Ornithologists are birdwatchers by profession.
Citizen-scientists are not ornithologists but are interested in furthering the science, and are meticulous record-keepers and journal writers, and are active participants in the respected organizations and journals in the field.
And we bless their contribution to mankind.
I’m a thief, using their findings and notes for no other purpose than to enhance my time in the woods or on the beach.
I pursue birdwatching as purely recreational or social.
I and 99% of the goofs walking woodland trails, binoculars hanging down our breasts, straps rubbing our necks raw.
Coming up to other birders, binoculars against their eyes, necks contorted back, focused on a slight movement at 11.00am on the tree.
“Got anything good?” we ask.
Most birders are social and give it up immediately, with enthusiasm.
Some are zero-summers: “If I show you I won’t get as much pleasure;”
or selfish, “I earned this identification by virtue of my hard studying and experience and wit; you have to work for it, too.”
Or simply nasty bastards, “Knowing you want it and don’t have it gives me pleasure that transcends birding.”
But not usually.
A great thing about Bird Watching is that it doesn’t require much.
I own a decent pair of binoculars, 8-power, a 20-power telescope and tripod (used much less frequently than the binoculars,) a bird guide, Peterson’s, and a pen and paper to write the names of the birds I see on the outing.
The list is just a temporary record for me, an illustration of my prowess to be thrown out in the trash. But not immediately.
Something romantic about the walk.
Some birders use software to record and keep their lists, compiling them as life lists.
Good for them, I say. Too involved for me.
A great thing about birding is that it’s an early start, terrific for early risers who often must wait for the world to catch up.
When birding, not often anymore, I usually am in the woods at 6.30am and spend a couple of hours walking the trails, admiring the great outdoors, tuned in to nature’s movements and sounds.
While in bedrooms and beds people sleep, in nature birds are calling, flitting, eating, avoiding predators, and procreating; especially.
A great thing about birding is that we can do it wherever we go, a day trip to Plum Island or a 30-day solo, existential-auto-trip to Wyoming.
And the last great thing about birding is that it’s neither dangerous nor physically-taxing.
Today’s post tells of Dee’s afternoon on Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, indulging in a makeover to alleviate the effects of her emaciation stemming from her kidnapping and forced addiction to heroin.
Who was Roger Tory Peterson?
(August 28, 1908 – July 28, 1996) was an American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, and educator, and held to be one of the founding inspirations for the 20th-century environmental movement.
In 1934 he published his seminal “Guide to the Birds,” the first modern field guide, which sold out its first printing of 2‚000 copies in one week, and subsequently went through 6 editions.
He co-wrote “Wild America” with James Fisher, and edited or wrote many of the volumes in the Peterson Field Guide series, on topics ranging from rocks and minerals to beetles to reptiles.
He developed the “Peterson Identification System,” and is known for the clarity of both his illustrations of field guides and his delineation of relevant field marks.
He may rightfully be called the Father of American Bird Watching.
“The Big Year” is a 2011 American comedy film directed by David Frankel, written by Howard Franklin and starring Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson.
It was based on the nonfiction book “The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession” which was written by journalist Mark Obmascik.
The book followed three men on a quest for a Big Year—a competition among birders to see who can see and identify the greatest number of species of birds in North America (north of Mexico) in a calendar year.
The film uses the same premise with fictional characters loosely modeled on the actual personalities.
The film was released on October 14, 2011 in the United States and was a box office bomb, grossing only $7 million against its $41 million budget.
Being a bird watcher, I enjoyed the movie. Watched it twice. Might again soon.
A Call for Help:
Hey, my friends.
The blog is growing, in following and in size.
If any blogger has an interest in participating in composing the blog, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
It’s a non-paying participation.
Reader’s Comments: We’re in a virtual Tommie Toner blizzard (and I love it.)
On the posting asking everyone to accept that people can change, she writes:
A beautiful observation and analysis.”
On the Meat Loaf Recipe:
“The scrambled eggs will have to wait. It will be meatloaf and Mushroom Sauce tonight. Just printed out the recipe. Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
On the posting:
‘Spontaneously, aggressively hostile’ aptly describes my growing up personality.
Fortunately, not everyone in our ghetto was like that; but it’s safe to say that everyone had someone like that close to them and thus became somewhat inured to such outbursts.
Unfortunately, for me, changing direction has been a tedious and arduous effort over a period of decades, with spotty improvement.
“Self-reflection is a difficult but rewarding adventure. I applaud you on your journey. “
On the budget for the existential auto trip to Wyoming:
“I am amazed at the cost of your trip. Of course, it could be more, but it could also be less depending on your destiny.”
To which the Web Meister responds:
I am the ultimate of cautiousness.
Hoping to return home with a chunk of money.
Tommie again, in response to the Scrambled Eggs recipe:
“Think we will have these eggs for dinner tonight! My mouth is watering as I read the recipe.”
And two comments on the same post:
“Your essay on "Searching for the Meaning of Life Is a Red Herring" was very thoughtful. I think "reflection" is so important in developing our thought processes, decisions, and growth toward "self-actualization" (the old 70's term for self-knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of self).
“One of my favorite books is an old one by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, (published originally in 1939, as “From Death Camp to Existentialism”) “Man's Search for Meaning.”
I initially read it when I was working on my master's degree at the U of Tennessee at Chattanooga in counseling. I have read it several times since and after having read your essay, I am going to read it again.
Thank you for writings.
“I love the quote at the end by Francis of Assisi. I visited Assisi two years ago. It was a beautiful place. I am going to use the quote somewhere in my art, sometime, somehow.
Thanks for sharing, “
Today is Friday, July 27, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my 109th consecutive daily posting.
It’s 12.30am and the weather is going to be very hot and partly sunny today.
I’m at my desk.
Dinner is Bouillabaisse.
Birdwatching, or birding, is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity, or citizen-science, or the real thing, ornithology, in which scientists employ formal scientific methods.
While it can be done using just the naked eye, most people use binoculars and/or telescopes, these latter, very useful indeed for shore birds.
Birdwatching includes listening for bird sounds. The more experienced birders can identify the species by the bird song: many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye.
In 1969, Birding magazine defined three levels of bird-watching:
Birder. The acceptable term used to describe the person who seriously pursues the hobby of birding. May be professional or amateur.
Birding. A hobby in which individuals enjoy the challenge of bird study, listing, or other general activities involving bird life.
Bird-watcher. A rather ambiguous term used to describe the person who watches birds for any reason at all, and should not be used to refer to the serious birder.
— Birding, Volume 1, No.2
Economically, birdwatchers contributed $36 billion to the US economy 2006.
The income level of birders has been found to be well above average.
The 2000 publication of "The Sibley Guide to Birds" sold 500,000 copies by 2002.
And around the world, North American birders were estimated to have spent $32 billion in 2001.
Kuşcenneti National Park (KNP) at Lake Manyas, a Ramsar site in Turkey, attracts birders who spend over $100,000,000 annually.
At least 127 companies offer Bird Watching tours worldwide.
Ecotourism is supported by the travels of birdwatchers to places where they will contribute to the improvement of the local economy, ensuring that the environment is valued and protected.
Bird Watching is widespread: one fifth (20%) of all Americans are identified as birdwatchers.
Birdwatchers contribute to science by taking part in censuses of bird populations and migratory patterns which are sometimes specific to individual species.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology hosts many citizen-science projects to track the number and distribution of bird species across North America.
These surveys help scientists note major changes from year to year which may occur as a result of climate change, disease, predation, and other factors.
Bird Watching keeps one attuned to nature.
The most active times of the year for birding in temperate zones are during the spring or fall migrations when the greatest variety of birds may be seen.
On these occasions, large numbers of birds travel north or south to wintering or nesting locations.
Weather plays an important role in the occurrence of rare birds. In Britain, suitable wind conditions may lead to drift migration, and an influx of birds from the east. In North America, birds caught in the tail-end of a hurricane may be blown inland.
And certain locations such as a local patch of forest, wetland and coast may be favored according to the location and season.
In the Boston area, Plum Island and the Mt. Vernon Cemetery spring immediately to mind.
Bird Watching, of course, includes pelagic birds (Those that live their lives on the open sea.)
Sea watching is a type of birdwatching where observers based at a coastal watch point, such as a headland, to watch birds flying over the sea.
Birdwatchers also view pelagic species from seagoing vessels.
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Existential Auto Trip: www.existentialautotrip.com