You say “bird watching” and I say “birding.” (Well, now I do.)

Steve birding at Antelope Island in Utah

So I find the love of my life who ends up being a birder and I become one too. Sorta.  And then I find out there are all sorts of birders around me.  This planet is crawling with them.

One of the biggest surprises is finding out people you knew in high school–or even as far back as grade school–are avid birders.  I remember finding out that one of my BFFs, Joyce, from grade school (more accurately, a BF, since we haven’t been in touch since high school) reported in the booklet of bios they handed out at our 10-year reunion (which she didn’t attend) that she and her husband love to spend their time “bird watching.”  At the time I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me?  She admits to that?”

Now 17 years later I think,”Why did she call it bird watching? She probably dumbed it down for the rest of us, since any true birder knows it’s called, “birding.”

When I was dating my husband, my next door neighbor found me using the expressions “birding” and “birder.”

“You said ‘birder!’ ” the neighbor exclaimed. (You would have thought she found her long lost relative.) And then next day when Steve arrived, she popped over and had a list all typed up for Steve.  They had never met before, but she had prepared for him a list of all the places in town to go birding.

That was Pomera.  At the time she was on the Utah Ornithological Board.  Crazy coincidence. We’ve gotten to be great friends with Pomera and her partner, Ann.  We share our birding stories, like when she volunteered to help the fledging Peregrine Falcons in downtown Salt Lake City, or when Steve and I went to Costa Rica and to Belize, or about their trip to Trinidad. And whenever there’s a bird “incident” in our back yards (for instance the Cooper’s Hawk ambushing the mourning doves) we share the news with each other as though we witnessed a big crime right in our back yards and we’re ready to untangle it all for the next episode of Law and Order.

And then one day my brother sent me a note on Facebook and told me to look up Rob Fergus who I sorta grew up with.  His mom and my mom were great friends.  We are around the same age and went to the same church.  Come to find out he’s what I call a Super Birder. (See “Twenty Bird Minimum Daily Requirement” and “The Birdchaser.”

Go figure.  Like I said, the planet is just crawling with birders.