My Birding Philosophy
I have been birding for around 30 years now, starting as a kid with OPM Prozesky’s black and white field guide. The frustration of identifying any bird was huge, and that I actually persisted with the hobby still amaze me.
What it taught me, was to appreciate every bird that I see, and to this day this is the philosophy I take with birding. I see myself as a true birder, and finding lifers during an outing is just an added (and very welcome) bonus. This does not mean that I am above the occasional twitch or chase, and should the opportunity arise I will willingly set out to find a rarity or special that is within a comfortable range. The chase, however, will never be to just tick that bird off my list, but all the birds in the area will be watched with equal pleasure.
For the new birders or uninitiated there are loosely three types of birdwatchers:
Birders are those that watch birds for the sheer pleasure of seeing and observing them. They never tire of seeing the same species and will happily spend a day out with the knowledge that they will not get a lifer
Twitchers or Chasers are those who’s sole purpose is to see birds that they have not seen before. They will chase after a rarity in a heart beat , and in all probability after looking at it for a few seconds rush off with a “What’s next”
Listers are the people that keep lists of just about everything, their life list, provincial lists, garden lists, you name it. They are often very competitive and always like to have the highest list around.
But no birder falls exclusively in any of the three types, there is a dominant type, but elements of the others will also be present. I am firstly a birder and then a lister, although not a competitive one. I keep lists of just about everything, but could not give a hoot if someone else has a higher list.
To me birding comes down to the pleasure of being out doors, and seeing and observing as many birds as I can.