Monday, September 21, 2009

Birding Laughs #1

A few years ago, while birding in Patagonia, Arizona, we made the "must-see" stop at Marion Paton's residence. Mrs. Paton, whose property backs up the nature preserve, has been feeding birds in her backyard for decades and all kinds of rare birds stop in there.
I think I added a dozen life birds while sitting in the chairs under the canopy there in her backyard along with dozens of other birders from all over the world. She has a wide variety of feeders with different kinds of seed, hummingbird feeders, and platform feeders with chuncks of fruit to lure the greatest variety of birds into her place. That particular afternoon a cute little group of eldery ladies were there watching the birds. By the looks of their inexpensive binoculars and their Golden Book Field Guides we could see that they were sweet old ladies that simply enjoyed the birds and not gung-ho listers*.

I was sitting next to one of the ladies who said, "I've been watching this red bird forever down on that platform feeder. It hasn't moved a bit. Can you see what it is?"

I put my binoculars on it and replied, "That's a pomegranate."

"Oh. Okay." And she begin to browse through her Golden Book of birds.

After a few frustrating minutes she leaned over and asked, "I've looked all over in the book and I just can't find it."

We all had a good laugh with her after she realized that the pomegranate was just a piece of fruit.
(below is a photo showing the actual platform feeder at the Paton residence, but this time with oranges.
Can you figure out what species of bird that is?)

* "Lister" is birding jargon for a birder whose primary focus is seeing as many birds as they can either in a day, at a location, or chasing around the globe to add to their life list of bird species seen.


  1. Hey, there's nothing wrong with the Golden Field Guide. My birder husband grew up with that book and still uses it to this day. And it was the first Christmas present he gave me (along with bird feeders for my back yard) when we were dating.

    And I'm not a little old lady. ;-)