I was recently reflecting on my interest in birds and I realized that my passion actually started earlier than just a few years ago.
Back in my days at Lincoln Elementary School in Nampa, Idaho, when we had library time, I recall checking out the Audubon bird guides at least once a month along with my other enduring favorite, the Guiness Book of World Records. Mrs. Johnson wouldn't let me check them out more often than once a month as I was supposed to be reading "real" books. I loved to peruse the pictures and explanations about the birds. The facts about which bird was the fastest, traveled the farthest, or laid the most eggs fascinated me. My parents also subscribed to National Geographic and I read that magazine from cover to cover.
At the end of the summer of 2001, my wife and baby boy and I stopped off at my uncle's home in Cedar City, Utah. We stayed a couple of nights with them as we were on our move back to Provo after my summer internship with Pulte Homes in Las Vegas. My uncle had several bird feeders up with a variety of seed and a really nice bird bath pond. We sat out in that backyard almost all day and he pointed out the variety of species we were seeing. I only remember him talking about the Pine Siskins, but I'll never forget how much I enjoyed the relaxation and the thrill of seeing wildlife so up close and personal.
That all led up to that Sunday afternoon when my bird-brained father-in-law handed me a pair binoculars and said, let's go for a walk....It all went downhill from there!