Saturday, 13 June 2020

Bring on Birding - Additional joys!

Bar bellied Pitta - one of the great birds seen in Cambodia

There are more reasons for birding than were previously mentioned [and I am sure every time my brain drifts in this direction there will be other reasons].

Another is the fact that mastery is never, ever, achieved. The study of birds, therefore, is practically infinite.

No-one will ever see all of the birds.

Cactus Wren - one of the great birds seen in the USA!
No-one will ever witness all of their behaviours.

Red legged Honeycreeper - one of the great birds seen in Costa Rica!

No-one will ever hear, let alone learn, every call or song.

Cape Longclaw - a great bird from South Africa

To go birding is to learn something new - no matter how many times you have gone before.

Speaking of learning, which as a secondary school teacher I do often, birding is a great bridge to learning, not only about birds, but every other aspect of natural history. Birding shoves the door open to learning about ethology, ecology, taxonomy, evolution, botany. It encourages examination of other fascinating life forms; mammals, reptiles and our fantastic frogs. It invites reflection about vegetation patterns. It demands that you concern yourself with the need for conservation.

Bighorn Sheep - a great mammal from a birding trip to British Columbia, Canada 
a lazy Leopard - a great mammal from a birding trip to Kenya
Silverback! Mountain Gorilla - a great mammal from a birding trip to Uganda
Hippos - also from Kenya!
Assa darlingtoni - Pouched Frog seen on a Frogging trip here on the Blackall Range Queensland. A truly fantastic frog with a wonderful natural history. Please look it up.

When birding slows butterflies demand to be noticed and identified. And even, for some, dragonflies, and then down into the quicksand that is entomology...

Birding generally smiles kindly at the sedentary but warmly pats the back of the nomad before totally embracing the migrant.

A badly forced metaphor perhaps but travelling does reward the birder with more birds.

And more of ....everything.

To see the birds in Australia a birder must see Australia. All of it. Coastlines and deserts. Rainforests and swamps. Mangroves and grasslands. Mountains - well...hills. All of these different habitats house different species.

The Australian birder ends up seeing more of Australia and her beauty because of his or her passion.

And with this travel comes the other rewards of travel.

a worthy reward for birding travel: Hummingbirds up close in Costa Rica!

More culture. More history. More socialisation with a greater variety of people [at least pre-Covid...]. More, and varied, food and drink! Indeed in this writer's humble opinion birding has added much to the joys of life!

So try birding for the greater glory of life.

Many of you will be glad that you did.


All pictures [save the last] by Ken Cross

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