Friday, March 21, 2008

Always And Never Birding Advice

I haven't had an opportunity to do any birding this week. It has been raining much of the week and extremely windy for the last two days. Here's something that I originally posted on a forum two years ago. It's called "Always And Never Birding Advice". These are little sayings that include the words always and never . They have some elements of truth and might be helpful to a new birder, but they're mostly just for fun.

Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • Always write a contact number or e-mail on the inside of your field guides. Never set your field guides on the ground while you wander around to get a better look at a bird.

  • Always take the time to help a new birder locate a bird that he/she is having trouble finding. Never say "Oh yeah-I've seen lots of those" when a new birder points out a bird to you.

  • Always be careful when identifying a species you are seeing for the first time. Never come to a conclusion without eliminating all other possibilities.

  • Always turn your cell phone off when you are going on someones field trip. Never have a phone conversation when the field trip is being conducted.

  • Always check to see that you have all your equipment-(binoculars, camera etc.) with you before leaving for your destination. Never wait until you have arrived at your destination before checking making an equipment check.

  • Always check the roof of your car before heading off to your next destination. If you think that you've heard the sound of something sliding off the roof of your car, it may be a good idea to check your rear-view mirror.

  • Always make sure you have positively identified a species before calling it out in front of a group of more experienced birders or use phrases like-"That looks a little like a... but I'm not sure?" to soften the blow of embarrassment you will have from making an incorrect identification. Never try to rush your identification just to beat out the more experienced birders.

  • Always remember to have fun while you are birding. Never take yourself so seriously that you're not having fun anymore.

Okay, that's a few off the top of my head. For those of you who would like to participate, I'd like to hear your version of always and never birding advice!


Anonymous said...

Always leave room for exceptions to any rule. Never assume that any rule can cover every situation.... of course, except for this one!

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Good always and never list! "Check the roof of your car" - That's a good one for my husband. We could have used that reminder last week. :)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I LOL'd at the "Always check the roof of the car". I've missed that one twice- both times it was a cup of coffee, luckily not something more valuable!

I really appreciate the cell phone rule. That one applies to MANY situations.

I would add:

Always be kind when correcting an someone else's id. It probably took lots of courage for that beginner to voice an id. Never forget it's an opportunity to welcome a new birder to a life of birding.

Larry said...

pa-birder-That sounds like a line from Yogi Berra but it does make a good point!

sandpiper-Some of these definitely come from my own experience!

Lynne-Glad you had a laugh!Yours is a nice addition to the Always and Never advice!

Anonymous said...

I have lost my field guide and after going back to find . . . it was in the middle of the creek! Ugg, also my cell phone ringer is a winter wren . . . so, that probably gets more attention on bird walks than a normal ring! Hope you get out birding soon!

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Great advise, my favorite is the last one!!

Mary said...

Your suggestions are right-on. Some of them made me laugh. Being sensitive to a new birder is very important. I've quickly made incorrect ID's on my blog and the wonderful blogging community here was very gentle.

I think all of your suggestions cover it, Larry. Especially the one of checking the roof of your car...LOL!

Amila Salgado said...

Hey Larry, Sound advice! I am sorry, you've been tagged by me. See:

Cathy said...

" . . .to soften the blow of embarrassment . . . "

Oh yeah! :0D

Owlman said...

Always prepare for inclement weather. Never take the weather forecast at face value.

I love the one about the car roof and it's funny that most of the people have commented on it. I guess it's a natural part of birding.....

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Have you seen me driving with my Starbucks stainless steel mug on my roof?? I need to put a cup holder up there for all the times I've left it there!

Larry said...

monarch-A winter Wren cell phone-I like that!

Mary-I'm glad you were treated well by your blogging friends with the i.d. mistakes.-It can be very embarassing.

gallcissai-There's been a lot of tagging going on lately-I'll take a look-thanks.

owlman-that's a nice addition about the weather.-I apologize for my slow response to these comments.-It's been a little harder for me to keep up with the blogging.

Zen-I have a feeling that's how some of my coffee mugs have come up missing.