Monday, June 13, 2011

Beauties Of The Tenderloin

Aplomado Falcon. One of the facemeltier raptors. Not rare in coastal Veracruz.

Writer's block. You've heard of it, and I've got it. I even just drank a bunch of good organic coffee, and nothing is coming outside of the urge to pee a lot. I would say that about 75% of the writing I do on here that I'm happy with is completely soaked in caffeine.

Of course, I'm flattering myself here. It's true, I write...but I'm no writer. If every asshole who owned a blog thought of themselves as a serious writer, literature would be in a sorry state indeed. Not that I'm saying it's the picture of health or anything.

Which is not pertinent to the matter at hand. You, BB&B fan, want my wisdom...and trust me, there is nothing more that I would like than to give it to you. But how?

Part of a migrant flock of Franklin's Gulls. I followed them to North Dakota.

There are a lot of bird blogs out there. I read them. Many are quite good, if you're in to that sort of thing. Contrary to what the Great Ornithologist Felonious Jive might have you believe, it is not, not extremely difficult to find a birder with a sense of humor and something original going on somewhere in their nerdy heads. Amazingly, there are people who posses these traits and a camera, and when all blended together it can make for a good addition to the blogosphere.

My problem is that I don't have a go-to trick whenever I want to write something, but can't. Everyone and their mother will post pictures with no text whatsoever when they are lacking inspiration (in the guise of being profound), which is not a habit I really want to fall into. Besides, my pictures aren't that good. The various series that The Human Birdwatcher Project sponsors require more time and effort than you would expect, and is not something that should be turned to when feeling uninspired. No...that is strictly research. Hrmm.

Magnificent Frigatebird. I'm not even going to tell you why.

The bread and butter of most bird bloggers is simple. For the more experienced among us, there is a lot of talk about bird identification. But did you really come here for me to tell you the finer points on female frigatebird identification? No. (But if there is a website for that, by all means, let me know). 

What everyone talks about is their bird outings. Which is great. They make for good stories. For those of us who have been "in the game" for a while (who said that?), we can appreciate both stories of finding someone's lifelong nemesis bird, or to look though a different set of eyes at how cool Wilson's Warblers are. The petty parts of ourselves especially enjoy stories where a birder attempts to see the same individual bird over and over and over again and meets only failure. Brutal.

I, however, do not seem to do this. The trip reports I mean. I don't know why. It's never been purposeful. As much as I like reading that stuff (how embarrassing), the thought of writing it sounds....tedious. Although I think I can make my Piping Plover survey from today sound pretty interesting...I just don't want to do it. Can't do it. Nope.

A Least Sandpiper leads a flight of Baird's Sandpipers. It's blurry. Don't care.

A Lesser Yellowlegs appears to be fleeing the deadly probe of the Least Sandpiper.

Wow. Really stumped here. Links. Links are always good. Its another common tactic for posting some substance when nothing original is coming down the pipe, but most of us want our readers to learn stuff or see crud, so its not just a copout. For example, Jill Loman's pictures make me sick. How does she do it? Gross. Is Bangladesh raising a small army to go to war with poachers? You bet! Now that's a conflict I can really get behind. Oh and thanks to 10000 Birds for directing people to this humble website/profound display of narcissism.

If I keep going on like this I can almost have a full blog entry.

Oh, another one people like to do are species accounts. They'll just take an interesting species, be it a Black Skimmer (above) or whatever strikes their fancy, drop some interesting facts.(i.e. "Skimmers are the only birds in the world that feed like this.), put up some pictures and BAM you've got a blog. However, my particular style of species account is a little...weirder. Maybe I should do more of those.

I guess that's it for today then. At least you got some tricks of the trade out of it. But don't fret! I'm not out of material. BB&B's blogiversary is coming up next month and I've already started compiling the good shit for it.

All pictures today are from the area around Veracruz, Mexico, waaaayyyyyyy back in April. Mahalo.

PS Sorry if the formatting looks janky, I think Blogger is up to something.

Huh. It looks like every other picture today is a flying bird, so here's something else. Mexicans! Spikey, Irving and friends.


  1. Aw hell, if you think this is one of your bad days, I'd say, stop worrying about it. Love your blog. And I'm not even (shhhh) a birder.

  2. Writer's block. Boo. North Dakota seems so inspiring, I don't understand.

    I only started my blog so I could show my mom the birds I was seeing here. Then other people started reading it and it got weird.

  3. Oh, and who is this Old Man Markley character? Sounds interesting.

  4. The fact that your blog is unlike any other blog I read (bird-y or otherwise) is WHY I read it.

    I have a VERY low threshold for tedium as well (card-carrying ADD girly), and it is my personal theory that MANY many widlife biologists are ADD. People with ADD have highly VARIABLE attention and while it can look, in a classroom setting, like one is "distracted" (from deathly dull and unnatural sitting-in-chair-4-hrs), one is actually detecting a birdy outside the window that others are NOT, so we are VERY good at picking up the tiny movements & sounds that make a hunter/biologist GREAT at detecting prey/data.

    As my friend said, a "global attention" is what we often have.

    ANYhow, LOVE your freaky blog and regularly visit maybe 1 other birdy one (yours more). If it becomes lists of birds I will cut myself. =)

    2 more things:
    just pictures is not a cop out--it's just pictures & @ times that's all I can bear to "read" (a.k.a. blog);
    you ARE a writer, as my dear friend Dan says, affectionately, "Ya freak."

    =) bb

  5. @Sarah. What? A nonbirder reads this? I dont believe it!

    @Jen. Your sarcasm is appreciated. Dude. People love your blog. That thing is blowing up with comments 24/7. What does your mom think? Old Man Markley is one of the new bands on Fat, its pretty much bluegrass with a drummer and a little something extra. I dig it.

    @BB Dearest Babbler, you are too good to me. I certainly fall under your ADD type personality explanation...I like the "global attention" bit a lot, actually. Thanks again!

  6. Oddly I just read this; to be honest I usually just look at the pictures, bird porn you know?

    It's unfortunate that Eli never caught on to your first part here about being a writer while he was in Europe, he still thinks he's a writer... le sigh*

  7. Mmmmm bird porn....well, I try to make everyone happy. Birding content probably does not make for interesting reads to nonbirders, this is true...I think the interviews are good though.