At 31 years old, a free spirit and a lover of all things associated with strange geriatric behavior, I have decided I want to join a bird watching club. Often on a beautifully sunlit morning I will be unnecessarily excited, coffee in hand and noticing all the wonderful little birdies out my window. I have been doing a little bit of traveling on the east coast this year and was fortunate enough to experience some of the strangest and prettiest birds ever, my interest ever more peaked. Sometimes I am convinced they are singing specifically to me.
I decided they obviously love me and in my quest to become a bird whisperer, what hobby would better suited to tack onto my already fabulously long list of fun oddities 30 year olds generally don’t do, than bird watching… Plus I figured I’ll get to re-vamp the very unattractive khaki outfits and fisher men like hats that bird watchers of yester-year seem to wear. I have decided I am going to create my own unique outfit “collection” for the eclectic bird watcher of my generation. I’ll also add a much-needed happy hour ( which will include flasks) and do away with the plain old black binoculars and design some sparkly glitterized ones that really get your bird watching juices flowing. Those juices I refer to can include whiskey, vodka, juice and/or beer as long as it’s carried in an interesting container of some sort.
How I’ll get started !!!
According to www.birdwatching.com “Bird watching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.” How very intriguing, right? It’s also called , throughout the bird circuit, “wildlife observation” which always makes me feel less creepy about it. 🙂 I decided it best if I research the ins and outs of it a bit more, learn from more formidable bird watching experts and really get in the know about the beautiful winged creatures of the sky. 🙂
So here are some tips I found online during my research that may or may not apply but here we go anyways.
In North America alone there are over 800 different species of birds so I plan on getting a cute little book or journal to detail all my findings and I plan to add a section to my journal titled ” Birdies that look like someone I know”. I’ll also be on the hunt for my very own book of birds, which is also known as a “field guide”. This will help to identify specific species and I imagine has information on their habits, migrating cycles and so forth.
I’ll learn how they relate to nature scientifically and environmentally, their names and most exciting their individual bird songs! Because apparently all birdies have a little song of their own.
Hats, Hats, Hats, Hats everybody!- So since a hat of some kind is required, to shield and protect your eyes from the sun or other creepy bird watchers you don’t want staring at you, I am going to find a bad-ass fedora to decorate with feather and beads. Who says you have to be a plain Jane when watching birds?
I’m going to need a “birding vest” of some kind. Made from that atrocious khaki material I hear. It’s useful for all kinds of things like holding your binoculars, note pad or field guide even. I plan to have all of those things plus some insect repellent. Mine will be fully equipped to hold all my necessities like un-scented lip balm and SPF for my face. And although I didn’t find it written anywhere that a bag of any kind was required, I feel a nice satchel, perhaps made out of leather, will probably be a great addition to the vest that definitely will not fit all my bird watching essentials and will add to the fun of my personal bird watching.
Must have your own Binoculars! – So you can’t share your binoculars…although sharing is caring folks. However I read several birding blogs and articles that seemed rather explicit and stern about this detail. Several people explained it like it was the sin to top all bird watching sins. I kid you not. Apparently if you have a pair of binoculars and your friend does not and you let them use it, you may miss the bird you’re looking for. Oh no!!! Not that! Shouldn’t the reason we don’t share binoculars be so we don’t spread pink eye or some other infectious eye disease amongst each other? Anyhow, I’m going to try to get a used pair (which I’ll sanitize) from somewhere and jazz them up with some rhinestones and stuff. It will be great and very pretty.
QAB’s ( Questions About Birding) 🙂
Where can I see some pretty birds?
You can watch birds anywhere ( obviously) like your backyard, if you live in a place where there are more species than just pigeons. Any national park or nature habitat will do. But I imagine that once I am apart of an actual bird watching club there will be organized trips of some kind so I won’t have to come up with places on my own to sit around drinking and looking for birds. Until then one of the places I am hoping to start is the Botanical Gardens. I love going to see the thousands of wonderful flowers in the spring but I figured there are probably so many birds hanging out there that I never noticed too. We shall see.
What type of people bird watch?
I found that it is a loved hobby among people of all ages but on television it always seems to be portrayed as the favored past-time of introverted older folks who are retired or widowed or something. As to who is actually out there I have no idea….I do plan on bringing some personality, va-va-voom and hopefully an actual person to do it with.
Is it expensive?
From what I discovered this hobby will mostly cost you just your time and dedication. The binoculars, even the most basic ones, are really quite expensive so I decided to include the cost of those and any adult beverage and snacks in the event all that waiting around for birds stirs up my appetite. I don’t see how a Ziploc of gummy bears, licorice or wheat thins would hurt any.
Can you make noise?
I am almost positive during your bird observing adventures you are supposed to remain fairly quiet. Now, as a pretty chatty, smiley and over all super giggly kind of person I am slightly worried that I might fail on this front. I am one of those people who gets the giggles at my own jokes and who can find humor and happiness in practically anything. The point of the silence is so that you don’t scare away the birds but I think that if I am going to be observing them in their natural state I might as well be in mine. Besides I intend to arrive to my bird watching adventures with a solid amount of bird jokes as to share with the group. No one will be silent. 🙂
I am so excited to get started and if and when this turns out not to be boring and full of surprise and adventure I will write more about it and share what I have learned.
Ok that’s it.