Utah County Birders Newsletter
January 2003

 January Meeting:

Wednesday, January 22nd.
6:00 pm at the Pizza Factory
2230 N University Parkway, Provo.

Dr. Hal Black, BYU Professor of Zoology, will be our speaker.
He will entertain us with his anecdotes and tidbits.
We will then be introduced to our new Executive Committee and
recognize those who participated in the Year 2002 Birding Challenge.
Come in, eat from the pasta buffet, and chat with friends.
It’s going to be fun! Don’t miss out!

The meal will cost $10 per person (includes tax and gratuity).
Pasta Buffet- All you can eat Linguini, Alfredo, Marinara, Grilled
Chicken, Italian Meatballs, Italian Vegetables, Caesar Salad, Garden Salad,
Breadtwists, and Drinks are included.


Dennis' Droppings
by Dennis Shirley

We've all heard the adage that we never want to be somewhere we shouldn't be or be with someone we shouldn't be with, because for sure that will be the time we'll run into someone we know. The world isn't as big as it used to be, for sure...and it's certainly getting smaller with faster travel. But, on the contrary, and along this same line of thought, the world of birders is ever expanding.
     The year 2002 was an amazing year for running into people in the most far-flung and surprising spots. Close to home, it didn't matter what day of the week or what time of the day, or where it was, I think I ran into Bob Huntington no less than five straight times in October in various Utah counties. I'm sure he thought I was following him around, but we did see some great birds each time.
     In Alaska, in July, it was while waiting for a shuttle bus at Denali National Park Headquarters when I literally bumped into someone, said "excuse me," and Carol Gwynn turned around. We were both there to bird our way through the park. Luckily, Carolyn (my wife) was my companion that day.
     In December, it was in a backyard in McAllen, Texas. A high ABA code Mexican stray--a blue mockingbird--had been reported coming to a feeder.
     This time my son, Darren, and I had driven down from his home in San Antonio to see this bird and a golden-crowned warbler. We had seen the warbler the evening before and arrived early the next morning to find the mockingbird at
the feeder. We got all the good looks we needed and were about to leave when a car drove up and out stepped Dana Green. Again, luckily, we were both with people we should have been with. She was with her husband.
     In each of these situations, after the initial shock, it just always seemed normal and right and just another day in the lives of active birders doing their thing. But be careful!

by Tuula Rose

If you are a new birder or thinking of becoming one, a fair warning might be in order. This hobby has a tendency of becoming a passion bordering on addiction. There is no known cure. Attempts to abort birding frenzy will produce varied withdrawal symptoms including “twitching”. To successfully take on the fastest growing hobby in the world you have to:

1. Find a bumper sticker that warns motorists behind you of erratic driving and frequent sudden stops.
2. Be able to drive your car without ever looking at the road. (Alternative: You can train your car to stay on the road no matter
what. I’m working on this. Doesn’t look promising.)
3. Have enough shelf space for all the old editions of the National Geographic Field Guide.
4. Be able to develop a tolerance for upper canopy neck pain.
5. Be able to tolerate sanitary conditions in the many convenience store restrooms in the small towns of Utah.
6. Be able to discuss one American and several European cousins of chickadees without blushing.
7. Appreciate volunteer sunflowers and millet growing wild in your yard.
8. Be able to update your computer capacity for all the myriads of life lists and listing programs.
9. Be able to deal with a mental disorder called Scope Envy.

If you are still thinking about becoming a birder, congratulations, and welcome to the bunch. Besides the many hours of exciting outdoor birding activities there is one added benefit. If you ever get lonely for company at home, just report a transient rare bird at your feeder and you will have many visitors, most arriving within ten minutes. Guaranteed.