|(Painted Stork by Dan’s Pix)|
(Stephen, our Assistant to the Pastor, asked me to do this series about birdwatching. He came up with the titles and I have been writing the articles. Now he has given me these 13 questions to answer, so here goes.)
We hope that you have been enjoying Lee’s series, Start Birdwatching Today. She has been attempting to show us that birding is something that anybody can do. Whether you only look at the birds while you are driving or if you spend hours wandering through Circle B, you can enjoy the creativity of our great God.
As I have read through Lee’s posts I have had a few questions that have come to my mind. I thought I would ask them to Lee through a post so that you all can read her answers.
- When did you first start birding?
I think I always enjoyed critters, but when we lived in Tamarac, FL there was a small park nearby that had a lake, trail and a naturalist that gave bird talks. Living in the Fort Lauderdale area, there were lots of birds to view.
- Did anyone teach you how to go birding?
The naturalist became my friend and also became my mentor. She taught me about birdwatching from a one on one basis.
- Do you run across people who see the diversity in the birds and still deny that an intelligent creator is behind it all? If so, what are their common arguments?
Go to any birding club (Audubon) or a Birding Festival (Titusville) and you will hear all about natural selection and millions of years. You hear about how birds evolved from dinosaurs. Given enough time, they figure it all came about.
- What is your favorite bird? You can only pick one :)
That’s hard! It used to be the Painted Bunting, and I suppose it still is, but now I have seen so many, I love them all.
- Share with us two things you have learned about God through birdwatching.
The Lord has such Omniscience that I am amazed when I see how He has provided specific beaks, for instance, for each bird to be able to eat what it likes. How He has created their shapes to live in the environment they do, Penguins versus Hummingbirds. Every bird was so provided for by the Lord when they were being designed. God’s Love is so great to the birds and His care about them overwhelms me. If He knows when a sparrow falls, then He knows not only the number of hairs on my head, but every need, desire, problems, etc. and still Loves Me!
- Recently, Swans have been in the news. In Lakeland, someone has been stealing swan eggs from Lake Morton. Why are Swan eggs so valuable?
I saw that article and had heard about it a few weeks earlier. Apparently there must be a trade for them somewhere. There are “poachers” all around the world that illegally take birds for collectors and some for their feathers or to eat. They just found out he took them to eat them.
- When I think of birding, I am often overwhelmed. I hear you talk about 185 species that have been seen at Circle B and of the thousands of species worldwide. I can name maybe 10 or 15 different species of birds. What would you say to someone who feels birding is too overwhelming?
Who says you have to name all the birds? If you can name 3 and enjoy the rest, why worry? (Do you know every name of the folks that come here to church? Does that stop you from coming or cause you to be overwhelmed?)
- Tell us about the best birdwatching trip you have ever been on.
Wow! They are all great, but as for in the wild, we won a birdwatching trip by Reinier Munguia (professional photographer) and he introduced us to Circle B (46 species seen), Lakes Morton (10 species) and Parker. He gave us birding tips and photography tips for Dan. We ended up feeding Florida Scrub Jays and Purple Gallinules at parks in Lakeland. We saw a total of 56 species that day.Best Zoo trip was to the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA about 2 years ago. We were taken by staff all over the place and behind the scenes.
- How many different birds are on your life list?
My official Life List has 234 species, but that does not count the birds that I have seen in Zoos, which you can’t count by some, but I still saw the birds. My Unofficial Life List is around 400. I have also seen many more birds that I could not name.
- Is there any other animal that you know of that has the wide variety and diversity of birds? Why do you think this is?
I can’t think of any animals, maybe insects. I think birds are so varied because each one has a role to fill whether it is pollinating flowers by Hummingbirds and others, or picking bugs off of animals like an Oxpecker, or cleaning up garbage like Vultures and Buzzards. The list goes on and on. They can fly so they have spread around the world and they are obeying the Lord’s command to reproduce and fill the earth.
- What do you hope is the result of this series of posts?
I hope that this series has motivated an interest and an awareness of the birds and that they will take opportunities to watch the Lord’s fantastically created birds. And maybe, we might have some more to go out birdwatching with us. I am not an expert, but I am willing to share what I have learned from others and Dan is willing to share photography tips.
- Do you ever take people along with you on your birdwatching trips and teach them the tricks of the trade?
I have taken a few and am thinking that we need to plan a “Start Birding Today” trip soon. We could meet and start simple and go from there.
- How can someone contact you if they have questions about birding?
Call us, number in church directory or e-mail me at Lee@leesbird.com.
That article will be on our church blog, The Fountain, soon. I have been putting the articles here about 1 week ahead. Not sure if there will be more articles. If Stephen comes up with more titles, or if someone here leaves an idea for an article, then there may be more. Leave a comment.