Perpetual Beginners

“Birdwatchers are a fussy, eccentric lot, especially perpetual beginners like myself, who seem condemned never to find a bird, anywhere, that corresponds precisely to its description and illustration in the bird books. A failing, on the part of the bird, difficult to forgive.”  ~Edward Abbey, excerpted from Abbey’s Road, ©1979

I have the same problem, and it makes me feel a little better to know I’m not the only one.

If I saw a toucan, I would have no problem at all.  “That’s a toucan!” I would say.  “I recognize you from my cereal box!”

But so many birds I see are sort of brownish, kind of medium sized, perhaps a few speckles.  Those are really hard.



  1. markonit

    …I had no idea that you watched birds… I never get into the details of nature… which means I will not survive the Corona-pocalypse should that comes next..!


  2. Those are called LBJ’s, “Little Brown Jobs” by some of the best birders I know.


  3. WHAT??? You don’t recognize it’s the very rare brown-pileated-upside-down-eating-stinky-warbler?… 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • The worst are the freakin’ warblers: the young look different than the old, the girls look different than the boys, and they all change colors with the season. That’s just mean.


      • Somebody told them you were coming, brother — that’s GOT to be a setup 🤣


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