Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Types of Birding Are There?

There are many different kinds of birding, each one special in its own way. There is shore birding which for me is one of the most challenging. This requires spending endless hours with wind-dried eyes staring into the sun glare and shimmer or through the fog to try to focus on each of the many scurrying little birds gliding across the beached kelp. It is dizzying!
 There is incidental birding which just occurs when one is really not birding, but on the way somewhere when a bird just appears in the sky. I guess this goes to show: A birder is always birding.
 There is sea birding or conducting a sea watch. Big winds at the right time of year can yield some really good birds. This is best done with a scope. Staring out to sea can also be dizzying and even generate a little sea sickness, especially when the person next to you sees a really good bird and you don't.
There is confused birding when a familiar bird presents with a variation from the typical species.
 There is fantasy birding when a common bird takes on the appearance of an "another world" bird.
 There is seasonal birding when common birds drop in at a particular time of the year.
There is therapeutic birding where a birder goes out to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sights of birds just going about their business. 
There is vagrant birding when the sole purpose is to find the rare birds that just drop in briefly during migration.

There is speed birding when there is only a little time before having to be at an appointed place at an appointed time. It is a rush to a favorite location in the hopes of seeing something special. Sometimes, this is the best birding.

 There is deep birding when it is necessary to work hard to see a bird well enough to identify it or when it is necessary to go deep into the woods to manage to see any bird.

There is birding-to-list where "ticking" becomes very important.  This type of birding often requires a lot of travelling and patience.

I guess I should also mention obsessive birding when a birder spends every waking hour either birding or studying birds.
Whatever the type of birding, the birding experience seems to be the driving force and is so rewarding in so many ways.

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