7 question meme
1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?
My suburban neighborhood doesn't pull a huge variety of species. The regulars seen and heard from the apartment's back yard include Black Phoebes, hummingbirds (Rufous? Allen?), Mourning Doves, Bushtits, House Sparrows, Northern Mockingbirds and House Finches. Of those, I really enjoy Black Phoebes, particularly their flycatching behavior and that decisive snap when they catch a bug.
2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favorite list and why?
I don't compose lists for personal use, just for reports on this blog during festivals and other birding occasions. There's nothing wrong with listing or listers; some of my favorite birders are avid listers and have tried to convert me. It's just not how I want to spend limited time.
3. What sparked your interest in birds?
Succinctly: my job. I've worked as a magazine editor since 1995 and joined the WildBird staff in 1998. Although aware of birds before that year, the job naturally increased my appreciation of and curiosity for the creatures.
Birds have been woven into my life since then. Just this morning, I heard a hummer raising a veritable ruckus in the back yard, and I had to stop getting ready for work to peer out the screen door and find the noisy bugger. Birds are too high on my sensory radar now to ignore.
4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?
I'd be content to bird only in California. The state contains so many different habitats that I can't imagine tiring of the scenery or the species that visit and live in and on the land and sea.
5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it, and why is it jinxed?
No, I don't. Perhaps that could be construed as a benefit of not listing (c:
6. Who is your favorite birder and why?
Hmmm... I don't like to play favorites. I'd rather tip my hat to four colleagues whose knowledge, enthusiasm, warmth and wit continually renew my energy: Peter Stangel, Sharon Stiteler, Jeff Bouton and June Osborne. They've deigned to coach, hobnob and tease me for years, and even though their birding knowledge outweighs mine by tons, they've never condescended to me. Thank you all. (I hope you knew that, June, before you left us.)
7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder?
Yep. If I can break a few stereotypes of birders as only gray-haired folks -- great. I'm not evangelical about the topic, but if it comes up in conversation, I'll claim my status as a birder.