About Me

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Sandia Park, New Mexico, United States
I have been birding for 41 years. My favorite clients are those who are interested in birds, watching them and even learning about their behavior, not just checking birds off a life list. I enjoy people and want to have fun while birding. As a bird watcher since 1972, I have acquired a broad knowledge of birds, birdsong, habitat and behavior. One of the things I enjoy most about taking people out birding is teaching my clients how to identify birds and how to recall their song. We were in Asheville, NC for 5 years, and Bisbee, AZ 10 years before that. Currently we are house hunting in New Mexico.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

East vs. West part 1

After two years here in the Appalachians, I'm still perplexed ...............

For example: When my wife and I first arrived in Bisbee, Arizona, a quaint, old, mining, town along the Sonora, Mexico border , we were immediately invited to attend one of the monthly local Audubon Chapter's meetings. It was a full house that evening with lots of hand shaking and sincere warm smiles welcoming us to their gathering.

The people representing that night were professors, professional guides in all aspects of Natural History; Ornithologists, Entomologists, and Biologist alike. They knew of our background via local hear-say before we had ever heard of the local Huachuca Audubon Chapter.

After ten years of making a lot of friends and few enemies we migrated to the mountains of western North Carolina to continue our promotion of conservation through bird guiding and wildlife art through the eyes of my wife, Lisa.

Here, I was, once again invited to attend a gathering of sorts with a medium sized group of members of the Carolina Bird Club. While approaching the people in the parking lot of the National Park Services "Folk Art Center", I observed everyone in their birding clothes, binoculars, hiking boots, etc. a typical birdy bunch until I introduced myself as a new resident and a professional bird guide. A silence came over everyone as though I had spoken an old dialect, long lost for centuries. At that, everyone walked away to their car and loaded up to leave for the Parkway adventure.

At our first stop along the pull off, I realized that I must have come across as some sort of authority by claiming to be someone of importance, which I take no claim.
A woman with a authoritative voice declared out of nowhere that today " she would not be responsible for identifying any species seen or heard". I realized then that she felt somewhat threatened by my presence since at first she came across as the alpha guide for the group.

I was beginning to think I had made the wrong decision to partake in the morning festivities, when one of the participants asked what a particular bird's song was coming up the mountain, fifty yards away. I reluctantly identified the bird as a Hooded Warbler, which the alpha verified for everyone. The "participant" declared that they hadn't ever seen the species since beginning her birding endeavors . I offered to call the bird in with my BIRDJAM IPOD, loaded with over a thousand local bird songs for attracting birds of the same species, and was quickly reminded that " we don't do that here in North Carolina."

I quietly moved toward my car for a silent getaway down the Parkway to my home where I could at least provide my wife with today's misadventure. She agreed that I had ruffled some ones feathers...

...to be continued..




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