You travel hundreds–or even thousands–of miles, and no matter how long you wait for them, they turn their backs on you. They’ll sit there, looking the wrong direction, wondering when you’re going to leave. And you don’t because for Pete’s sake that’s why you’re there–to get a good look at them.

This American Kestrel totally snubbing me

This American Kestrel totally snubbing me

Some birds are just jerks because I know that they know I’m standing there waiting for them to turn.  I’m convinced they do it on purpose. They’re probably keenly aware that I kinda really suck at photography so they know I have no chance of making their snubbing look all fancy and artsy. They know precisely what they’re doing–making birding long and tedious.

Collared Trogon thinks I'm going away. Not.

Collared Trogon thinks I’m going away. Not.

Sure, they could do some turns for me and let me get a good look. They could do this so I could get better at ID-ing them. Nope. Not gonna happen. They’re not interested at all in helping me get better at birding. They’re just fine making sure I remain only an accidental birder. It’s just like the warbler conspiracy against me.

These Green-winged Teals think they're hiding. Heh. I know better.

Green-winged Teals trying to hide. Heh. I know better.

Some might even try to escape before I have a chance of taking photos of them. They know that I can’t shoot fast enough with my camera in manual.

People: This. Is. Why. I. Shoot. In. Auto.

#$%&! Curved-bill Thrasher thinks he's getting away, does he?

#$%&! Curved-bill Thrasher thinks he’s getting away, does he?

Oh, and never mind that I flew all the way to Ecuador only to see some bird’s butt. Yeah, that’s gonna look great when I show all my coworkers. It’s already a challenge explaining birding to the folks at work. No one understands. Especially when all I have to show is a bird’s butt lost in the tangle of branches and leaves.

This is the Many-banded Aracari at Sacha Lodge. Well, his butt, at least.

This is the Many-banded Aracari at Sacha Lodge. Well, his butt, at least.

So, be all the jerk you want to be, all you birds out there. I’m still going to travel the world to find you because it really doesn’t matter if I see your butt, or your back or even if I’m lucky enough to see your front and sides.  You still take my breath away.

The very rare Ochraceous Pewee was kind enough to give a fantastic view of him in Panama.

The very rare Ochraceous Pewee was kind enough to give a fantastic view of him in Panama.