Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birder Types

Have decided that I will need to start keeping a diary or log of the birds that I see on the island.  I would love to document this diary with photos, but that may be a stretch.  They move so fast, I'm having enough trouble just trying to identify them! (So far I'm using Birds of Western North America by Sterry & Small, but I may need something more specific to just the Pacific Northwest.)

But at the risk of boring everyone else, I will keep my list to myself.  I remembered reading about birder types, and offer it here:

  1. Complete birders (carry scope and all the gear)
  2. Hard-core birders (never quit)
  3. Competitive birders (longest list, first to call the identity)
  4. Bird counters (know # of species seen)
  5. Bird listers (keep lists of who, where, when)
  6. Trophy birders (looking for that special lifer)
  7. Bird hunters (make long and inconvenient trips to spot a trophy species)
  8. Combat birders (all of the above, plus are sure to impress others with their expertise)
  9. Car birders (stop every 100 yards to look)
  10. Walking birders (travel at ½ mile/hour)
  11. Standing birders (suffer from warbler neck)
  12. Sitting birders (wait to see who shows up while reading)
  13. Solitary birders (loners)
  14. Bird watchers (watch 'til it flies away)
  15. Bird spotters (hone in on wobbling leaves)
  16. Bird listeners (head slants to one side)
  17. Bird photographers (hoping for that one great shot)
  18. Bird banders (have licenses)
  19. Bird feeders (hang feeders from RV)
As for bird calls and songs, the cacophony as I sit on the deck and truly listen is amazing.  Identifying those will require an entirely different set of skills!

As I continue to ponder why, all of a sudden, I'm intrigued by bird watching, I find that I am not alone.  Part of an interesting article entitled "Middle Age is for the Birds" says:
For example, I used to think that a fondness for birds and bird watching was sort of sad, something lonely people did in lieu of having real pets and real relationships. Lately, however, I sit on my front porch in the predawn darkness in my pathetic pajamas, wrapped in a blanket with my mug of tea, and I listen to the dawn songs of mourning doves, robins, wild turkeys and owls, and I realize now how very important they are. The birds remind me of the perfection of being. Unlike humans, they don't try. They are not out to impress, not encumbered by fear and judgment and doubt: they just are themselves. I listen to their songs, smiling and silently apologizing for my former arrogance.


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