in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

Fall warblers have arrived

Friday, September 30, 2005
between 7:30 and 8:30am today at Humboldt Park, I had several species of woodpecker, including 8 FLICKERS, 2 DOWNYs and an incredible 4 BROWN CREEPERS (in the spring I think I saw one during the whole season, and it was at Montrose Beach, the most biodiverse spot in the state). I also noticed that the warblers have finally arrived--6 YELLOW-RUMPED and one BLACKPOLL (at least that's my best guess from checking my field guides). I also had 3 SWAINSON'S THRUSHES and 1 SWAMP SPARROW, and I think I may have seen a BROWN THRASHER but didn't include it on my posting to the birders' listserv.

I'd like to address the issue Abbyg raised, which others have also asked me about, which is: what is birding about, psychologically? Is it about the hope of seeing something rare, or about learning how to look at what has been around us all along (read the comment on my last post)?

Before I comment on this issue I would like to get some responses from readers...
6:58 AM :: ::
  • I don't know why I find birds so fascinating. I can say, though, that when I go birding I don't think about anything but the birds. I don't worry about my job, my personal life, or the state of the world. I marvel at the tiny hummingbirds, relax at the smooth sailing of the ducks, and grin at the bobbing head feathers of the quail.

    By Blogger Eva, at 10:06 PM  
  • Ok. Coming from a non-birder. It seems like birders are willing to wait patiently for the most infinitesimal of rewards: perhaps just a momentary glimpse of something you don't usually see. This is powerful.

    Perhaps this interests me at the moment coming off a book that dwelled for a little bit on reading of facial cues and that skill tied to the autistic spectrum and reality television (of all things! wheee) anways, tonight I found myself tonight trying to weave this birding (birder) analogy into a short story I'm attempting, at a moment where protagonist observes a fleeting look pass across the face of a boy in her kitchen, as they stand wasted in the middle of the night and, drunk as he is, he asks her for another drink before following her up to bed.

    why am I rambling? clearly, The joys of categorization seem important The patience seems important. slowing down your looking seems imortant. This ability to embrace rewards that are the exact opposite of permenant, even lingering for that matter, seems important. really important.

    By Blogger Abbyg., at 10:32 PM  
  • Birding for me is marveling at life. it is simply incredible.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 PM  
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