In my never ending quest to learn more about you, my readers, I like to ask questions. I’m trying to figure out what kind of content you value most or if your interests are all over the map. It would help me be more helpful to you if I knew what level of a birder you are.
For the purposes of this article, I am going to break them down into three categories and then explain what I mean by each. At the end of this, I would appreciate you leaving a comment and telling me which of these categories you fall into and what you’d like to see me cover to help you at your level.
The categories of birder I will discuss are:
Let me explain how I distinguish between these for you.
You may or may not feed birds in your back yard. You enjoy watching them whether you’re home or away. You do get a thrill from just watching them and listening to them. You may or may not own binoculars or a field guide of any kind. You do not plan trips to observe birds or belong to any community that does this. You are quite happy to let nature present itself to you without any effort on your part.
You definitely feed birds in your back yard. You have more than one feeder almost certainly with different types of food offered. You keep up with the filling and cleaning of your feeders. You own a pair of binoculars that you use to watch birds in your back yard or whenever you get out into nature. You probably put out nest boxes in the spring as well and monitor them to see how they’re doing. You probably feed your birds (they are your birds, aren’t they-LOL!) so as to discourage your feeders being overrun by aggressive and nuisance birds. This is the category I fall into, by the way. You know where to buy food and feeders without being taken for a ride but you do value the advice of the birding stores when you need it. You may even plan trips just to birdwatch but most of the time you’re just watching and observing what’s happening in your own back yard. That way, you’ll stay a step ahead of any problem BEFORE it becomes a problem.
I will admit this category is the one I need the most help in defining. Most of what I describe here comes from my perception of this class and not direct experience. Please feel free to help me better define this birder, ok? Here goes.
You may or may not feed birds in your back yard. You DO spend a lot of time learning about different species. You have a life list of birds you add to every year. You belong to a birding society or club and meet with other birders probably monthly to compare notes and experiences. You purchase travel based on where you want to be birding. You do birding tours. You have mobile field guides, video equipment and any of the gear one would need for venturing out into the wild looking for a particular species of bird. You are thrilled when you find what you are looking for but just as excited to find something you didn’t expect that’s not very common. You try to keep yourself to an annual budget but have no problem making some sacrifices in order to keep your busy birding schedule.
Here is the one place I do share with you: your non-birding friends think you are nuts and your birding friends respect your commitment to the cause.
You are an active environmental contributor or member of such a group. You understand how fragile this earth is and how much we need to do to save it. Not just for the birds but for all mankind.
How Have I Done?
Did you feel a kinship to any of the categories I described here? Do you think I sold anybody short? Do I just not “get” any of these? I’m well aware that most of you will fall into all of these for different reasons. My goal is to help me think more in terms of which category MOSTLY describes you so I can draw a better conclusion as to what you need from me. Please help me by leaving a comment and letting me know how I’ve done here and, if you would, tell me a little about which of these describes you the best.