Birders love stories. We love information. We love books. We love reading. We love research. We love the chase. We love wild and lonely places. We love a challenge. We love lists. And above all else, we love birds.
If a mega rarity arrives at some isolated waterhole in the middle of the Kalahari just before dinner tonight, many thousands of people will know about it first thing tomorrow…and chances are many of them will have traveled there overnight. In this strange tribe of ours, news about discoveries, the best stakeouts for elusive species, splits and lumps (which are taxonomic, not medical terms) and emerging threats to bird conservation spreads faster than juicy celebrity gossip.
Why is that? In addition to all the things that birders love, we also love sharing. In fact, the whole birding community is connected by a web of anecdotes, observations and publications. And getting a birder talking (chatting?) about the latest birding ‘gen’ is a very dangerous pursuit, if you have any plans for the rest of the evening.
Although I am by nature an introvert, I like to think that I can at least make a few minutes of small talk with anyone about anything. But if you ask me about birds, you better get comfortable. So at your own peril, I have outlined some talks, lectures and courses below.