Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Don't Have A Social Life Anymore

One of the many facemelty Broad-billed Hummingbirds that run things next to our house.

Lets face it: you came here to read about disgusting, unspeakable things, so lets talk about a crucial aspect of field work….pooping.  You crazed fecalphiliacs will finally get what you want.  When you are miles from the nearest bathroom all the time, you usually can’t really postpone your bodily functions until when you are within city limits once more...and so it is likely that field biologists and their ilk may lay down the deuce in the out-of-doors as much or more than any other profession.  It’s no big deal, although it can get…..interesting, at times.  Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to share the fun with your avian friends.

How To Get A Buff-breasted Flycatcher To Watch You Take A Dump:

Step 1: Go to Filiberto’s in Sierra Vista, Arizona, on a fine spring evening, and get the #17 combo.  This consists of 2 chile rellenos, beans, rice, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, and a massive tortilla.  Consume as much as you possibly can, preferably leaving you in a sort of catatonic state.

Carr Peak, one of our survey sites.  The snow adds to the scenery but mostly adds to the misery.

Step 2: Wake up the next morning at 4:30 AM at the bottom of Carr Canyon.  Curse the forest service for pointlessly keeping the road closed, forcing you to walk the 4 miles uphill to where flycatchers lurk.

 A male Arizona Woodpecker in our Florida Canyon yard.  Brown pride.

Step 3: After being hooted encouragement by a female Mexican Spotted Owl, propel yourself uphill with the abundant flatulence that is being fueled by Filiberto’s from the preceding evening.  I recommend a mix of determined marching and defeated trudging to carry you up the mountain.

The Santa Cruz River is littered with shit that immigrants drop on their way north.  Not Dre.

Step 4: Locate Buff-breasted Flycatchers at Reef Townsite Campground.  They will be loud and looking to be noticed.  By this time your abdomen is seriously distended and about to explode.  Relieve yourself while flycatchers are perched overhead and call and sing their jubilation at witnessing this momentous event.  Note their depravity, and whatever you do…….don’t look back.

This Say's Phoebe really knows how to beautify a perch.


  1. i have an excellent pooping in the field story, but well, i um, am leaving it at that.

    Sweet broad-billed! But the trash sucks.

  2. You know what's worse?

    You sit down - so to speak - behind a bush, next to a rock, whatever structure it is that gives you cover, and place your camera on the ground three feet away to make sure it doesn't get, you know, ...stains from the ocean's spray.
    And while you sit there, absolutely still, not moving much, (usually) not making much sound, the rarest and most skulking bird of the area will come up right next to you and perch right there, out in the open just a few yards away in perfect light and setting for a killer photograph, while your blinkin' camera is an inch or two out of reach und you just can't fucking move for obvious reasons!!!

    That's happened quite frequently - to friends who told me, not myself of course - so nowadays I ... er ... THEY usually risk the staining of the optics rather than placing them too far off.