Monday, August 20, 2007

Birding Meme

Blogger cogresha tagged me (and several others) with a Birding Meme. Here are my answers to his questions:

1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?

I have not been living at my current address long enough to develop a real list, so I will name one from my old apartment in downtown DC. One day, as I was sitting at my computer, I looked out my window and saw an ovenbird standing on the asphalt roof that connects my building to the one next door. This was at the height of fall migration when birds were on the move, but very surprising on a street with little vegetation. [Update: I saw a Canada Warbler at home today (8/22), so that counts as the coolest bird for here.]

2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favorite list and why?

I use Avisys to keep track of bird sightings, so I can keep lists for any time or place that I want. The most local ones tend to mean the most for me. The DC list, now at 200 species, still means the most for me, since it was in the course of building that list that I learned the most about bird identification. I imagine that will be changing now that I am in NJ.

3. What sparked your interest in birds?

My interest grew gradually since I was always had some interest in nature, a result of many visits to places like the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Great Swamp as a kid. (It helped to have the Peterson coloring book when I was very young.) I shifted from mild interest to birding once I realized that (a) binoculars actually worked and (b) it was possible to see all the beautiful birds in the bird books, at the right places and times.

4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why?

I'll give two answers for this one. Of the places that I have visited, I would say Bombay Hook, because of the diversity of species present. Of places I have not visited, it would be someplace like Peru or Colombia, where it would take me a long time to run out of potential life birds.

5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed?

The closest would be horned lark, which I have not seen despite regularly visiting appropriate habitats. A few times, other people have seen one and I missed it. But I have not been pursuing it vigorously enough for it to be a true jinx bird.

6. Who is your favorite birder? and why?

I have birded mostly by myself so it is hard to name a favorite.

7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder? What do they say to you when they find out?

I mention it if there is good reason.

I am tagging BirdCouple, nuthatch, and Pamela