“Can’t we take the shortcut?” That was me whining. It was getting colder as the afternoon wore on. The trail was a slippery mix of mud, ice and dirty snow. There wasn’t much to see and my ears were cold. But Tom was ever bright and hopeful. “You can make it!” My mouth smiled but the rest of me didn’t. And so, on we went. The Long Way.
Not even 100 yards of ooze later, I stopped so fast that Tom ran into me. A bluebird was sitting on a frozen branch right in front of my face. It was so incredibly bright blue against the dull gray woods. Then Tom spotted another. It was chirping out a cheery little chuckle of a song not 10 feet away. Two more flew into view, then five or six more. It was so exciting I could hardly breathe. Ok, yes, it’s true. You were going to find out sooner or later: I’m a bird nerd. Be warned. Once you start down this path of identification, bird calls, and migration schedules, you’ll find you just can’t stop. Binoculars, birding books…the whole Avian enchilada. Remember Jane Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies? That’s me in five years.
Tom too has succumbed and now shares my unnatural affinity for bird culture. But he looks more like Kenny Bostick from The Big Year.
There are four things I’ve noticed about birdwatching which are listed below. Since birding is inherently geeky, I totally understand if you never read my blog again.
1. Birding is just not that cool. If you think otherwise, you are wrong and suffer from acute denial.
2. It’s not just a chick thing (no pun intended). There are an equal number of men out there, and they really look like they want to be, if you know what I mean.
3. Birdwatchers are predominantly white. We need to seek Justice here and get our Black and Latino friends involved.
4. The 15-39 year old age group is not well represented in the birding world. Make what ever conclusions seem logical.
February 24, 2014 at 8:11 am
Great example of delayed gratification. I want to bird watch but outings always become intentional exercise at faster speeds then birds usually allow.