What is a BIRDER?

February 6, 2013

My friend, Dr. Bob Birding, just wrote another one of his Birding Blog posts, and I read something in it that made me think again. He mention my name and said that I was not even a Birder. Now he said this in a way that meant that I was promoting Birds fulltime and that yet I was not an official Birder.

Well he is right. I do not belong to any of the Audubon Society groups or extensions, but Volunteer my time with them to help out. I promote Dr. Bob’s Blog as well as my friend Janet Hug’s Blog too. Both of these two Birders have taught me alot an bout Birding. So where is that line?

I have always enjoyed Birds. My whole life, I have admired the Raptors, the many springtime songs of the mating birds and the many specific habits of all the different species out there. Not to mention some of the most beautiful colored plumage. I have collected Feathers since I was a Scout, and still do. I am enthralled by the Bird Feather.

Over the last year especially, I have had even more contact with true Birders then ever before. Attending meetings, working with Birders on ID sheets and articles to promote. I have also seen a HUGE increase in interest from the majority of the Hikers, on Birds and their activities. Birding certainly has captured the interest of many, many people in Michigan.

Here are Links to Dr. Bob’s Blog and Janet Hug’s Blog. Both are very useful in their Bird knowledge and the outstanding pictures of our Bird friends in action. JANET HUG BLOG              Dr.BOB BLOG

Check out the HIKING MICHIGAN NewsLetter latest issue. See just how many informative Birding articles we had presented to us for that issue alone. Now that is a huge increase in Birding interest through out the entire state.  HM NEWSLETTER

So I guess I am still wondering what makes an official Birder? I have collected all the various DROID APPS for my TABLET on Bird ID and Birding. This has  been a great addition to my personal Birding. Not only has it been easier to ID Birds in the field, but even to the point of attracting Birds, like the Owl we attracted one evening, by using one of the DROID APPS on someone’s cell phone, and getting the Owl to come in to see who was invading his territory. 🙂 Here are some Links to online Bird ID programs and APPS for our TABLETS and Cell phones.

The CORNELL EBIRD SITE             The online companion for the IBIRD APP

And there are the dedicated Organizations that so many of the official Birders belong too. The AUDUBON SOCIETY being the largest National Birding Organization. Their local Group is the OAKLAND COUNTY AUDUBON SOCIETY.

For those of you who did not see our latest BIRD ID sheets, I post them again here. We worked with a number of local Birders in determining what was the best things for the beginner Birder to concentrate on, to ID a Bird out in the field. So with some research and talking with many people, we put together these two sheets that hopefully are helpful to every Birder out there, but especially to the beginners, in IDing their first Birds our on the Trails. You can download a copy of the BIRD BODY ID SHEETS here:







  1. Rob, in my book you’re a “birder”. It’s not like you need a PHD in ornithology or anything like that. You look up in the sky , maybe over to the feeder, or on a branch and you see a bird you don’t know the name of so you look it up in a Peterson’s guide. Now you’re officially a ” birder.” The Wizard of Oz can even pin an “Official Birder” badge on your chest. Maybe they should come out with a comedy skit: You Know You’re A Birder If….

    • Ordering some new PINS for the completely redone web site HIKING STORE. I think I may just create a PIN that says….”I AM A BIRDER TOO”. 🙂 Great idea Pat. 🙂

      • It’s all good. Yes, let’s all maintain a sense of humor. We all love nature, that’s what counts. Labels and awards don’t mean much to me , really. It’s how you feel about something, your passion, your appreciation and respect- that’s what matters most. Remember, in the Wizard of Oz , our heroes really didn’t need a badge or proclamation or certificate, they alredy possessed what they were looking for inside themselves. You are a great promoter for Mother Nature Rob. Her right hand man! That’s what really counts.

  2. You are always kind and wise Pat. I do not say that because you compliment the article, but because you have put a slant on your observation, that even Dr. Bob, who inspired the Posting observed. He wrote me privately and said he thought that he himself was not a true Birder, but after reading the Posting and Comments, thought that a PIN would be a great way to proclaim one’s interest and love for Birds. So……I have been designing a PIN that says….. I am a BIRDER Too. Dr. Bob thought it would be a great way to entice others and have something even he thought he could wear proudly in Respect of his Interest. Soon…..a new PIN. 🙂 Thanks Pat.

    • Allrighty then. Thanks. So make me a pin : I am a nature nut!

      • Rob – my quick off-the-hand comment and your response have caused me to seriously ponder the question. I am working on a blog that will touch upon some points, but really it is a huge question! Basically, however, it comes down to one who watches birds! No special credentials, affiliations, or even experience required! If you say you are a birder – and wearing your pin will declare this to the world – you are one! I hope lots of folks “come out” and declare themselves!!! And BTW, you are a great birder! – “Dr. Bob”

      • 8 different PINS have been designed and will go into production starting next week. A few Patches will also be done too. I will be asking the group how they feel about who should get Patches and PINS, and how and for what?

  3. It is very interesting Dr. Bob, just what you hit on and how it has snowballed into so many things. The “I AM A BIRDER TOO” pins will be in production shortly, and I am very anxious on just how they will be reacted too. I am thinking that we have something special here. I love a Team effort, and the combinations of thoughts and more thoughts flowing from those, to get here, has been very Cool. I think it will show some very interesting results. I think something very powerful has been started right here and now. 🙂

    • My blog will go much farther, but one point I will make is that no one other than ourselves should choose to label us as an “anything”! Yes, I realize credentials are very important – and critically important (!!!) in areas of our professional activities!!! But in our passtime activitives and our passions, let no one – other than myself – label me! I want a birder pin! I also want pins for being a fisherman, a nature lover, (maybe a blogger?), a friend to others, a spouse, a friend, and … so on … Geez!!! I am thinking self-selected “badges” – like in the scouts – here!!! I could “come out” as any/all of my personas!!! I can have a hat full of buttons for just being ME!!! (Quick – market it before anyone else!)

  4. Great minds think alike. 🙂 🙂 Right before I got so ill, the Plan for HM in 2013, was to do exactly what the Scouts do, but more focused on adults. Pins and Patches for accomplishments. Do so many Invasive Species work and recieve your Patch. Go on so many organized Bird Hikes and get your Birder PIN. This is a TREMENDOUS IDEA Bob! These days, even the adults need those little nudges and couching to move forward in their endeavors and deeds. Some one suggested a NUT with the words….I AM A NATURE NUT. as a PIN earned for so many Hikes attended. I am going to head in this direction now. I have 6 different Pins already kinda designed. I also have 3 Patches all set too. I will be starting to order limited supplies of these next week and then get some feed back on how to award them to people. Look for some of the designs being posted on Facebook and Blog, so that the people can have an input on what would be appropriate for a PIN or Patch. I even Love the Friend and Spouse Pins. Just do not know how we would award them. 🙂 Please keep the ideas flowing here. It is a GREAT direction for all who love so many different aspects of the outdoors, and I think it will give a high level of enthusiasm to many who dance the line or are not sure if they TOO ARE BIRDERS. or THE TOO ARE NATURE NUTS. or THEY TOO ARE A GOOD FRIEND.

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