd at all. The ancient peoples, if they observed this, must have done so using only their eyes and legs.

Yes, if (!) they observed this! (Or they could have glued a dreamcatcher to a boomerang and watched it in their sleep! )

Quote:
If it can still be observed this was an actual phenomenon and still is now then it can certainly be recorded with a handheld camera, eyes and legs.

FTFY.

No, it probably can't. A man running across the burning bush with camera and and other gear would scare away any kind of animal except, maybe, a hippo or a rhino. A man running around with a camera couldn't have filmed the heron using breadcrumbs to catch fish.
A camera, maybe remote controlled, filming the place where the heron had been observed 'angling' before would be a much better solution than a hand-held one, but you couldn't do that with the alleged fire-starting birds.
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Old 9th March 2019, 11:57 PM   #455
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What did scientists ever do before photography

Oh yeah...observation ....fancy that.
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Old 10th March 2019, 12:19 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Outback Australia is a survive or die kind of environment ....so unique behaviours are not the exception.

I don't think that anybody has argued against fire-starting birds with the argument that it was unique.

Quote:
The reproductive cycle of the kangaroo is simply astonishing and if presented to the ill-informed would be dismissed out of hand in misplaced skepticism.
The Platypus was another example when first presented to the Royal Society.

It sounds as if there might be unicorns, too! We're still waiting for footage of the balayang, the tjiminin and in particular the yowie, "one of several names for an Australian folklore entity reputed to live in the Outback. The creature has its roots in Aboriginal oral history. In parts of Queensland, they are known as quinkin (or as a type of quinkin), and as joogabinna, in parts of New South Wales they are called Ghindaring, jurrawarra, myngawin, puttikan, doolaga, gulaga and thoolagal. Other names include yaroma, noocoonah, wawee, pangkarlangu, jimbra and tjangara. Yowie-type creatures are common in Aboriginal Australian legends, particularly in the eastern Australian states."
I guess that a yowie by any other name would smell as sweet, but I would still like to see actual footage of one since I "would die in a day or two if placed in the Outback without modern resources." Unfortunately, the Wikipedia article about it doesn't say how many millennia it took to 'hard win' this knowledge. (And it can't say so since the alleged time scale would also be part of the oral tradition only. It's very easy to claim that the 'knowledge' of a mythical creature has existed for millennia even if you made it up yesterday.

Quote:
Some of the comments in this thread verge on bigotry.....from the very people that would die in a day or two if placed in the Outback without modern resources.
Yet they dismiss knowledge hard won over millenia and eyewitness witness reports by those who live there.

What does "being placed in the outback" have to do with bigotry? Absolutely nothing! Knowledge of pixies hard won over millennia isn't really to be trusted, not even when it was handed down in actual writing. When it was by word of mouth, we don't really call it knowledge any more. In that realm there is no such thing as "knowledge hard won over millenia," there's just myth and anecdotes.

Quote:
That's not skepticism...it's ignorance.

You still argue like some of our (Danish) astrological friends:
'But what about Wegener? Wasn't he right when everybody else was wrong? So astrology is a science. Science just hasn't come around to proving it yet.'

Quote:
Here is a good case of anecdote to established fact.

Yes, and some of us would like to see the same kind of evidence for fire-starting birds.
Anecdote to the claim that it's established fact is what we see in superstition. That's why killer whales are now established fact. Mermaids aren't ...
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Old 10th March 2019, 12:30 AM   #457
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
What did scientists ever do before photography

Observation, examination, dissection, collecting samples, analysis, measuring. Science did all kinds of stuff. A long time before photography, scientists used microscopes and telescopes, but you still confuse science with mythology.

Quote:


Oh yeah...observation ....fancy that.

Have you observed any yara-ma-yha-whos recently?!

Quote:
The Yara-ma-yha-who is said to live in fig trees. Instead of hunting for food, it is described as waiting for an unsuspecting traveller to rest under the tree. The creature then drops down and uses its suckers to drain the victim's blood. After that it swallows the person, drinks some water, and then takes a nap. When the Yara-ma-yha-who awakens, it regurgitates the victim, leaving them shorter than before. The victim's skin also has a reddish tint to it that it didn't have before. It repeats this process several times. At length, the victim is transformed into a Yara-ma-yha-who themselves.

I have heard that many Australians actually get shorter as they age. The older they get, the more trees they tend to have been sitting under. (I mean, this guy must have shrunk quite a bit over the years, it seems, but maybe he's just into tall women, I can't tell.) I've also heard that many Australians and in particular those with European ancestors tend to have skin with a reddish tint because they haven't learned from the oral tradition never to rest under a tree (and fig trees are particularly bad!). For some reason, the official warnings against skin with a reddish tint never seem to take this into consideration!
But still, I don't rely on anecdotal evidence. I'd like to see at least photos of the critters!
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Old 10th March 2019, 12:40 AM   #458
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Another interesting “absence of evidence” is that AustrLia, and certainly the NT, is going through a particularly dangerous and prolific number of bushfire “seasons”.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of alerts and advisories have been issued by state, territory, federal and local authorities about; fires in progress, efforts to fight same and measures to prevent or mitigate them.

Not a single one of these alerts or advisories has included the words “Black Kite”.

Is this a case of these authorities having absolutely no clues about how to control the spread of a bushfire?
Or is it a case of them never, ever, having to consider such a contingency because it doesn’t actually exist?

It reminds me a bit of the IBWP farce.
The more evidence they gathered, the more apparent it became that that their initial position was not supported.

Why are fire authorities throughout Australia ignoring this danger from firebug kites?
Why do no bushfire modelling studies include Black Kites as a factor?

You're right! They appear to have left out completely "concentration of Black Kites in the area." That is a serious mistake so they are obviously unreliable.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 10th March 2019, 03:45 AM   #459
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Better watch for the drop bears Dann....pardon me but your bigotry is showing with your nonsense.

Concentrations of kites and other raptors around fires in the Outback are so common place here no one would even bother to note them .....how many more pictures of them that I personally took would you like?
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Old 10th March 2019, 06:47 AM   #460
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You are very fond of rolleyes and other attempts at insult. You love to think of yourself as being scientific, and yet you argue like a woo. In this case, you simply dismiss EHocking's objection to the idea you cling to instead of considering why these actual scientists don't take fire-starting birds into their considerations. These are the questions that the scientists ask:

Quote:
• What will be the fire’s forward rate of spread?
• In timed increments, what will be the fire’s area, perimeter length, and forward spread distance?
• Will the fire be labelled a high-intensity or low-intensity fire?
• Will the fire be primarily a crown or surface fire?
• How difficult will the fire be to control and extinguish?
• Is the fire burning in such a manner that mechanical equipment and/or air tankers will be required, or can it be handled safely by ground suppression crews?
• Will the fire require more time and effort than normal to mop-up?
• Is there a possibility of the fire “blowing up”? If the fire does blow up, will it produce a towering convection column or have a wind-driven smoke plume?
• What will be the spotting potential – short- or long-range – of the fire?
• Are environmental conditions conducive for the fire to produce fire whirlwinds and/or other types of wildland fire vortexes? If so, when and where might they occur?

If I were one of these guys, which, of course, I'm not, what I would like to know is, for instance:

• Does anything at all seem to indicate that Black Kites contribute to the spreading of bushfires?
• Do bushfires sometimes spread in ways that don't correspond to the way that you would expect them to spread if you look only at the direction of the wind? (i.e. would you need something other than the fire-produced whirlwinds in combination the ordinary wind to explain why it spreads to a place that your models don't predict that they will spread to?)
• Do ornithologists have any information about the size of Black Kite population from year to year? Does there seem to be any correlation with (otherwise inexplicable) spreading of bushfires?

And I'm pretty sure that the firefighters would like to know things like:

• Should we be equipped with shotguns in addition to hoses and mechanical shovels?

But why consider this when it's so much easier to resort to arrogant insults and ?


And, no, the pictures of Black Kites and other birds that you personally took are very pretty, but unlike Bigfoot we're not asking you to prove the mere existence of Black Kites or bushfires. Nobody has doubted that they exist. They are an established fact that doesn't need any more evidence. We're not even asking you to prove that - apparently because of the fleeing or dead prey that they can get at in this way - Black Kites are attracted to bushfires. We are asking for proof that they start them.
In the meantime, you can continue to be as offended by skepticism as the Danish astrologers are when we ask them to prove their ideas and have to tell them that we actually already know that Pluto exists and don't need any more photos to prove it. (But we also know that they had no idea about Pluto until astronomers discovered it!)
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Old 10th March 2019, 08:03 AM   #461
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
It reminds me a bit of the IBWP farce.
The more evidence they gathered, the more apparent it became that that their initial position was not supported.

I forgot to ask you about this, EHocking. I have no idea what the acronym is supposed to mean: ivory-billed woodpecker, interior brace wall panels? A little googling seems to suggest the former, but I've never heard of it before.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 10th March 2019, 03:54 PM   #462
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I forgot to ask you about this, EHocking. I have no idea what the acronym is supposed to mean: ivory-billed woodpecker, interior brace wall panels? A little googling seems to suggest the former, but I've never heard of it before.
Yes Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
The whole search effort was fascinating to watch. It was clear that a number of participants had way too much invested in the initial “we found it!”, but scientific method, eventually, won the day.

As an avid birder I was quite disappointed, but because of my years as one, I have a number of birds I “know” I’ve seen still marked “?”.
Because I’m Honest with myself. As much as I desire them to be firm sightings, I know that I can’t tick them off.

Such is scepticism. Being honest with yourself despite how much you might wish for a different reality.
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Old 11th March 2019, 02:27 AM   #463
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I didn't see your post 452 till now, but this is something I definitely want to see:

Quote:
A hawk cooking a yam.
Over a fire stolen from a dingo.

It would also be great if we could have footage of the dingo trying, but failing, to make fire using a stick and then persuading the chicken hawk to steal a piece of glowing wood from some women instead.
However, all we've got so far is a photo of a dingo with a very big stick!


ETA: Also in A Desert Bestiary.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 22nd March 2019, 08:37 AM   #464
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News on the Australian Night Parrot: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2&postcount=12
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Old 22nd March 2019, 04:23 PM   #465
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
News on the Australian Night Parrot: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2&postcount=12
Sightings outside of the area of the first confirmed ID in WA have always been doubted.

He has form on presenting doctored evidence, e.g., photo doctoring of a purported new species he found - Blue-fronted fig parrot
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Old 22nd March 2019, 11:25 PM   #466
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Sightings outside of the area of the first confirmed ID in WA have always been doubted.

He has form on presenting doctored evidence, e.g., photo doctoring of a purported new species he found - Blue-fronted fig parrot
Correction, it was not Young that is suspected of photoshopping. A different fella. Although he was not able to produce the photo he did claim to have taken, when asked for verification by 3rd parties.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 02:28 AM   #467
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Does this have any impact on the theme of this thread?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd March 2019, 04:19 PM   #468
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A demonstration that people will try all sorts of things for self promotion?
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:13 AM   #469
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This still going on, eh? I guess it's now 40,001 years of oral history.

When the paper was first published, a mutual contact put me (indirectly) in touch with the lead author. Evidently no one on the original paper was an ornithologist or an animal behaviorist. They were potentially interested in my ability to help respond to criticisms of the conclusions. After digging deeply into the paper my criticisms were among the loudest and I opted not to offer that assistance. If anything, my notes laid the groundwork for a rather scathing critique (though I've been too busy with other stuff to write it up). A few months after declining to collaborate, my contact called me again to indicate that I had "dodged a bullet" though she declined to state exactly why.

Anyway, Mike's daughter of course had it correct from the get-go. The biggest hurdle in the development of selection for behavior of raptors to pick up brands and intentionally start spot fires is not their intelligence, it's the consistent selective pressure necessary to reward such behavior. There's already a fire. What does it merit the individual to try to start a new one when there is already a head fire from which food is being flushed and behind which deliciously roasted food lies in abundance? It could just as likely be the case that any individual distracting itself by trying to start spot fires actually takes in fewer calories than those that simply forage from the existing head fire.

The firehawk conclusion requires both the unequivocal demonstration of the claimed behavior occurring and a lot more work to establish that the interpretation of such a demonstration is the correct one.
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Old 25th March 2019, 01:38 AM   #470
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Quote:
There's already a fire. What does it merit the individual to try to start a new one when there is already a head fire from which food is being flushed and behind which deliciously roasted food lies in abundance?
Nothing is "abundant" in the outback. iIndividual spinifex bushes might harbor a few edible items and when you have several dozen competing raptors there is no smorgasbord laid out.

Dropping a stick for a new fire which is what the eye witnesses claim, gives that bird exclusive access for a few vital minutes especially for high demand items like goanna and snakes.

With scarcity, the pressure is constant for any method that produces additional prey especially not immediately subject to competition.

Also, non-human set fires are not common in many parts of the outback but the birds and humans have co-existed 10s of thousands of years quite long enough for selective pressure on birds that can magnify the human fires. It's a hard place to make a living.

One reason the fire control in Australia requires constant small fires be set by helicopter and for that matter by humans as below is the fires burn out quickly ....it's not like understory burning in forest fires.

I've been beside a small firebomb fire by the road ....it burns quickly - flares ...then goes out. One reason they don't want the fuel accumulating so any natural fire dies quickly



Quote:
According to the Daily Mail, the researchers found numerous accounts from Aboriginals, several firefighters and 14 Bush rangers who reported birds of prey carrying burning sticks, some as far as 150 feet.

“I have seen a hawk pick up a smoldering stick in its claws and drop it in a fresh patch of dry grass half a mile away, then wait with its mates for the mad exodus of scorched and frightened rodents and reptiles,” Waipuldanya Phillip Roberts said in the book I, the Aboriginal, according to Gosford's blog, Crikey.

“When that area was burnt out the process was repeated elsewhere.”

Gosford told IFLScience that small fires often attract so many birds that there is insufficient fleeing prey for all, so a bird that was being beaten to its lunch might benefit from starting a new fire with less competition
https://www.adventuresportsnetwork.c...study-reveals/

Now you can chose to dis-beleive eye witnesses but there is an evolutionary/cultural pressure and benefit for kites that spread fires....more prey ....less competition.

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Old 25th March 2019, 03:10 AM   #471
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Also, non-human set fires are not common in many parts of the outback but the birds and humans have co-existed 10s of thousands of years quite long enough for selective pressure on birds that can magnify the human fires. It's a hard place to make a living.

One reason the fire control in Australia requires constant small fires be set by helicopter and for that matter by humans as below is the fires burn out quickly ....it's not like understory burning in forest fires.

I've been beside a small firebomb fire by the road ....it burns quickly - flares ...then goes out. One reason they don't want the fuel accumulating so any natural fire dies quickly

So there really is no need for firefighters at all? What's the point of fire control if the fires burn out quickly anyway? What's there to control? And the alleged fire-setting behaviour isn't an adaptation to nature but to fire-setting firefighters?
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 25th March 2019, 10:59 AM   #472
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Now you can chose to dis-beleive eye witnesses but there is an evolutionary/cultural pressure and benefit for kites that spread fires....more prey ....less competition.
Well, yeah, but that can be said of any fantastic behavior you might claim about them. Does that same pressure also lead them to raise rabbits in locked barns?
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Old 25th March 2019, 04:29 PM   #473
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So there really is no need for firefighters at all? What's the point of fire control if the fires burn out quickly anyway? What's there to control? And the alleged fire-setting behaviour isn't an adaptation to nature but to fire-setting firefighters?
Exactly. Fires can be patchy even when fuels are uniform, but if they're so patchy that there's no headfire then it's just a bunch of ignitions. If this was the only way the bush burned (i.e., needing non-stop ignitions) then why bother trying to burn it in the first place and why bother trying to put it out once one caught? Also there'd be abundant photographic evidence of hawks lighting fires.

Remember, hawks don't need fires. They just take advantage of them when they happen and when they can get to them. The consistent, directional selection pressure on individuals to develop and reinforce the alleged behavior is dubious at best, although I suppose that's consistent with the dearth of evidence for the behavior existing at all.
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Old 25th March 2019, 08:44 PM   #474
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Dann
Quote:
So there really is no need for firefighters at all? What's the point of fire control if the fires burn out quickly anyway? What's there to control? And the alleged fire-setting behaviour isn't an adaptation to nature but to fire-setting firefighters?
Do you know how big Australia is FFS ??? Naturally lit fires can still pose a threat and the way to keep small fires small is to keep understory down especially near road ways or near habitation.
....don't expose your ignorance any further than you've already demonstrated.
Habitats differ and so do the cultures of the animals that make a living from them

Shrike
Wow so little knowledge compressed in one distainful post. I don't give a FF what your ill informed opinion is ....either put up something with some science behind it or go out do the photos yourself.....that should keep you off the streets for a good long while.

The thesis deserves further work ....deal with it.
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Old 25th March 2019, 11:19 PM   #475
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Dann

Do you know how big Australia is FFS ??? Naturally lit fires can still pose a threat and the way to keep small fires small is to keep understory down especially near road ways or near habitation.
....don't expose your ignorance any further than you've already demonstrated.
Habitats differ and so do the cultures of the animals that make a living from them

Shrike
Wow so little knowledge compressed in one distainful post. I don't give a FF what your ill informed opinion is ....either put up something with some science behind it or go out do the photos yourself.....that should keep you off the streets for a good long while.

The thesis deserves further work ....deal with it.

We already dealt with the science of bushfires in EHocking’s post 453 and my own post 460.
You should probably stay away from science altogether and stick with the rolleyes ...
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 26th March 2019, 05:40 AM   #476
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It's the same as Bigfoot belief.
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Old 26th March 2019, 06:24 AM   #477
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No, not quite! We know that Black Kites actually exist. What we lack is proof that they start fires the way it is claimed by anecdotal evidence.
We're a long way from claims that Bigfoot starts fires!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th March 2019, 06:27 AM   #478
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Sorry, my bad!

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 26th March 2019, 06:37 AM   #479
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, not quite! We know that Black Kites actually exist. What we lack is proof that they start fires the way it is claimed by anecdotal evidence.
We're a long way from claims that Bigfoot starts fires!
It's the same as Bigfoot belief.

It is belief in a "thing" for which there is no functional evidence of existence. It doesn't matter that in one case the thing is a creature and in the other case the thing is a behavior of a creature.

But what is most intriguing is that the behaviors of the believers is the same. It may be because fundamentally all woo is the same thing.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:50 PM   #480
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It's the same as Bigfoot belief.
It seems a little like Bigfoot research.

Just a collection of campfire stories and no field studies to produce actual evidence.

Key researcher was inspired from stories at least 8 years ago. The paper discussing a (very small) collection of anecdotes is some 3 years old.

Something like 1/2 of the area of the Northern Territory is burned by bushfire.
So there have been literally 10s of thousands of opportunities to get into the field and collect data.

But all we have are campfire stories.
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