Hooked on Birding

Dont’ want to read? Click on the video above to listen to the post read by the author.

How do you know when you’re hooked?

  1. You check the weather app every day – to see if tomorrow will be a good day for birding. What makes a good day? Temperature. Between 45 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (7.22-20 degrees Celsius) seems optimal. Most birds (and people) don’t like it too hot. No rain, of course — although there’s sometimes a sudden burst of activity after heavy rainfall. Sunny or overcast is okay.
  2. When you spend way too much time playing the ebird.org identification game. (Scroll to the bottom of their Explore page.)
  3. When you pull a suitcase from the closet, and pack it with things useful for daily outings. It then becomes a permanent fixture in the car. My case contains:
    • A sweatshirt
    • Fingerless gloves
    • Wool cap
    • Lightweight coat
    • Band aides (haven’t had to use those yet)
    • Aspirin (nor those)
    • Biodegradable eating utensils (for lunches at picnic tables)
    • Napkins
    • A coffee mug
    • A change of socks (beaches, swamps, and puddles get feet wet)
    • 13-gallon plastic bags
    • Gallon or quart sandwich bags
    • Insect repellent
    • Sunscreen
    • Disposable rain ponchos
    • An extra pen
    • An extra notebook
    • A lightweight backpack (useful when faced with a longer-than-expected trail)
  4. When you find yourself snapping photos of birds – after you swore off photography.
  5. When you get excited because you’ve seen a bluebird or willet – because they’re new to you.
  6. When, instead of feeling exhausted when you get home, you race to the computer to enter your findings on ebird and process your pictures.
  7. When you find yourself with a State Parks Annual Membership, because scrambling for exact change in the parking lot slows you down.
  8. When you have a fanny pack loaded and ready to go. Mine contains:
    • A few emergency dollars
    • Credit card
    • Identification
    • State Parks pass
    • Lens cloth for my bins (birding lingo for binoculars)
    • A 13-gallon trash bag (to protect my bins and fanny pack in the event of rain)
    • A quart sandwich bag (for seashells I discover at the beach)
    • A little 30x optical-zoom camera
    • Notebook for sightings
    • Two pens
    • Extra camera batteries
  9. When you proudly wear a T-shirt that says, “Bird Nerd.”
  10. When your first blog-post is about birding.

References and Credits

All Blog Posts


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Published by cafsamsel

Carol Fullerton-Samsel is a nearly-native Floridian who lives with her husband of 25 years and three rescue animals. She has a passion for day-hiking and nature, and also enjoys writing. Be sure to visit the TenPaths YouTube channel, which is still in its infancy.

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