June 2022

Vol. 50, No. 3

Musings from the Blind Birder: Getting Hooked on Birds

Martha Steele

Blackburnian Warbler by Sandy Selesky
Blackburnian Warbler. Photograph by Sandy Selesky.

I often wonder why one person introduced to birding gets hooked while a second person, introduced at the same time by the same person, finds little to enjoy or learn about birds. Why did I, on a beautiful weekday morning in May 1989 in Mount Auburn Cemetery, get hooked immediately by the spectacle of breeding-plumage birds, while others in my group of work colleagues seemed more interested in blooming flowers or feeling the warm sun on their faces? What was it about the birds or birding that led me straight to F.C. Meichsner’s in downtown Boston to buy a $1,000 pair of 10x40 Zeiss binoculars barely days into my birding avocation?

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