Review of bird book prompts discussion of "listers"
The review included these graphs:
In "Of a Feather" Weidensaul writes, "I've harbored a growing unease and frustration at the disconnect between the burgeoning enthusiasm for birding and a pervasive apathy about the birds themselves, as organisms in their own right, whose protection and preservation should be among our highest priorities."The topics of the obsessed lister sparked a fair amount of comments (the thread is closed now). How often do you encounter such stereotypical listers? Are they rare or common?
Weidensaul makes a strong case for conservation, flummoxed by the birders who don't see the connection between their avian beloved and the birds' need for a healthy habitat to survive. The ultimate example is the goal-oriented birder with a life list -- a master checklist of every bird he or she has ever seen -- who will spare no expense to see a rare bird, yet hardly take the time to appreciate it once found. The obsession takes over, with its origins in love and wonder lost along the way. They forget to look at the trees, the sky, the mess of shrubbery where they seek out their prey. They ignore the beauty of their specimen, alive and active in its natural environment, once the check mark is made.