Be Your Own Birder

Where Have the Birds Gone?

Be Your Own Birder is always changing, as different bits of life come and go. For some time, there was a weekly featured bird, then because of other writing commitments and general life craziness, it became a monthly featured bird, with the occasional missed bird. That bird, however, has flown the figurative coop, and there will be no more “discover the” bird species features.

Sunny Cloud Sky - Photo by J E Theriot
Sunny Cloud Sky – Photo by J E Theriot

Why the Change?

First and foremost, birding should be about enjoyment, and not only do I enjoy birding, but I enjoy writing about birds. As a freelance writer, however, I have a number of different clients, and I write on a number of different topics. Depending on the client, I may work on brainstorming topics to meet their needs, then I research the piece, write and edit it, and may further edit or adjust it depending on the client’s wishes after they read the completed piece. One piece may take anywhere from an hour to several weeks to complete, depending on its length, complexity, and topic, as well as the deadline set by the client.

Day by day, time grows shorter, and not just because autumn is advancing and the sun is setting earlier. As my work days grow more full, there is less time available for writing about birds in my own creative way, as this blog is – no writing here is commissioned by any client, nor is any of it paid as wages. Instead, this writing is my own enjoyment, and I share what I know about birds because it interests me. Still, I research, write, and edit each piece here on Be Your Own Birder with just as much attention to detail and care that I do for every client I work with, no matter what the pay rate or lack thereof.

Young Killdeer - Photo by Grayson Smith/USFWS
Young Killdeer – Photo by Grayson Smith/USFWS

But, in analyzing the trends and statistics of which articles my own readers view most on Be Your Own Birder, I’ve discovered that the species profiles aren’t particularly popular and don’t get much attention. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact there are many other websites that provide thorough, insightful overviews of different bird species. That readers may be choosing other websites for that type of information isn’t a surprise, nor is it upsetting or distressing. There are always many wonderful ways to learn about birds, from reading books about birds to studying favorite field guides to just getting out and observing birds in the yard, a nearby park, a local preserve, or any birding hotspot. Websites are just one of many resources available to discover individual bird species.

What to Expect

Be Your Own Birder isn’t going away – there are too many amazing things to share about birds. There will still be informative articles, curious trivia, beautiful galleries, and silly jokes to share. There will still be book and feeder reviews, tips for attracting birds, discussions on bird name pronunciations, and eye-rolling at photoshopped birds. And there may still be an occasional species profile, when the occasion presents itself. The site’s social media – on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – will continue to be active, bringing beautiful birds to everyone who may be interested or curious. And of course I’m always open to ideas, suggestions, and requests!

Happy birding – let’s fly!

Wood Duck in the Reeds - Photo by Mike Budd/USFWS
Wood Duck in the Reeds – Photo by Mike Budd/USFWS

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