A loud persons look at birding

    I’m pretty comfortable trying new things. If it doesn’t go against my faith and it’s in the outdoors, I would at least give it a chance. So, I thought I would try birding.

   I didn’t actually know this was a thing that people did. I thought birding was something birds did. Like hanging out on branches or something. I learned something already; I might as well keep going.

   Let me say this first.

   What I know about birding is from duck hunting and I’m not a fan. It’s a lot of sitting quiet and waiting. I’m not really made for it. If you knew me in person you would know just how true, this is. Sitting quietly and waiting drives me up a wall. I would rather be working on something than waiting for something. Waiting just seems like a waste of time to me and being quiet is something you do when curled up on a couch watching a movie. Snuggling is a quiet time in my mind. 

    For the sake of trying something new I’ll give it a shot

  I’m not stealthy. I’m not graceful. God didn’t exactly bless me with a whisper and my inside voice is better outside. I “can” whisper, when it is absolutely appropriate but that’s not that often, thankfully. I am hoping God blesses me with more opportunities to whisper in my future though. I’m praying he blesses me with a lot of opportunities I haven't had yet.

    I’m what most birders would refer to as Persona Non Grata: Unwelcomed, and I would agree with them. For some reason I agreed to try this, and I was going to try my best to do it right, or at least to the best of my ability. If quiet counts as an ability, I’m not sure I have it then, but here goes nothing. 

    Let me see what the guidebooks say.

Seriously, Quiet counts

     I looked at guidebooks and they all pretty much said the same thing. Be quiet. Watch quietly. Quiet is the rule of thumb. As near as I can tell, birding is like hunting without killing and you are only looking for birds.

   Then when you see one you have to identify what type of bird it is. They have a ton of guides for this too, some were free, some cost a little bit. This whole thing kind of blew me away. I had no idea there are really that many kinds of birds out there.

   Maybe if I was a person who was stealthy and could stalk animals in the woods, I would have seen more kinds of birds. The ones I am used to seeing must be the really brave ones that don’t mind a loud man walking by, or they can’t hear that well. I think it’s probably the first one because most guidebooks say birds have incredible hearing and vision.

    I found all kinds of info on how to Bird but other than a bunch of weird eastern philosophy stuff not much on sitting or being quiet. Even most of the hunting guides only say to walk softly and be very quiet. Is this a skill people have instinctively that I don’t? Or are the noisy people being shunned because they won’t tell us how to be stealthy? Further inquiry into this might be required later.

I might not be the right person for Birding.

All we do is watch

    The next thing I found peculiar was that all they do is look for birds. In other words, they watch. Just watch. Like it’s TV. 

    I love the outdoors. I love fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking and hiking. I love being out there and part of nature and the world God created. I’ve seen all kinds of amazing scenes and wondrous creatures, but I never really just went out to look at them before. I always just happened across them, or God blessed me with a scene of something wonderful. This going out and waiting and watching was a whole new concept to me and I’m not sure I really grasp the concept.

     We are going to go out and be really quiet and just look for something but not do anything else mostly just sit in one spot and wait. Sounds a lot like hunting but without the chance of a good meal. Maybe I’m just not to the point in where God needs me that this is something I can do yet.

    I’m a pretty active person: Jogging, exercise, hiking, fishing, kayaking, sailing. I don’t have the requirements to sit and wait and watch yet. I appreciate that people can do this, I appreciate that we have people who do this, I am just not one of them.

Who are we competing with

     The more I looked into Birding the more I realized this is a larger community than I knew about. A lot bigger than I knew. They have books, blogs, videos, movies, tours, getaways, guides, trips, and competitions. I was blown away. 

    The other thing I was blown away by is just how many birds there are in the world. Millions of these creatures have their own names and everything. I can only name 4 on a good day and I have followed all of them to find fish. My reasons for Birding have been more purpose driven than pleasure seeking. I am going to need to read a few more guidebooks on this before going out and offending a community.

. .Again.

  I have had previous experiences with groups that I’m not part of that didn’t end well. Some communities have rules and formalities that are known only to them. If you stumble into it and don’t know the rules, they get offended. I’m curious as to how they all learn things that you can’t know unless you are a member but can’t be a member unless you already know the rules to. Then they get mad if someone wants to leave it. How is that healthy?       

    Sounds cultish.

 They might be. I never stuck around those people long enough to listen. I’m not that interested in a lot of things in this world. Like anything that wants to take me away from God. I know they don’t have good intentions. It would be like going out and joining the Mafia or something. I don’t know what they really do, I’m not really interested in learning anything from or about them, but I have seen some people that look like they might be “mobsters”. I thought about asking one if he was on time but then realized it might not be the best thing to do. I don’t think any of them want to answer the questions I would probably ask about it. Then there’s the Masons, and all those gangs, and who knows what else. I really don’t want to know.

   Catch 22’s are everywhere in life. Except the outdoors. We are usually a pretty open bunch of people. What you see is what you get, nothing lurking in the shadows or up our sleeves. Fishermen don't usually wear long sleeves.

  The birding community is probably another one of those types of communities I don’t belong in but our paths cross at some points because we are all outdoors. Maybe they will respect me if I act like I’m trying. Like the fishing community does. We welcome everybody and don’t expect you to know much when you first get here. We are also happy to teach. 

  It’s like going to church. Jesus brought you here, so you’re welcome to be here. We know you don’t know everything and that’s why you are here, to learn. We are all learning.

   Good communities versus bad ones. I don’t think the good ones are killing people though. I don’t want to know what the bad ones are doing. I’m not made for that lifestyle. .Why I am not James Bond / blog articles | Catch More!

I give up!

    I spent more time on learning how to Be Birding than I had planned on. I read tons of books and watched all kinds of videos and still don’t have a grasp of this thing. I did learn that it takes a very long time to be an expert Birder. This is when my enthusiasm for Birding started to wane. 

    I have a lot I'm already learning and working on in life. I’m not sure I have the time to fill my head with all this knowledge about Birding. This might just have to be another thing in the world I just am not made to be good at. I’m fine with that.

   There are a lot of things in this world I can’t do. There are a lot of things I can do. God makes us all different according to his plan. Most of what I would need to be to be a good Birder are all skills I do not have. To be fair I didn’t know I needed them when I first had an interest in this. Once I learned a little about it, it isn’t something I am qualified for.

    I am quite certain that the Birding community will not miss my presence out there. I am probably someone they wish wasn’’t there when they do see me, or hear me, or in any other way notice me. 

    I know they don’t want to be seen or noticed or do anything to frighten off the birds and then here I come. Bull in the China shop trying to fish, or hike, or kayak, or camp. I make myself at home out there.

  So, to the Birding community I am sorry if I have at any time offended you or frightened off any birds. It was not my intention. I probably didn’t notice you hiding out there trying to spy on birds. Now that I do, if I know you are there, I will make every attempt to keep quiet, be stealthy, and pass by until I’m out of your area. I hope the noise I make in other areas scares birds in your direction. If you tell me where I would be better suited for your Birding, I will be happy to oblige. 

    How do all of you know who’s out there Birding? Do you leave each other signs or notes? Is there an app? These would all be helpful things to tell the rest of the outdoors community so we don’t disturb you or so we can help. Maybe we can have an outdoors town hall meeting and all start working together. I live in a world of possibilities and am always open to suggestions. I might not have the skills required to join your community of Birders, but I do love the outdoors and will be happy to help in any way I can.

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!

written by Benjamin Evans