Rockjumper Tours

aba events

Open Mic: Another Birding Podcast (or How Birding Can Help the World)

At the Mic: Radd Icenoggle   

Radd Icenoggle is a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. He possesses a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. He has worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a botanist, bird biologist, and hydrology technician. Through his writing at Radley Ice and photography, he endeavors to bring nature to his audience.  His regular podcast, More than Birds, is available at his website and on iTunes.  

Editor’s Note: We mentioned this last week, but as Radd has recently interviewed none other than ABA President Jeff Gordon, I decided it probably deserves just a little extra plug.  

–=====–

 “We just saw 50 Sage Grouse on the lek this morning” I blurted out as the waitress’s eyes rolled with such force that her head jerked backward.  The Bearded Bird Freak Barricade landed at her table, and boy, was she duly impressed. Well, at least, she will have a new story now about the 3 oddballs that told her way too much about sage grouse. Every birder I know suffers from the same glorious condition of over-the-top enthusiasm for birds, birding, and the natural world. We write, take pictures, ear-beat our friends and family, and, some of us, podcast about birding.

DSC_1192

I listen so many podcasts that headphones are my permanent cranial accessory. I subscribe to all the birding podcasts, and most of them are terrific. The hosts share their love of birds with that familiar passion in their voices.  But, I felt something was missing, a certain gap was present. What was missing? That thought stuck with me for months, and then, finally I knew what I could add to the birding discussion.

Birding is more than just birds. Birding is a biological study, natural world immersion program, spiritual practice, conservation effort, economic agent for positive change, and goodwill ambassadorship program all rolled into one incredibly powerful package. The problem is that  most of the public and many of our fellow birders do not see this fact. I started the More Than Birds podcast to start telling these largely unknown stories. I want to touch on spiritual aspects of birding with a Buddhist monk and birding friend. I want to know how a father balances family and his birding passion. I want to talk with a filmmaker whose passion is to share the natural world in order to protect it.

DSC_8354-Edit

You may think that I seem grandiose, but please take a moment to ponder it. How many times have you been silently walking through a still forest, only to notice that you have been become immersed into the world as it is at that moment? No concerns, no desires – just the birds and  the present. This is a moment of mindfulness, the very basis of any meditative practice. Birding is spiritual.

Let’s do another thought experiment by way of the following quote.

 “I’ve been bird-watching in Israel with both Palestinians and Israeli bird-watchers who’ve gone out with me early in the morning, both inside Jerusalem and in other places.”

This statement is from perhaps the greatest agent of peace in our time, former President Jimmy Carter. He has used his birding passion as part of his peace-making toolbox. When people are totally enthralled by the beauty of a displaying Houbara Bustard, it is hard to aim weapons at one another.

I firmly believe that we as birders can help change the world for the better of all living beings. We can help protect wild areas, save endangered species, provide much-needed monies to less than fortunate economies – all by birding. I hope that my little voice via the podcast can help, but I sincerely encourage you to help in your own way, even if that is sharing your passion with a disinterested waitress. I promise you, she will remember.

 

Facebooktwitter
The following two tabs change content below.
ABA

ABA

The ABA Blog's Open Mics offer an opportunity for members of the birding community to share their voice with the ABA audience. We accept all and any submissions. If you have something you'd like to share, please contact blog editor Nate Swick at [email protected]
American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Categories

Authors

Archives

ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Meet Adam Dhalla, 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year March 27, 2018 5:42
    Meet 12-year-old Adam Dhalla from Coquitlam, British Columbia, one of the 2018 Young Birders of the Year! Want to learn more about how you could be the next Young Birder of the Year? Registration is open for the 2019 contest now! ——– Q: Were you a birder before you started the ABA Young […]
  • Open Mic: Birding Mentors Inspiring Young Minds March 6, 2018 6:42
    Texas young birder Sebastian Casarez talks about the importance of mentors to young birders. […]
  • Announcing the 2018 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 16, 2018 3:07
    We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Congratulations to Teodelina Martelli and Adam Dhalla, as well all of this year's participants! […]

Follow ABA on Twitter