Friday, February 02, 2007

For the birds

It is with some personal bemusement that I reflect that among the blogs I try to read daily are a good many bloggers who love birds.

Among these able writers are people who are nature experts and authors, people who do their part for community betterment by volunteering, people who like to take walks (with or without pets) and in the process observe the wonders of nature, including birds. Many of these bloggers are photographers—some experts, some talented amateurs. You can read some of them
here, here, here, and here.

Now, I love birds—I am fascinated to watch them in flight, I day-dream about the wondrous view of the world birds must have, I try to figure out what type a bird is when I see it, I have obsessed over peregrines.

But, when it comes right down to it, I do not photograph birds—I never have my camera with me when I have a close encounter, or even if I had my camera along, it is a basic camera with minimal zoom capability, so I would miss the bird shot. I also do not seek out places to see birds. Even though we live within easy driving distance, I have never been to Hawk Mountain. I do not have a life list, although, given my youth in southern Africa, I have seen some birds that people here are unlikely to see—for example, the Mzilikazi roller (lilac-breasted roller).

And, believe me, the last time I had an urge to get up at the crack of dawn, or even before that, to go birding was when I was in college and it was required for a science course!

So what am I?

I have finally decided that I am a bird-enabler. My husband and I faithfully contribute to many environmental causes that are designed to help preserve habitat, rehabilitate wounded wildlife including birds, educate people about the wonders of the web of life that sustains us all. The organizations we support are national: Audubon Society, Greenpeace, National Wildlife, Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society. And local: Hawk Mountain, the local chapter of the Audubon Society, and on and on the list goes.

So, there you have it. I am a bird-enabler. I make it possible for people to do all that is necessary to help preserve birds, and their habitat. I will keep on reading, keep on giving, keep on cheering all the birders out there—I just won’t be joining them.


Mary said...

Donna, I'm a novice blogger and somehow, I found myself in a community of bird-loving folks. I've always loved watching birds, being outdoors, just like you, but never knew what I was seeing. When I gratefully received a amateur zoom camera for Christmas, I jumped into something I enjoy so much. Look out for the day you receive a new camera with a zoom! You'll be hooked. In the meantime, you are a fantastic bird-enabler and lover of the things in life that are free (quoting JZ). But you are really a birder, with more experience than me.

Climenheise said...

I have sung the praises of minus 30 here in Manitoba, but I must admit that it decreases the colour in the birds outside the window: brown and white, with streaks of black. I do remember the brightness of birds in Zimbabwe: you should go see them again!

I see you changed your format. Are you trying to confuse me? I had finally figured out the old format. Good INTJ that you are, you may be working on a new design taht is clearly better than any Blogger could put out.

Ruth said...

I am no bird expert either, but am happy to observe birds that cross my path. I love to walk, but with the dog we make so much noise the birds fly away before I can ID them. Your post reminds us that is important to care about the environment in whatever way we can.

Ginnie said...

Sometime back in my blogs I had one about the Cedar Waxwings coming to visit. If I had gone to get my camera they would have been gone by the time I got back. I too must be an enabler...and isn't that a nice way to be?

LauraO said...

I like your new look - it's easier to read. And I love "bird-enabler" too! You know, getting a good picture isn't the important thing. The important thing is to enjoy the experience. If your all worried about getting a good photo, your missing out on the experience. Nice photos are just gravy. Keep on enabling!

And thanks for the link.

LauraHinNJ said...

Ditto what LauraO said about taking pictures.

I almost feel like those of us who even notice birds are in the minority. Many people walk around with blinders on.

We all have a part to play in helping wildlife; thanks for making it possible for me to be out there enjoying them while you write the checks! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ah you area really a birder Donna!! Just doing this post made you one. You don't have to do all the "birder" things - you just enjoy birds!! If you ever get a telephoto lens you will suddenly change into a fanatical birder!! Cheers. Enjoy your blog.