For me the enjoyable part of birding is all about the places you go, the birds you see, and the circumstances under which see them. Another aspect I have come to enjoy is being able to log in some of my sightings online and letting eBird organize them for me. One thing I didn't like about eBird is that I found their system of uploading photos to be inconvenient so I didn't bother.
That can be a problem when you are reporting a rare bird like a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (1st photo) or Black-backed Woodpecker (2nd photo). When you report a rare bird like that you are expected provide details describing the bird using terms like tertial feathers, supercilliums, and blah blah blah. I always feel silly using these kinds of terms. I don't like pretending to be a forensic ornithologist. It's like being forced to wear a suit when you're a t-shirt and jeans guy or learning a couple of French phrases to use on vacation when you don't really speak the language. It just feels phony like I'm copying it right out of a field guide.
I am thankful that eBird has set up an easy drag-and drop photo system making things much easier for the user. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
As a new birder, I love the new photo feature too, taking photos of interesting birds is what drew me to birding in the first place.
I'm also frustrated by the scientific descriptions, I just can't envision what they're seeing. A picture is worth a thousands words after all.
I also enjoy seeing the photos as much as I like taking them, even of more common species.
In my short time using eBird, I've seen 3 out-of-season rare birds - a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose, a Black-crowned Night Heron, and just the other day, a Yellow-rumped Warbler. I couldn't have gotten confirmation without photos of each.
It's a great time to start birding with all that's out there to enhance an experience.
Larry, I agree with you and I have just started loading photos into my checklists, but I have a lot of catching up to do!
Love the fork-tailed flycatcher shot! I have never seen one!
I'm with you. Birding should be a fun reason to get outside and visit new places.
Thanks for the comments-Fork-tailed Flycatcher was high on my list of birds I wanted to see!
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