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I Like Birds

by Robin Tuck
September 1997

I do like birding, I really do. But I really enjoy the birders. Where else can you find such a great group of people?

I also like Ham radio, and Scouting and Julie's Master Gardener group. When I look at the different groups I am associated with, I find they are all staffed with great people. Why is this?

Perhaps birders get to be the way they are because of the "gentling effects" of watching nature and noticing the lives of the little creatures. I'm sure this is true, that by becoming familiar with small, beautiful birds, we become mindful of their dependence on our wisdom and goodwill, not to spoil their niche in things. And I think these feelings carry over into all other aspects of our lives, making us better people.

But this cannot be all, for few of my Ham radio friends watch birds or commune with nature and yet they are also great people. What makes them great? I believe the common thread that runs through all these groups is the willingness and the follow through everyone has to serve others. I think the secret to being pleasant to be with is having put a lot of time in serving others.

But, how do birders serve others? It seems the more we know about birding the more opportunity we have to share that knowledge. I am surprised at how many people who have never heard of the Utah County Birders are out and about looking at birds. Every time I come upon a person watching birds who I don't know, I stop and talk with them about what they are doing, and I end up helping them bird. I hear this same story from you. You come upon someone who obviously is confused and lost who needs your birding expertise, and you help them. For some of you, helping others bird has become an important part of your lives.

Each school year, a new batch of students take Hal Black's Environmental Awareness class and are assigned to see 75 bird species. For the most part, these students haven't got a clue how to find and identify birds. The semester has started again, and the students will be out soon. Let's help these folks, for it will bring us much happiness and just might create a future birder.