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Monday, May 15, 2006

Birding with Bob Ridgely

On Saturday, legendary ornithologist and birding superstar Bob Ridgely joined our birdathon team for the morning. It was great fun to bird with Bob and hear the latest on his work to save several critically endangered species in Ecuador, including the Pale-headed Brush Finch and the Jocotoco Antpitta that he discovered. But since Bob worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for over 20 years and conducted bird surveys in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, this is his old stomping grounds. Birders hate to make a bad call and to look stupid in front of their peers, or in this case, their superiors...but I'll offer up my most unfortunate moment of the morning here:

Bob (hearing a bird call): Acadian Flycatcher
Birdchaser (seeing a bird quickly fly from where the call came from): There it is!
Bob (seeing the bird I pointed out): Uh...that's a House Sparrow.
Birdchaser (very red-faced, and not from the sunburn): Ouch!

So, it happens to all of us. Fortunately, I was able to help find some good birds a few moments later to help redeem myself. But it was a bad bird call to remember, for sure!

1 comment:

David Bailey said...

Ouch is right! I've been there and done that too. I usually just hold the binocular to the side of my face and say something like, "well, I just started birding." with a querky smile on my face.

It is amazing what the mind can "see" with suggestion.

Good to hear from you Rob.

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