Someone once asked me why I found birding so appealing. Three reasons came very quickly to mind. The first was that it gave me an excellent reason to get outdoors–the windows in my home do not lend themselves very well to seeing the birds on my feeders from inside, so if I really want to see them I must go outside. “Outside,” of course, covers a vast, vast area, so essentially birds open up the world to the energetic and the curious. My second reason was aesthetic. Birds provide access–sometimes easy and other times difficult–to one of nature’s most splendid displays of beauty in terms of color, form, and activity. Few things are more beautiful than migrating geese silhouetted against a full moon or warblers skittering about a tree canopy like erratic Christmas ornaments. The third reason I offered was the intellectual interest that birds generate. Throughout his recent talk to the Carolina Bird Club, renown writer on birds, Scott Weidensaul, repeated his principle theme that “birds do amazing things.” The literature and film stemming from the study of the “amazing things” birds do as well as the intrinsic interest that individual birds and species possess fills libraries and archives. One person could never read or view all of it. This was my spontaneous response to the question I was asked. So, I would ask you. What is it about birds and birding that appeals to you? I look forward to reading your responses in this space.
-John Little, Wake Audubon Board Member