Friday, October 30, 2009

What kind of birder are you?

Are you a BACKYARD BIRDER? Do you enjoy the birds that visit your feeders and do you actively seek to attract a wide variety to your yard with different feeders, birdhouses and bird-friendly plantings. I believe this is where I started out many, many years ago. I could identify both everyday and seasonal species, as well as some of the more unusual guests to my back yard. I started doing this to amuse my children and because my mother was a Backyard birder. I don’t really feed the birds today as I moved into a condo and such habits are frowned up there, but I do have a few peanuts around for when the Bluejays show up………….smile

Are you a true “BIRDER”? Do you actively observe and study different birds in order to learn more about their behavior, habitats and personalities. Do you often plan travels to seek out more birds and have you taken to photographing them. I may fall into this league a little too and find too that I enjoy watching and learning about other winged creatures and some that have no wings. In this section I differ in that I don’t participate in organized competitions and birding marathons to see a wide number of species  (althought I have signed up for a Pelagic Birding trip) and I can’t readily identify every species on my life list even though I may consult with numerous field guides for certainty.

Are you a Twitcher? Twitcher’s they say are passionate birders actively seeking to add more and more birds to their life lists, and they may travel extensively when rare or unusual birds are reported. The Twitchers I have been in contact with often keep more than one checklist. They may keep seasonal lists, state lists and county lists etc., etc. Now I did try this but I just can’t keep up with them. Not me not at this time in my life. Now while I do enjoy finding new birds I don’t go out of my way nor do I travel great distances to see a rare bird, although I did travel to WA to go birding OK so it wasn't all for the birding............ If I am going to be in the area or if it is some where I can get to easily I might try for it.

Are you a CITIZEN SCIENTIST ? This is a serious birder, often active in multiple bird conservation and education events. These birders participate in annual counts and report their findings to the appropriate organizations, and they also seek to promote conservation of bird species and their essential habitats. A citizen scientist may organize educational or birding events, or they may be volunteers with various aviaries or rehabilitation centers. While I commend this type of birder I am not that birder.

Perhaps you are an ORNITHOLOGIST, a professional birder with advanced scientific training about not only bird species but also about behavior, anatomy, physiology and bird species history. Nope this is not me either but if I had my life to do over it might well be me.

Me, I believe I am a Casual Birder who enjoys photographing all that Mother Nature has to offer. I enjoy learning about and watching not just the birds, but butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, snakes (from a distance) and flowers and whatever else gets in front of me and my camera.

So now tell me. What kind of birder are you?