Sunday, July 02, 2017

Lee Pitts: Old Crows & Wild Turkeys

"Do you happen to know what kind of bird that is sitting on the back of your cow there?" asked the trespassing tourist, peering through a pair of high dollar binoculars.

"Around here we call them cow birds," I replied. "It is quite a common sight to see a bird dining on the back of a cow, proving the theory that two really can live as cheaply as one."

"Well, I'll have you know that I have traveled around the world looking at birds and I can tell you from experience that is not a Common Cowbird."

"Well if you know so much what did you ask me for? What are you doing on my ranch any way?"

"As I said, I am a bird watcher and I travel around the world searching out new birds. In the 45 years that I have been bird watching I have personally "experienced" over 5,000 different birds which ranks me 21st on the American Birding Association's World List of Bird Watchers. I'll have you know that in my career I have "experienced" several endangered species and have spotted such rare birds as the Nuthatch, Chickadee and the Booby Bird."

"Yeah, I have seen a few of those myself. That sounds like an interesting and competitive hobby and one that I might be interested in. I see a lot of birds every day, how do I go about getting on this World List?"

"It's very simple really," he explained. "All you do is keep track of the different birds you "experience" and note the time and location."

Bird watching sounded like a real hoot, so on a lark I decided to become a bird watcher. Two weeks later I saw my tourist friend who dropped by on his way out of town.

"How have you done so far on your life list?" he asked.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is it with bird watchers, oh, excuse me, 'birders', and trespassing..???

Had some on my property, once. And in one of Pete Santelli's video at Malheur Refuge, a rancher complained about birders trespassing on his ranch and eating his food at his cabin.

While checking on these trespassing 'entitlements' that birders have, I found one of their websites that shows how the enviros are ruffling each other's feathers over their 'pecking order'.

"Birders" view themselves as the most eco-friendly, because they only use field glasses when birding.

Birders look down on bird watchers because they use telescopes on tripods, thus 'disturbing' the birds.

Bird watchers look down on wildlife photographers because they have cameras, instead of telescopes, on their tripods, which is an intrusion to the birds.

I can't make this up.

One night, I was at a pizza parlor when I heard another customer holding a bird watchers meeting.

He went on and on with his presentation about various bird species in this meeting.

I turned to look and saw that he was the only one there.