My Journey into Birding


I have less than two weeks in which to become an avid birdwatcher.
I’m taking a trip with my husband, my brother and his wife (Dan and ‘La Bella’).

We’re planning on spending a few days at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Over 320 species of birds.  The Pacific Flyway.
Three members of our party are experts in birds.
Ornithological gluttons.

Me. I’m a word bird.
Did you know that avid comes from the Latin avere, to desire, crave?
And avian comes from the Latin avis, bird?

That’s my favorite bird identification.
Little Brown Job.

I’m getting a crash course in optics.
Call it Binocular 101.
In theory, I can distinguish
between a raven and a crow.

It’s gonna be a hoot.
We’re going to spot birds we’ve never before seen.
I’m going to tap into the enthusiasm around me.
It’s good, I remind myself, to feel inadequate.

 I’m looking for a Sora Rail.
And a Yellowthroat.

I’ll bring some books along.
We’ll take some hikes.
We are bringing the old Pentax K1000 out of retirement.

My brother Dan, who, if he didn’t sing opera, could make
a lovely living as a professional photographer, (Exhibit A below)

will have a big lens.
Already I can’t wait to see his pictures.

Oh, yeah!


8 thoughts on “My Journey into Birding

  1. O I’m so, SO, happy for you.  O give your brother and sister a BIG hug from me, for I’m afraid we’ll miss seeing them this time? Most of my pure enjoyment in birding is relishing in discovery. Just because everyone else may have seen a varied thrush doesn’t mean I have!  You may know a few things, but, reading about them, and then discovering them in REAL life… !Joy!  You should never feel intimidated about discovering things that people are still learning about.  In fact, I think you have an advantage over most in that you have a good ear as well.  Birds are very like music, literature and art all rolled up into one. They fly, for goodness sake, is that not poetry?     

  2. Carol, I dont see how you could not enjoy this excursion.  If fact, I’m anticipating a plethora of entries based on this one vacation.  You’re a natural birder.Just from my kitchen window, yesterday afternoon, I was mesmerized by a little Carolina wren taking bits of moss from one of my planters.  Back and forth, back and forth…. obviously building a nest.  S/he even bathed in the platter of water (aka fake birdbath).

  3. Oh happy occupation! We have been birding for years. Ed just called to say gleefully that two bluebirds are starting to nest in their little house again. Happy day! Have an incredible time and take lots of pix!

  4. oh, that PHOTO!!!! I think I need to meet your Dan sometime… at least I need to hear him sing.I’m deep in the well of ‘Safe Passage’ and am beside myself with delight and grief all at once. Thanks for the wonderful recommendation!Leavin’ on a jet plane… talk soon!LoveStephie

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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