Monday, July 7, 2008

To List Or Not To List---

That is the question. Should I finally begin my own life list? This debate surfaced while researching the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival for this week's Eagle Optics email. Eagle Optics has been a longtime sponsor of the RGVBF, and my coworkers sing the praises of the remarkable birding opportunities provided by this terrific event. I have the good fortune of traveling to Harligen, Texas in November, but have yet to start a bird list. The American Birding Association's checklist is 11 pages long, with 947 species. As I am never one to be overly organized, this seems a daunting undertaking.

The long holiday weekend provided time to routinely use my binoculars for extended looks at all the baby birds coming to the backyard.gfronted.jpg But thoughts of the upcoming trip created more questions in my mind. After spending several days watching the glitzy Green Jays common in the Rio Grande Valley, will my delight in backyard regulars remain? Will I still chuckle as Eastern Bluebirds cram mealworms into their squawking baby's gaping beak? Will I continue to marvel at an American Robin in the birdbath---showering itself in a spray that modern plumbing designs will never replicate? My bird-savvy coworkers assure me I will still find enchantment in the antics of these customary birds.

Before I could finish writing this blog, EO staffer and computer wiz Tom sent me a computerized birding list. It automatically tallies the total as birds are recorded. This simple, paperless method leaves me no choice but to let the listing begin.

(Golden-fronted Woodpecker photo courtesy of Mike McDowell).


Eagle Optics Staff

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