58 birdwatchersdigest.com • January/February ’ 17 • bird Watcher’s digest
People ask me questions. I must look like I know something. Looks can be deceiving. I don’t even sus- pect that much. Typically the questions I get are,
“Could you tell me where the rest-rooms are?” and, “Do you work
here?” But I do get other inquiries.
I answer most questions with,
“That’s a very interesting ques-
That means I have no clue.
Here are some questions for
which I did have answers:
“How do I know if I’m a
birder?” The Good Book says, “As
a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
If you think you are a birder, by
the power vested in me, I now pro-
nounce you a birder. Feel free to
stride the Earth like a Colossus.
“What bird would you be if you
could be any bird for one day?” A
turkey vulture. I’ve wondered what
opossums taste like.
“What is the secret to birding?”
Being uncomfortable. Harvard,
Nobody Expects the
PLAY IT »
Yale, and MIT studies found that
when haggling over the price of
cars, those customers seated on
hard chairs were more successful
at bargaining than those seated on
“How can I hear more birds?”
Take off the headphones. Clean
your ears. Are you growing potatoes in there? Have your hearing
tested. When I ride in a friend’s
car, he refuses to play the radio
or his eight-track (it’s an old car).
He wants to listen to the engine. I
don’t care to hear what that motor
has to say. My point (if I have
one) is that we tend to hear what
we listen for. If you want to hear
birds, you must have birds in your
ears. I’d hoped that would sound as
profound as when John Burroughs
said, “If you want to see birds, you
must have birds in your heart.” The
ear doesn’t get its due. That’s why
Pat Benatar’s “Earbreaker;” “Sgt.
Pepper’s Lonely Ears Club Band,”
by the Beatles; and “Achy Breaky