During the course of investigating a particular hobby online, I encountered the following names in association with it:
Guttulated Foliage Gleaner
Ningbing False Antechinus
Red Faced Booby
Fluffy Backed Tit Babbler
It may surprise you to learn these are actually the names of birds (my sincere apologies to those with backgrounds in either plumbing or proctology who may be disappointed upon learning that the aforementioned ‘Brown Tremblers’ and ‘Steamerducks’ are not those involved in their respective vocations – we can always start a different thread on that later!).
Based on nothing more than those whimsical names I have to conclude birders must be a very odd breed. When I hear the term ‘birder’, I automatically picture in my mind’s eye a frail, bespectacled Englishman with a 19th century pith helmet and a pair of binoculars perched in a tree trembling with excitement upon catching a glimpse of a rare Yellow Belly Sapsucker. I’m sure the hobby in reality actually has a much broader base and appeal than that! In fact I’ll bet most birders are probably the very same people that enjoy hiking, camping, canoeing, and many other outdoor activities. I’m sure there are varying degrees of interest and involvement in the hobby too. I understand some folks are really into the photography/cataloging end of things, while others enjoy the outdoors and just find a little satisfaction from being able to identify various birds by sound or sight. I know my in-laws keep a copy of “Peterson’s North American Birds” on their coffee table in the living room to occasionally refer to it when spotting an interesting bird at the feeder placed near the picture window.
How about you, any avid birders out there? Does anyone make special trips to find birds and bird sanctuaries? To what extent do you consider yourself a birder?