Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm In Another State, Another State Of Mind

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel. Hella liney. Lostwood NWR, ND.

Between all the coffee, finding my lifer Hudsonian Godwit this morning, and realizing that I will be out of here in one week, I'm feeling pretty damn giddy. I'm even listening to some ancient Social Distortion that I haven't heard in years (Mommy's Little Monster). It's still good. birds. If only you nonbirders could understand all the connotations of seeing a new bird species, you would stop asking annoying questions like "Why the fuck do you watch birds?". A life bird brings on high levels of Stoke, with many different layers...everything from appreciating the aesthetic beauty of a bird for the first time, having (nerd) pride in finding it yourself, feeling some serious geeky redemption because you've been looking for the damn thing for the better part of your lifetime (as with me and the godwit).

It's an awkward question to give a casual answer to, especially since I don't have a prepared answer. I should just stick to "Birds are fucking sick, that's why"...because this is true, after all. And if someone is confused by what I mean by "sick", then that's even better.

Bobolink flight display. Ah, the halcyon days of...of...a couple months ago. Lostwood NWR, ND.
Even if you really don't give a shit about our feathered friends, it's kind of awkward to ask someone why they chose to pretty much have their life revolve around one thing. It would be like asking a Christian "So, what's the big deal about Jesus? Dude died hella long ago. Get over it." Or asking a business executive, "So....your entire adult life has revolved around nothing but making money? How is being greedy and shallow going for you?". I mean, I get it, birding is super weird, but the benefits it brings to the birder are often hard to describe, aside from the super casual birdwatcher or the most single-minded lister.

Seldom Seen Sedge Wren. Lostwood NWR, ND.

Strange thoughts on this highly-caffeinated Saturday afternoon.

In other bird news, almost all birdsong seems to be coming to an end here. Sedge Wrens are still going for it, bless their little hearts....I think I heard a couple Song Sparrows, Yellow Warblers, an Eastern Wood-Pewee and some American Goldfinches today. Goldfinches, of course, are notoriously late breeders...those other birds will probably be shutting up any day now.

Lastly, I recommend going over to Birdspot and checking out this article, particularly if you are a male birder. After getting bummed and hopefully thinking over that, check out the other posts, there is some facemelting bird art going on over there. Thanks to my compatriots at 10,000 Birds for drawing attention to that blog, its good stuff!

Orchard Oriole. Mmmmmm.....rusty. Lostwood NWR, ND.

This is from immature (not juvenile) Western Meadowlark? I don't know anything about birds. Medicine Lake NWR, MT.
Purple Coneflowers, a common prairie native. White Lake, ND.

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