“How Could You Ask Me That Question?” photo by Mark Schmitt
I was asked by Mike Bergin of 10,000Birds.com to answer the question “Why are you still bird blogging”? Are you kidding me? How could you ask me that question? Not only do I get to share my birding experiences, I also get to meet all kinds of great folks, interested in some of the same things I am interested in, like birding!
I went out early this morning after hearing calls from the Ash-throated Flycatchers through my open office window as I turned on the computer to check my emails. I took just enough time to simply peruse my emails to make sure there was nothing that was so important that it needed my immediate attention, then I grabbed my binos and headed outside, before the sun came up, to get the best look at the variety of birds in my yard.
As I looked up over the tree tops, I witnessed several birds flying in an abbreviated hover type flight. They were hawking insects for breakfast! I thought they were Ash-throated Flycatchers but when I looked through my binoculars they turned out to be Acorn Woodpeckers! They were going nuts with the bugs.
While observing the Acorn Woodpeckers I could hear the all too familiar call of a Red-shouldered Hawk in the distance. I have been hearing this call for weeks now and I have been looking for the nest, assuming the call was coming from a nestling waiting for food. I was never able to pinpoint the nest so I followed my instincts and set out on a mission to find the nest site once and for all.
As I began my journey toward the hawk’s call I stopped to see what little birds were fluttering about in the bushes nearby. After all, there was plenty of time between the calls to see the Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Oak Titmouse and even an Anna’s Hummingbird hawking insects.
Oh yea, why am I still bird blogging? Do you ever get curious about things and want to learn more about them but you never get around to doing the research to find out? One of the things I enjoy about bird blogging is that it forces me to do more research about birds than I normally would on my own. I do more reading on birds than I probably would if I didn’t write about them all the time.
Another one of the main reasons I love to blog about birds is that I am a very visual and auditory person. I love bird photography and every one of my posts opens with a photo, usually by someone else. I have met many bird photographers through blogging and most of them are very happy to let me post their photos for all my readers to enjoy. Someday I will be able to afford a good digital SLR camera and be able to capture some of the beautiful things I have observed while birding
The ability to share what we know about birds and maybe inspire someone else to begin to open their eyes to what nature has to offer makes bird blogging worth the time and effort I put into it. I hope we have all inspired someone to take up the binos and begin this incredible pastime we call “birding”.
One of my great pleasures is nestbox monitoring. I monitor several birdhouses and it’s like Christmas or my birthday every week as I get a very up-close and personal look at cavity nesting birds and their chicks. My goal is to increase the Western Bluebird population in my area by hundreds every year until they are back to the levels they were in the 1950’s (but that’s a whole other story for another time).
At this moment, I am happy to write my blog to share stories and photos of some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet Earth with my readers. I hope that in some small way I have inspired someone to be more aware of the nature that surrounds them and maybe put up a birdhouse in their yard or start a Bluebird Trail and make the world a better place for all of us to live.