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Friday, August 24, 2012

The joy of bird-blogging

It always makes me happy to meet someone who has read the blog and has actually learned something from it. Maybe it's the identity of a bird, or some tidbit about feeding the birds, the habits of backyard birds, why birds migrate, or even why so many of our backyard birds look so disheveled and funny at this time of year. It doesn't really matter to me what the information is - I'm just glad to have shared it and glad to know that someone gained something from it.

That, after all, is the whole reason I started doing the bird blog in the first place. I make no pretense at being an expert on birds. There are many blogs available on the Internet by such experts and I can't compete with them. But the common backyard birds that I got to know around our farm when I was growing up were one of the first loves of my life and I have spent a lifetime watching them and learning their habits. Yes, I enjoy going on birding trips and meeting new birds to add to my life list, but nothing really compares with just sitting in my own backyard and observing "my" birds as they go about their daily lives. These common, everyday birds are endlessly fascinating. There is no such thing as a boring cardinal or wren or chickadee.

Happily, the hobby of birding continues to grow in popularity, and ecotourism has become a major component of the travel industry. I find that a very hopeful development because, as people learn to value the birds and the places where they live, perhaps they will be willing to do more to protect those places.

Ecotourists spend large quantities of money every year traveling to faraway places to view exotic birds and expand their life lists. Many of those people travel here, to Southeast Texas, to see our "exotic" birds, because we actually live in one of the birdiest places in the country. Aren't we lucky that we don't even have to travel to Costa Rica or India or other birding hotspots to see lots of birds, but we can just walk out our back door, sit in our favorite chair, and watch a colorful and ever-changing parade of avian beauties?  

I am the luckiest of all because I get to share my observations with you. There are few greater joys in my life than sharing my passion for birds. Thank you for reading.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird with Hamelia patens blossom. The shrub is sometimes called the "hummingbird bush" because hummingbirds flock to it, especially at this time of year when they are on migration.


  1. Wonderful post Dorothy - and wonderful photo. I've had some time off work this week and have enjoyed being able to just sit and watch the birds in our garden. I'm about to do a blog post with a couple of photos I took today :-)

    1. I'll be sure to take a look at it, Jayne.

  2. And we appreciate your blog, as well! It's very difficult to find local, accurate and entertaining content on the internet these days, especially about the wildlife all around us. Please keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, hollasboy. It always helps to know that there is somebody out there reading!