Doing good in the data age

Eastern Screech Owl, by Greg Lavaty

Small but, like everything in Texas, Powerful!    Eastern Screech Owl, by Greg Lavaty (C)

Every day I try to transcribe about 30 cards for the Bird Phenology Program. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s fun.

I like being a volunteer, in 2013, helping to convert a collection of volunteers’, from 1880 to 1970, collected data — often hand-written data.

I get to know the observers. It’s a little window into their lives. I get to read about some of my favorite birds, traveling through different parts of the country, through time itself. I get to comb through historical records. I love historical records!

The cards can get pretty funny too. Here’s a report with a follow up that may indicate the observer, H. Lacey, was not always the bird lover he first appeared.

And then one day later . . . .

Sometimes I stop and do a little research on the observers, which is always a revelation. I’ll bet you’re picturing H. Lacey as a cattle man with a long drawl. You’d be so very wrong. Howard George Lacey was an Englishman, from a seaside town! And he raised Angora Goats on his ranch! You can read more about H.Lacey’s Texan life, as I did, here.

As for England, he was the second son of WC Lacey of Bestwall House in Wareham, Dorset. He was an Old Carthusian, and had a BA from Caius College, Cambridge. He left England in 1873 and bought the ranch in 1882, but sold up in 1919 to return to England for the remainder of his life.

You just never know where people will go in life . . . much like birds.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s