If you’ve read the previous article (“How to Tell if You Are a Birder”) and are still not quite sure if you, or someone you know, is a true birder, here are a few more criteria to consider. Personally, I think the fact you read the first article and are looking to learn more is proof that you already possess the dry wit and subtle absurdity that is the hallmark of many birders. Still, you may find an even truer reflection of yourself or your spouse any of the following apply:
You tell your friends you saw 78 birds today even though you actually saw more than 600.
There are days when getting up at 4:30 am is something you look forward to.
Better hearing in both ears makes your “Top Five Wish List.”
You’re happy with your exit pupil size.
You criticize television programs and commercials that depict a Bald Eagle yet play a recording of a Red-tailed Hawk.
Your spouse thinks that “Deep Woods Off” is your favorite cologne.
You thinking ripping open regurgitated owl pellets is not really gross.
You are certain that Heaven is a place with six months of Spring Migration and six months of Fall Migration.
You don’t think all those little brown birds in the field guide look the same.
You’d fly across the country to see a gull, as long as it’s the right gull.
You know that all ducks don’t quack.
You think Peterson is a book.
You just have to see one more warbler before lunch.
You’re constantly stopping the car and muttering about trying to get, “a better angle on the little buggers”.
You can tell a parrot from a macaw.
You know the scientific name of the bird on the front of the Fruit Loops cereal box.
You have a fascination for boobies (whether red-footed or blue-footed, it doesn’t matter).
You know what Phainopepla and Pyrrhuloxia have in common.
The term “trash bird” means something to you.
You believe all clouds take on the shape of birds, and you can distinguish male clouds from female clouds, and adults from juveniles.
You think a bird with a crossed bill isn’t necessarily a mutant freak.
The first time you meet your future in-laws, you demonstrated the courtship dance of the Woodcock, complete with sound effects.
Preparing for trips to visit out-of-state relatives involves contacting local birders in their town, downloading the local bird checklists, and buying the appropriate state field guide.
You’ve seen lots of gulls but have never seen a seagull.
You know where all of the regional landfill sites are located and the names of the guys who open the front gates in the morning.
You read about a catastrophic bird-plane collision and your first thought is, “I wonder what kind of bird it was”.
Your idea of a great day off work is a visit to the local sewage ponds.
You know exactly what all of the things on this list mean and are mentally preparing your own list.
Thanks to Bruce Bowman and Roberts French (of Ann Arbor, Michigan), Cody Burkett (Phoenix, Arizona) and Angie McBride (West Lafayette, Indiana) for posting some of these items in various places on the net.