I’m the type of birder you’ve probably never met before. I certainly never have.
For the longest time, I’d have said that was bad – I wasn’t identifying birds correctly, I wasn’t making the most of every birding trip, I wasn’t contributing enough to bird conservation, I wasn’t even taking the proper steps to nurture birds in my own backyard. I’ve been criticized for my enjoyment of invasive birds, questioned on my lack of organizational memberships and even had hired guides ask that I not use their names when commenting on trip lists because the way I count species might make them look bad.
Birding, however, should never be something to feel bad about, no matter how you choose to do it, and I got tired of being told I wasn’t the “right” kind of birder. Hence, Be Your Own Birder was hatched, and it is my goal to nurture it – and you, its readers – to be the type of birder you want to be, however you may define being a birder and enjoying birds.