Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bostick Syndrome

Posted by Rob Fergus

The Big Year screenplay writer Howard Franklin and director David Frankel have done the sport and pastime of birding a huge favor by providing us with the character of Kenny Bostick, perhaps the best example yet of someone suffering from an obsessive compulsive birding disorder.  In fact, so that we don't have to point to real living people as examples of this disorder, I think it is fitting to now call that disorder Bostick Syndrome.

Bostick Syndrome (formerly obsessive compulsive birding disorder) may be characterized by a compulsion to bird despite the harmful consequences to their individual health, mental state, or social life.

The causes of this syndrome remain to be determined.  Contributing genetic or life history factors are currently unknown.  There is also currently no known treatment for this syndrome, and the current prognosis for anyone diagnosed with Bostick Syndrome is not good--as it is frequently fatal to marriages, careers, and other respectable middle-class American lifestyle expectations.


  1. This may be why I am a single 50 something birder.
    BTW...I loved this movie.

  2. We all have some kind of syndrome, IMO. Bostick as a name would be just fine!

  3. I just read a really good book about this very subject called, "To See Every Bird on Earth." It is the true story of Richard Koepell, an obsessive lister and written by his son, Dan Koppel as he tries to understanding his father's obsession. He, too, lost his family to his obsession. Great book! Lot's of insight and a great father-son story.

  4. Another good book is "Life List," the biography of Phoebe Snetsinger. Her obsession took her away from her family nine months out of the year, she missed two of her children's weddings and her mother's funeral. But her obsession was driven by the fact that she was diagnosed with cancer and she thought she had a short time to live.

  5. Great post. I think the best treatment is to see more birds.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hey you birders, you should visit Venezuela (my country) there are so many species here..
      There is a book called "Una Guía de las Aves de Venezuela" (something like "A Venezuelan birds guide") written by William Phelps, it describes about 1000 different species. You should put your hands on it, Im sure you will enjoy it.
      PS. Edited by orthographic fail

  7. Well, searching the web i found this, theres an english version of the book and its called a bit different jeje, my english is not all that good i guess.