Friday, January 16, 2009

I do not understand this kind of Birdwatcher.

So apparently an unassuming Flycatcher that is usually associated with Central America wandered north, into Texas. That's interesting. Far more fascinating, however, is the fact that there are people traveling to Texas to see this bird.

This is one of those cases where I'd be interested to know what the animals involved in a certain situation are thinking.

These folks are traveling to Texas to fill what is called a "Life List". There are different versions of this... phenomenon, but basically it is a checklist of all the birds you have ever seen in your life. When you see a new species of bird, you get to check it off the list. There are people who travel all over North America strictly to check birds off their List. I'm not sure, but it's fair to assume that whoever dies having looked at the most bird species wins. Wins at Life Listing, I guess.

Sing it with me: "Gotta catch 'em all! Gotta catch 'em all!"

This is why, if anyone asks, I'm not a birdwatcher. I'm a freelance ornithologist. Consider the big, big difference between "looking at" and "watching" as you read the news article. And the comments. God, the comments. "Opinions are like... those things that everyone has" (I know, but I'm attempting to stay PG at worst) has always been true, but one of the bad things about the Internet is that it is w-a-y too easy to share said opinions.

Then I found this and fell right back in love with the Internet. It is so stupid, it's awesome. I will now post it, without explanation:



(Seriously [and ignoring the Screamo] I like how this doubles as a crash course in the way paleoartists had such a hard time trying to work out what these animals *were* -never mind what they looked like- throughout the years.)

So... Feederwatch Friday!

There wasn't much going on this week. My count days were almost embarrassingly dull (twenty House Sparrows. Big whoop.) I did have about twenty Robins fly through on Saturday, which was kind of odd seeing as there's a foot of snow on the ground. Either they were headed into the forest or they were here to disappoint any watching kindergartners.

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