Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who do YOU bird with?

Here's a question for my faithful followers, who do you go birding with?   Is there some local club that you join on monthly field trips?  or do you go birding with the best of the best?  or just a group of friends? or do you have just one friend who you call every time you go out?  or do you just find yourself on your own most of the time?  

Do any of you go birding with a young (i.e. under 25) birder at all?  

I very often find myself on my own.  Do I like it that way? I don't mind it.  Sometimes it's better because you can stay out as long as you please without having to worry about someone else's schedule. However, I like birding with other people just as much as the next person.  While I don't have any one person who I go birding with all the time, there are several people who I'll call from time to time depending on where I'm going that day.  Bird club and Audubon field trips are also fun ways to get out birding with other people. I have attended many and now occasionally lead them.  

What about young birders you ask?  Unfortunately, they are scattered; few and far between.  Most are concentrated around cities.  I am fortunate to live only a few hour's drive from Chicago where there are 4 YBs I know of. It is still a long ways to drive just to go birding though.   With the Ancient Murrelet currently in Southern Michigan, I took the opportunity to spend a couple days birding with a couple YB friends. I'll usually take any chance I can get since I don't get to go birding with others my age very often.  Since we're all so scattered around the country, we usually end up seeing each other only during camps and conferences, or specially arranged trips or wild chases. Just a random birding day doesn't really make it economical to pull off. I'm only fortunate in that some of my good friends don't live all that far away. Others aren't so lucky.   

Do you know a young birder?  someone who you've birded with from time to time who hasn't been able to find anyone their own age to bird with?  Direct them here, and I'll see what I can do about introducing them to the network.   

Anyway, some things for you to think about. You are welcome to comment with your answers, questions, stories, ect. I'd love to hear them.  

Happy Holidays and Happy Birding!  


Ali Iyoob said...

I bird with young birders all the time; me, myself, and I! :-) To answer your question, though, almost all my birding exploits are alone.

birdboymatt said...

Hey ALi, what about me? (i'm 16 Chris) I live 1 mile from you as the crow flies! Most of my birding is alone though as well.

Andrea said...

I always bird on my own or sometimes I can drag my older sister along (who goes for the hike, not the birds!). :-)

Tom and Carol Sykes said...

Carol and I tend to bird on our own or with small groups of friends. But we also enjoy the opportunity to bird with people of all ages who are new to birding - their enthusiasm is infectious, it keeps us on our toes (nothing like refreshing one's ID skills) and it's a chance to encourage their new interest in birding.

Anonymous said...

I love that someone who has been birding for SO long is still getting lifers. *chuckle*

Malcolm said...

Birding for only two years I don't have much of a routine, but the first year my wife and I would go for walks with our newborn.

The second year we had two kids, a newborn and a toddler making it very challenging. I went out more with friends (from campus), join random individuals in the field, or attend Madison Audobon Society field trips.

I enjoy being out with anyone that loves birds. It is awesome to sit, be patient, and watch a common yellowthroat with someone that has never noticed them before. It is also great to search for rarities with more experienced birders, as I try to take all their shared knowledge in like a sponge.

For reference, we were the family with two little ones at Spring Green this past summer while you were leading a MAS trip.

Chase said...

I'm usually out by myself as well, I know of very few young birders in my area. I'm 24, So if you're every near central New Jersey, shoot me an email!