John tagged me with a birding meme.
1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home? Hmm. Although I see this species regularly, it was pretty cool and unexpected seeing our first yard American Woodcock rocketing over my father-in-law’s head as we sat on the patio. The White-winged Crossbills at the feeder were neat. The Lark Sparrow that overwintered was probably the rarest. But of course the bird I like the most and always think is cool is the Red-breasted Nuthatch.
2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favorite list and why? I’m pretty fond of my local lists: my yard list (132), work list (184), or my city list (210). Probably my city list, which incorporates the other two. Finding stuff close to home is great; I don’t do much bird chasing any more.
3. What sparked your interest in birds? My mother loved birds, and passed that on to me. I have been interested in them as long as I can remember.
4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why? I just hope that my hearing, eyesight, mobility, and memory make it possible for me to enjoy birds the rest of my life, no matter where I am, and that there are still birds to enjoy and places to enjoy them.
5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed? I’ve seen them lots of other places, and they have occurred regularly nearby, but seeing a Northern Shrike in my city keeps eluding me.
6. Who is your favorite birder? and why? Oh, that would have to be Kingfisher, my husband, who is probably a better birder than me, as he has a much keener interest in a wider variety of birds and has seen a hell of a lot more. Or, if the intention is a well-known birder, I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent in the field with Birder’s World editor Chuck Hagner because every bird and landscape is apt to prompt a conversation on ecology, conservation, policy … and to me that holistic approach is what birding is all about. Okay, I’ll name drop some more. Pete Dunne or Kenn Kaufman? Lucky me, I’ve spent time with both. Kenn wins by a feather.
7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder? What do they say to you when they find out? People find out I’m an ornithologist early on in those getting-to-know-you conversations. I really think of myself in that way, rather than a birder. Nearly all of my “birding” is work-related, and when I go out with binoculars to a natural area, I’m as likely to be looking at bugs or plants as birds.
I’m retiring this meme by not tagging anybody with it.