If you follow any of my accounts on social media (author, travel, birder), you know that I'd gnaw off my own arm before posting something negative. Goodness knows there's already plenty of negativity out there and I only want to put positive things out into the universe for people to enjoy. Good thing this list isn't meant to be negative at all! If anything, the title is just click-bait, but sometimes you have to be a little sneaky to get your message out, am I right?
Let's see if you agree with these observations about the downsides of birding...
1. Not everyone gets it. The things I'm fascinated with may seem as dull as dirt to others, but to me, birds are extraordinary and worth talking about and photographing and obsessing over. Own it. It's your hobby and you don't have to explain your love of birds to anyone. Especially me. They're birds. They can fly. That alone makes them the most interesting creature on the planet, in my opinion.
2. Birds are naturally flighty and wary of humans--no matter how pure your intentions are. It can be frustrating when all you want is to take their picture, but then again, maybe that's what makes each bird sighting so unique. You never know how long its going to last, so you are forced to cherish every single second of it.
3. It's addicting. It's all I want to do. I want to travel across the country and get my National Wildlife Refuge Blue Goose Passport stamped at every refuge, but unfortunately, I haven't found a way to get paid to do it. After all, I do need money for gas, food, etc. Let me know if you're a willing sponsor with deep pockets!
4. Birding sometimes exposes you to the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy side of nature. Not that that's a bad thing. It just takes some getting used to. Some birds kill other birds in order to survive and put food in their bellies. It's simply a fact of life, but it can be a little strange to witness the first time you see it happen with your own two eyes. Especially if you're squeamish and don't want a glimpse behind that particular curtain. I'm sure no one is clamoring to watch me scarf down a Quarter Pounder with Cheese after a long day of birding, but it's a natural part of life.
5. Insane jealousy of other people's sightings. I don't know about you, but I usually find myself gravitating toward wanting what I don't have. Therefore, I get a little jealous of other people's White-tailed Kite sightings, for example. I want so very badly to see a Kite and don't care to be left in the dust by other birders. Maybe it's time I take my own advice from my 5 Birding Tips for Beginners list and be patient. I'll get one someday. The anticipation of that magnificent sighting is what fuels me.
After all, after years of waiting, we finally spotted a Western Tanager and it was truly spectacular. Be patient, grasshopper! You'll get that bird that's been eluding you for what seems like forever. You'll have an awesome, unexpected sighting of a rare bird that makes everyone else green with envy. Mwa-hah-ha!
Well, there it is! See, I told you the negative things about birding weren't that bad. If everything was perfect and hunky-dory all the time, you'd never appreciate the good times and be grateful for them, right? That's what I tell myself anyway.
What are your least favorite things about birding? I know, I know, I'm a firm believer in taking the negative and turning it into a positive. Now, where's that handy-dandy magic wand of mine? I know I left it around here somewhere...
Let's go birding!