Daily Archives: March 17, 2016

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: What is a “Birder” Anyway?

DeKorte Walk 3.6.16 4

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 ?

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