Bird Observer: The Birding Journal for New England

Bird Observer

The Birding Journal for New England

April 2017

Vol. 45, No. 2

Musings: The Far Side of Birding

Martha Steele

One of my favorite cartoons in the daily newspaper from years ago was Gary Larson’s The Far Side, in which Larson humorously depicted humans from the animal’s point of view. Would we dare take a stab at what birds might think of us birders?

You might put yourself in the feet of a spring migrant arriving at Mount Auburn Cemetery after a long overnight journey, headed to its favorite spot a little farther to the north to await its mate. Perhaps this individual could hear the chirps, calls, and songs of all its cousins with whom he traveled, though he heard only a few of his fellow Cape May Warblers during the flight and, right at that moment, none around him. We also could imagine the bird eagerly dropping into this oasis of greenery, flowers, ponds, and, most importantly, food, in the middle of so many buildings and hard surfaces devoid of anything to nourish it.

It is early May, and we birders know what happens to Mount Auburn Cemetery at that time of year. So let us switch this view from us birders to the one we might imagine from the bird’s point of view.

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