Monday, March 8, 2010

Begin to Bird

By Susan Knowles

The reasons for beginning to bird may be different but the outcome is the same - a love and appreciation for birds.

We moved to the Denison area from Dallas and bought a place outside the city limits. After we settled, I noticed the quiet. No traffic sounds. Not even birds singing or talking to one another. So we put up a couple of bird feeders, and they came. But who were we looking at? We knew the basic backyard birds like Cardinals, Mockingbirds and Blue Jays. But who were the rest of these guys?

The first thing to do was to buy a "Beginners Guide to Birds". It gave beautiful pictures for the males and females of the common backyard birds. The book was arranged according to colors, so even we could identify species easily. I started keeping a list of all the different ones that came. Binoculars were essential, so we bought inexpensive pairs at Walmart.

We wanted to know more. Grayson County College advertised an adult education class on birding, and we signed up. The class was being taught by Deloris Hall. We were her only students and found out later that she did not get paid for teaching the class because the class quota was not met. However, she knew we wanted to learn, and she wanted to teach us. In the next couple of years we took trips with Del and her husband to Port Aransas and High Island at peak migration times. We even caught up with Del and her husband, Claud, in Arizona for the hummingbird migration. We were hooked on birds.

The binoculars are now better in quality and the field guides are more numerous. But the reason is still the same - we love to bird!

Ed. Note: Susan will teach "Fledgling Birders" for youngsters (parents may attend also!) at Super Saturday III, at Hagerman NWR on May 29. Watch for information on birding at Hagerman NWR.
Photo by Susan Dilmore, taken at Super Saturday II, May, 2009.

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