I am an amateur birder. I love to bird. I started birding when I was very young. My father is surely the one who got me interested. He always would point out birds and mention them by their correct names. We had a pair of binoculars and a bird book and made use of them when we were out and about with Dad. As I type this I remember, too, that we weren't often out and about with Dad. He had a lot of rough years. Still, his tender love for wildlife always rose to the top of the chaos and it has stuck with me. I like to identify things. I like to know the names of flowers and trees and to identify all sorts of flora and fauna and wildlife. But the birds get me going the most.
I started avidly birding after my divorce. I figured birding was an excellent hobbie because I could do it alone and I had witnessed LOTS of old women birding solo in the local bird habitats. The women were cute to me - nice sun hats, cool garden shoes, great binoculars, and always a little tuft of curly grey hair peeking out from under the hat. I was happy with that image of myself at age 65. I was no longer content to identify a roseate spoonbill on vacation, I wanted to learn birds by sight. I bought great binoculars from this local shop, met this guy and began following his blog , and started birding locally and frequently. I honed my skills further with a spotting scope and favorite local birder haunts where I often met up with other birders (especially Mike). I watched in awe as others birded by ear, didn't have to check their Sibley's Guide for every bird, and could locate quick little songbirds efficiently. How cool is that??!!!
Today I received this in an e-mail from my 20 year old daughter:
....there was a red tailed hawk sitting in one of the big trees out front with his wings out. Its such a nice day, I wish I could perch on a tree with my wings out instead of read a million pages of text!
I guess birding is in the family. My heart melted when I read this. What a girl. What a girl.
I still can't bird by ear, but I do love birding. I can't wait for the spring to arrive of for the songbird migration to begin. Blueberry and I will have a lot of walks in our favorite birding refuge.