Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How do non birders react to your birding enthusiasm?

This is my first year birding. My family members know about it and think it's cute but odd. When my relatives come over to my yard and see my stations and the hoards of birds at the house they look impressed but not nearly as excited as I am. They would rather talk about the weather, the latest book they are reading or politics. I enjoy that type of conversation as well, but could spend an entire day talking about birds.


This was the first year I could tell everyone what I wanted for Christmas. My mother wanted to get me a dishwasher and I told her I would rather have a heated bird bath. She looked at me as if I had three heads and shook her head. I explained to her that I didn't mind washing dishes and I would rather give the birds fresh water year round anyways.


I guess they are finally catching on. My mother dropped off some clothes that didn't fit her anymore at my doorstep and inside of the box was a Christmas ornament with a cardinal on it that was on her tree. She decided to give it to me because she thought I would appreciate it more. My sister called me last night out of the blue to tell me she was thinking of me after seeing a commercial with birds in it.


Am I the only one with family and friends who think of me as a little strange for liking birds or are there others out there?

24 comments:

Shellmo said...

Kallen - in no time you will find you have a positive influence on some of your friends and family members w/ your passion for birding. I have a few family members that now call me to ask me a question or tell me about a bird they've seen. But let me tell you - when my family and friends found out I had signed up to be a "Loon Ranger" last year - I never heard so many jokes and saw so many bewildered glances in my life! I can't tell you how many times they would ask "hey where's your badge." But keep in mind - by you observing and taking care of the birds - you are doing your meaningful part in this world by caring for nature. You are to be commended!!
Sorry so long - can you tell I like to write manifestos? ha,ha!

Kallen305 said...

Shelley, I am intrigued on what a loon ranger is? It sounds like fun!!

Shellmo said...

Here's the link for the Michigan Loon Rangers: http://www.michiganloons.org/Loonwatch.htm

This past summer I monitored the loons and their babies. It was my job to document their progress, make sure no one was harrassing or interfering with them (they're very sensitive creatures) Here's the link to one of my loon posts:
http://birdinginmichigan.blogspot.com/search/label/Loon%20Ranger

If it doesn't show up, you might have to paste it. Your area might have loon rangers too.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Kim, This is one reason I love blogging. I NOW have friends that enjoy talking about birds with me... YEAH!!! I don't think any of my other friends nor family members appreciate my passion for birding!!! BUT--as long as I have YOU, that makes me happy!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Diane said...

As far as I know, everyone (in my family)is enjoying my enthusiasm with my Bird Sanctuary and daily adventures with my birds. They are happy that I am having so much fun - and that's because they love me. But, I have noticed,that I can get carried away. Sunday after church, I think I overwhelmed my daughter with my excitement about a world she is not really related to. It does take practice to be sensitive about how much we say and in what company. After all, how long would I be able to focus on someone who is enthusiastically chattering about something I had no idea about and didn't care to know?

Alan said...

Hey Kallen,

Believe me, your not the only one that feels that way - my family often thinks that I go overboard when it comes to birdwatching. My brother, sister & even my wife aren't interested in birds & sometimes dont understand my enthusiasm. But normally, it doesnt bother me that much. Like Betsy said, it's nice to have a great online blogging community to share your interest with.

dAwN said...

Hi Kallen,
My family all feed the birds...
and enjoy their backyard birdies...

My husbands family dont seem to care one bit about birds..
we did take them for a hike with binos and they got into it a bit..i think they were bored... i guess you just love it or you dont...
I cant understand why they dont but...that is just the way it is...
my sister in law bought me a lttle wallet with a bird on it recently..So that was nice..
Happy Birding

jan m said...

At first my extended family thought it was just a phase I was going through. Now they provide me with suet, bird books and calendars, and Christmas ornaments. When they stop by now, they all take a peek out the back window to see what birds I've attracted.

Steve B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve B said...

I've found that there are various reactions. The most unusual was when I was working in Colorado. My phone would wring in my office and the conversation would start, "Hey, I saw this bird and..." It was about three years before I actually got a technical phone call from a co-worker!

When I started to date B, we would be out on a walk in Boulder, and she would hear me mutter under my breath, "House finch", "Mountain Chickadee", "Cedar Waxwing", "Solitary Vireo" etc. as we walked down the trails. She married me anyway.

Richard said...

Ditto to everything everyone else said except I'm not a Loon Ranger (yet)...lol.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I have really tied to educate my neighbors so that they will appreciate and therefore protect the pond and wetland woods. I am made some progress..but others think I am crazy..My family humors me, but my husband is very supportive..Keep at it, every person converted to birding is good for the birds...

NW Nature Nut said...

This is an interesting post, not something I have really considered. I grew up with parents who fed the birds and loved wildlife. I often have customers in the wild bird store I work in who have been to dinner at a friend's house and saw their feeders and want to get started with their own. I bet you will be a great influence on your family and friends and I wouldn't be surprised if some. of them become interested. Hmm..Come to think of it,that is kind of what happened with my husband when we got together.

Jayne said...

My family pretty much shares my passion, but I don't discuss it much as work. As everyone was talking about their favorite Christmas gift, and I excitedly told about my new Viper Vortex 10 x 42's, I did get some rather odd looks...lolol!

matthew houskeeper said...

I've noticed that any sort of passionate pastime is looked upon oddly unless it involves sports, shopping, cars, celebrities, or right wing politics.

Deborah Godin said...

I don't recall taking a ribbing from my friends, and now many of them watch birds, too! It's contagious I think!!

Andy said...

It's like any other hobby and the enthusiasm associated with it.

I really get them going and say I talk to them too! :lol:

The Early Birder said...

Hi Kallen, I have been birding for 15+ years and many people still classify me as a "twitcher". However once friends / family have understood my wildlife hobby they have also become more interested and regularly ask about identification etc. My ethos is that all wildlife is precious and is to be enjoyed. Keep doing what you enjoy and others will slowly understand and be supportive. FAB

LauraHinNJ said...

If we're odd, at least we're in good company!

;-)

Rich said...

I feel sorry for those without an outside interest actually.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting read. I am glad you got the heated water dish. I bought mine many years ago and it delivers fresh water in the dead of winter. The animals don't have to walk a mile to the creek to find water -- they just come here.


I still have my old blogs but now I have two new ones. I am experimenting with layouts on these. So far I do like the new layouts a lot.

Abe Lincoln Blogs
Abraham Lincoln's Blog </a

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Hi,I just read this post,very interesting.My family isall for the birding,it's some of my friends who probably think I'm a nut.That's O.K. they can sit in a coffee shop or what ever,I would rather be out birding.I still have some friends that understand,many of whom are the fellow bloggers.I', so thankful for all of you and our shared interests.
Blessings,Ruth

Mary said...

Oh, Kallen, most EVERYONE rolls their eyes at me. My daughter gave me a gift card from Wild Birds Unlimited and my husband brings home "birdy" things but I know they think I'm nuts.

Doesn't matter. We have US.

Leedra said...

They just think you are weird at the beginning. You begin to bring them in, specially if they come to your house and see the beautiful birds outside your window. Some people are also afraid to admit they like watching the birds, they think it means they are ready for the rocking chair on the front porch. Then they get interested and find out it is not just for old people.

Photography By Leedra

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails