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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bird Envy

To some, birdwatching is a casual pursuit--an activity to do for relaxation. For others, it can approach something of a blood sport. For the latter crowd, the green-eyed monster of envy can become a serious and constant companion. I see enough rare birds that I'm at least partially immune from this malady. I don't begrudge anyone their rare bird sightings, which I do celebrate. But as a birdchaser, I do face occasional bouts of "wish-I-could-have-been-there" syndrome. So, with only the slightest twinge of envy, I celebrate some amazing bird sightings made by others this past week or so!

A Jabiru in Mississippi.
North America's first record of Brown Hawk Owl in Alaska.
A sighting of a rare Macaronesian (Little) Shearwater off Massachusetts.

If any of these sightings make you want to turn off the computer and go out birding, they've done their job. To that end, they also serve as a self-diagnostic for bird envy. How did you fare? Do you suffer from bird envy?


Nate said...

Yikes, consider me green with it. I mean, Jabiru! That's a really cool bird.

Don't forget the Fan-tailed Warbler they had a Big Bend last week too...

birdchaser said...

Oh yeah, the Fan-tailed Warlber. Didn't want to slight my Austin birding compadre Eric Carpenter for finding that one--another fantastic find. But since I have that on my ABA list from Arizona I guess it temporarily slipped my mind when I put together this post!

Three cheers for mega rarities!

Paul Norwood said...

I failed the bird envy test!

Honestly, crossing the country in an SUV to stand by a sewage treatment plant amidst a bunch of middle-aged guys and their expensive optics, and squint to see a bedraggled vagrant...

I used to be into that as a teenager, but I guess I lost the bug of rarity-chasing. When I clicked on the owl link I didn't think "wow, a rare owl," but "man, I have to go back to the Pribilofs." (I used to fish commercially, so I've been there a few times in winter for work).

But hey. I just recently saw my first citrine wagtail (don't worry, I'm not in the states right now), and I was really happy about it. Also, I'll be in southern MS pretty soon and I'll make sure to keep an eye skywards for any overflying jabirus.


Dave said...

I failed. I have bird envy and only just missed going on the trip out to see the shearwater. AND I know the folks who saw it...Next time right?

birdchaser said...

I hear ya Dave. My most wanted bird when I started the Hornsby Bend Hawkwatch near Austin, Texas a few years back was Swallow-tailed Kite. What did they finally see there last weekend, now that I'm 1800 miles away in Pennsylvania? Of course, Swallow-tailed Kite. While I'm very happy for my friends who are there now, I'm still wishing I could have been there!

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