A Birder's Glory Days

An avid birder for almost forty years, I have come to realize that the first few years of that adventure were most exciting.  Back then, even some of our common, permanent residents were new to me, as they are to beginning birders today.

Every time that I ventured out with my binoculars and field guide, I would see one or more new species, fueling the realization that nature hosts a splendid diversity of avian species (even in our home neighborhoods).  In my case, I was fortunate to live in three regions of the country during my formative years as a birder: coastal North Carolina, West Virginia and Arkansas.  The diversity of my early exposure was thus multiplied by the changing environment in which I lived and was further expanded by several trips to Colorado.

Today, while I continue to enjoy birdwatching, the activity generally occurs in concert with hiking and other forms of outdoor exploration.  Unless I travel to a new part of the country (or region of the globe), new additions to my "life list" are few and far between.  My glory days of birding are now but a fond memory, rekindled at times in the eyes of an enthusiastic novice.