Birding travel. Recent sightings. Ornithological news. Most birding blogs cover these and similar topics. That’s fine—it’s always enjoyable to hear about someone else’s birding adventures. But Birder’s Rules, written by Nicholas Lund, takes a totally different approach.
It’s a brand new year, and we’re celebrating with old traditions. Were you up late last night? Did you watch the Rose Parade this morning? Did you make resolutions? Did you decide what bird lists you’re going to keep this year?
Starting a new list, or setting a year goal, has a lot to recommend it. Birders are often passionate collectors. We’re no different from someone who collects stamps or teapots—we just collect birds, accumulating a life list. (And we don’t have to find space for our collection, or dust it.)
Thanksgiving is past and we’re fully into the frenetic holiday shopping season. Birding websites and magazines will be running lists of gift ideas for birders—new binoculars, field guides and apps, birding accessories, etc. As a birder myself, I would certainly love to receive one of these items, but most of them are pretty expensive.
I’ve created a (very short) list of bird-related gifts which won’t break your wallet (they’re all under $25), ranging from silly stocking stuffers to practical clothing. These are just the beginning, a source of inspiration, as there are hundreds of bird-related gifts just waiting to be discovered.
Today I was going to write a post about the birding excursion I had planned for the weekend. I expected to show colorful ducks, tricky-to-ID waders, and perhaps some cute little songbirds I saw skulking in the nearby bushes. However…
I sprained my ankle last week. I wish I had a good story to relate, but I simply thought the ground was where it wasn’t. (Happily, I landed between the two thorn bushes!) As you can see, the bump was pretty impressive but the x-rays proved nothing was broken; now it’s simply a matter of time and patience. I’m sitting around with my foot elevated, popping anti-inflamatories and catching up on Facebook. I have to get better soon—our kids and grandkids are coming for Thanksgiving!
This is probably not the kind of tart a twitcher has in mind.
Remember that little quiz I posted a while back? The one asking you to define a list of British birding terms? Well, I have ten more words or phrases that are equally incomprehensible to North American birders. Can you figure out what these mean? Answers will appear next week (below the bird quiz).
- Old duffer
- On the deck
Is there a bright, new bird at your feeder? Have you suddenly noticed the large number of hawks circling overhead? Perhaps one of your new year’s resolutions is to get more exercise, and you need some motivation. There are plenty of reasons someone decides to start looking at birds. However, once you’ve made the decision, or realized an interest, how do you get started?
Recently, I was chatting with a new acquaintance when I happened to mention that I enjoyed going birding. Her face lit up. It turns out that she and her husband, now retired, were looking for something new that they could do together, and had decided to start watching birds. She had a new pair of binoculars and a field guide, but she was feeling a bit lost. Needless to say, we had a long conversation!
Just as there are different kinds of birds, there are different kinds of birders. What kind of birder are you? I’m sure that as you read through my list, you’ll be able to identify with one or these—or add another “species” that I haven’t thought of. And if you think I had you in mind when I made my list, well, perhaps I did!
Like a raptor on the hunt, this birder makes a beeline for where the action is. They expend a tremendous amount of energy while birding, but they’re always on the bird. They aren’t easily distracted. If someone points out a bird, they’re first on the scene, and all over it.