Portrait Of A Lister

Now, this my friends is a hard core bird lister. If you can't see it, you can click on the photo for a larger version. Note that she has a color coded system as well as a pen to check birds off. I was trying to figure it out. Did the pink just denote birds that were heard and the green was birds heard and seen? Or did the pink indicate birds they group saw, but she did not? Anyway, I admired the listing system, not being a hard core bird lister myself. I have no idea how many birds I have seen in North America. I check off a National Geographic Guide but I haven't counted it in awhile.

Speaking of National Geographic, here is a play of how I stuck both feet in my mouth:

We were all sitting down to a final dinner at the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival and I'm catching up with old friends and seated next to WildBird on the Fly who is engaged with and older gentlemen. As the food is winding down and people are leaving the table, I insert myself with WBotF and the gentleman--he's talking about a bird club he started called the Western Field Ornithologists--and we start moving on to other topics including touching on politics and I demonstrated on him a groping handshake that I received from a republican senator and had a good time. Someone came by asking for a book to be signed and I asked WildBird, "So, who's the old guy?"

She laughed and answered, "Um, that's Jon Dunn."

We both started cackling loudly--I know who Jon Dunn is--and have almost all of his books, I just had no clue what he looked. I confessed my ignorance to Jon and we laughed. We ended up on the same flight out of Harlingen and I have to say for someone who co-wrote and in depth gull identification book, he really is a well-rounded and interesting guy and not the big, boring scary scientist type.