A while back a news reporter came along on one of our field trips, and as reporters often do, they ask a general question to allow the readers to learn something about the subject of their story. “So what is a birder and why do you consider yourself a birder?” the young correspondent asked me with kind of a smirk.
Now, for those that know me, I am rarely at a loss for words, but at that moment I found I was more than a bit speechless. How was I to explain with a quick comment what it is we love so much in just a few sentences? And why does someone consider themselves a birder? I think I remember answering his question by saying something dumb like, “We are birders because we enjoy looking at birds.”
Not very informative to say the least and a little lacking trying to explain what I have been doing with my life the last 40 or so years, but to this day I have not entirely learned how to answer that question, and I have not come to terms with what exactly is birding and what makes someone a birder ?