SHHH! DON’T TELL ANYBODY!!
by Lynn Barber
Think about the most wonderful bird that you’ve ever seen, or at least your most recent great bird sighting. Did you keep it a secret? If you did, I expect that you are in the minority. We’re all different in our need to tell others about our special birding finds and adventures, but the popularity of Facebook among birders is evidence that a lot of us do have the need to at least tell our friends, if not proclaim it from the rooftops. Most of us can’t wait to tell someone, preferably all our birder friends, and better yet, the whole world of birders, about how delighted we were to see THE BIRD. It’s hard to keep silent when you want to shout for joy! (Just ask me about my sighting, in South Padre Island,Texas (!) of a Snow Bunting during my Texas big year, and you’ll see what I mean.)
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or some other social media? Do you have a web site or a blog that tells others about birds that you have seen? Do you post your sightings on a state or local bird listserv or on Birdchat? You are definitely not alone if you answered “yes” to any of these questions.
I think it’s a good thing for us to love birding so much that we want to share it with others. At least that’s the reason that I wanted to write my book on my ABA big year, and why I love to give talks about it. Part of it is to get others enthusiastic about birding and part of it is to relive the fun of birding by telling others about it.
I really hope that other people who have done big years are also people who can’t keep silent about their adventures. I want to know, and I expect you do too, who out there has attempted a big year, and who has actually completed one! Remember from my post last time, I’m including people whose big year was a big year for them, not just those who broke records.
I know that my blog posts sound like a broken record (remember records?), but I am very serious in wanting to have others post about their birding adventures, and so I again ask to hear from you. Don’t you want to be heard too?
Or maybe I am going about this wrong – maybe many of you prefer not to give in to the wishes of others. Maybe in order to get you to post here I need to be exhorting you to keep your great bird sightings and your big year(s) a BIG SECRET. Don’t let anyone know that you’ve attempted or even finished a big year – I want to remain one of the few who will admit to such folly – it makes me feel special. Remember, don’t tell a soul!