Monday, October 25, 2010

Burning Exploding Sound

Gray-crowned Rosy-finches are common in the Aleutian Islands.  This one mingled with auklets and puffins on Buldir's Main Talus.

Huh.  When was the last time I posted a picture of a passerine on here?  I don't even remember.  How embarrassing!

Verdins.  The Jedi of nest-builders.  This one was at Patagonia Lake State Park in southeastern Arizona.

Whenever working on a (field) particular project, you often meet people who have a narrow view of what they would like to be working with.  Some people are way into raptors, some are way into seabirds, some are only into songbirds.  Seriously though, whats up with that?  I love all those birds.  Why limit yourself?  Perhaps when people take their first field job they just keep going with whatever group of birds they were originally working with......which is understandable, but also pretty lame.  I mean, this is BB&B, and honesty is our policy.

One of the many Pacific Wrens that hung out inside our sleeping cabin on Buldir.

And therein lies one of the fundamental differences between biologists and birders.  Birders, in their lust to see as much as possible (be it on a local or global scale), are interested in anything with wings and feathers.  Biologists are less likely to be so open-hearted in their bird love, preferring a particular group of birds.  But they share many of the same basic elements.  Both groups are badly dressed, are catatonically awkward, are overwhelmingly nerdy, have an absurd obsession with wildlife, and are stunningly unsavvy in any given situation that may require anything resembling "people skills".  Consider yourself warned, lest you be foolish enough to attempt a coversation with one of these people.

In other news, Ive been pretty sick.  A cocktail of whiskey, tea, excedrin, ibprofin, nyquil, sudafed and multivitamins has been deployed, but to little avail so far.  Ive also updated my ABA list, which now stands at a healthy 620.  For those who dont know the ABA (American Birding Association), its one of the bigger organizations that lords over the mainland United States and Canada, for whatever reason ignoring Hawaii and other islands under U.S. jurisdiction.  Seeing 620 species in these parts is not the biggest of accomplishments, but considering that I'm not exactly wealthy and I don't spend all my time tracking down new birds, its a pretty good number.

Right.  Time to go drain some more snot.  Have a positive day.

A Dusky-capped Flycatcher.  A common and depressing breeder in southeast Arizona.  This bird was photographed in the Chiricahua Mountains.


  1. How'd you get the wren to sit in your hand? Hope you feel better soon.

  2. This one was stuck in a windowsill trying to fly out. I picked it up. But I did have one land on my hand while sitting outside once.

  3. I LOVE wrens. The CUTEST creatures.

    I am a non-particularly-birdy biologist who loves it all, but I'm a conservation biologist, so I guess that's what I'm supposed to be like.

    To borrow from and adapt Hyperbole and a Half:

    Save all the things!

  4. Hi there- just came across your blog and laughed my ass off at the description of birders and biologists! And the jams you're kickin out ain't too shabby either! Love me some Billy Bragg! (and definitely some Swingin' Utters back in the day....)

  5. @Biobabbler - Its all about the big picture, you know it!

    @Jen - Glad you like it. Yeah Ive been listening to the Utters for years but only recently got stoked on them. I think its because I was really pining to be in San Francisco for a good chunk of this year.