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Thursday, August 10, 2023

My 42nd Birdiversary!!!

Today marks 42 years as a birder. While I had been watching birds casually for awhile before then, 10 August 1981 is the day it really started for me, on a weeklong middle school field trip from the Portland suburbs out to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. An annual or semi-annual tradition at the time, middle school teachers at my school would take a couple van loads of kids out on what we called Project W--a weeklong camping and natural history adventure to SE Oregon. I was 12 years old and a self-described herper at the time, mostly interested in lizards, but after a week of seeing dozens of cool birds for the first time, I was hooked! The rest is history. 

 Here's an eBird checklist of the birds seen on that first birding trip. 

 Looking at the report, turns out one of my first birds was Clark's Nutcracker--a bird I got to see again last week in Yellowstone, and hadn't seen since before moving to PA almost 20 years ago.
Clark's Nutcracker (photo: Wikipedia)

So that's that! While I have 12 species in eBird checklists from before this date, 10 August 1981 is the day the light turned on. Thanks to my teachers and fellow students on that trip. And to the birds!

Here's my journal from this trip--apparently I was as scared of the dark as I was impressed by the birds!

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