Utah County Birders Newsletter
August 2000


Utah County Birders Annual Pot-luck Supper
Friday, August 18th, 7:00 PM 
Bring your favorite dish -entree, salad, dessert , whatever. 
Partners are invited Bring your own dishes. 
The dinner will be held at the home of Darlene Amott, 
635 N. 1200 E. 


Sorry I don't know of any planned field trips this month. 
But don't worry we'll figure something out and announce it at the Pot-luck dinner or over the birdnet.


Silence is Tough
by Darlene Amott

One of the great joys of birding is the association we enjoy with one another. We may never see each other at any time other than on a birding excursion, but when we are together we chat and gab like long lost friends. It's great. Even on birding trips with perfect strangers, the feeling is the same. Birders throughout the world are a pleasant, congenial group. This friendliness, however, has it's disadvantages as well as it's advantages. It would be sad if our congeniality ever changed, but there are times when silence is much to be desired and necessary. I am not pointing a finger at anyone, unless it is myself. Several times I have caught myself asking questions or talking with others when I should be listening and looking. Since I am a person who is interested in human behavior, I occasionally walk at the back of a group and observe people as much as I do birds. We can walk for blocks so caught up in conversation, that no thought is given to looking. At times I think we think we are looking, but it is a case of looking without seeing and listening without hearing. Have you ever done that? I know I have, and I know the people with whom I have been chatting have as well. Passerines are particularly skittish birds. When trying to spot sparrows, or warblers, or vireos or any other of the small birds, silence and stillness are essential. When we shush each other at a particularly sensitive moment, don't take it personally. Just accept it as a reminder to all in the area of the need for silence and alertness. It is sad to spend time and to travel some distance just to miss a bird because we weren't paying attention. Sitting (or standing) for some time is required as well, when seeking small birds. Restlessness and the need to be closer seem to go hand in hand with chatting. After all we are social animals. Do we have what it takes to be still in both movement and speech? It's a challenge.


Robin's View

by Robin Tuck

Several nights ago, Julie and I sat alone in the front room studying. Julie is taking pre-algebra in summer school in preparation for some heavy science classes next year, so she is spending a lot of time studying. I am studying for the Amateur radio Extra exam, so there we were studying together. While we have three of our children living with us, they were all out. Jorgen was at summer camp, Tiffany was working and Alma went looking for some excitement leaving us alone together. So, I thought, this is what it will be like when all the kids leave home. The two of us will sit quietly studying our own things. Well, maybe. I have been blest. I really have. I got involved in birding 8 or 9 years ago while Julie was caring for her aged mother. Several years later, after her mothers passing, Julie became interested in birding and quickly surpassed me in knowledge and expertise. Julie now enjoys getting out birding more than I do and I enjoy it a lot. As I said, I am blest. My wife and I enjoy birding together. Birding is a worthy enough hobby (or avocation or perhaps obsession) that one can do it alone and derive great satisfaction from each experience. But I am thankful I have someone to go with me. I believe all of us need friends and social companionship. Perhaps we all need more of this than we currently get. Birding can provide us with the opportunity to spend time with others and develop lasting friendships. The group field trips sponsored by our club provide a relaxed atmosphere where we can get to know others, then as friendships develop, we can build special friendships in smaller groups. I have seen this happen in our club. It usually doesn't take long for a new person to integrate in if they attend two or three outings. However, I have also seen new people attend several functions then disappear. It is not possible for us to know the stresses and problems that work in other people's lives that cause them to come and go, but I hope that when new people do come, we extend a hand of fellowship and welcome them into our society. Yes, Julie and I bird together and we enjoy it, but we both need and want the friendship and social opportunities presented by the club. Now, I ask, who could be a better friend than a fellow birder?