How To Pick Up A Birder

"Hey, is that an ibis in your scope, or are you just happy to see me?"

Well, here's an interesting question that came through the BirdChick Email from a new birder who I met on my travels this fall. She asks:

"Being both single and new to the birding community with a renewed commitment to take advantage of the birding opportunities in my area, I was wondering if there is any "birder" behavior I should be on the lookout for. They say the best place to meet someone is doing the things you enjoy, though it hasn't worked for me so far, but you never know when the right guy might trip over me.

I know different groups of society have quirks in their verbal and body language when showing interest in a member of the opposite sex, i.e. when the IT guy was showing me all the cool features on my work computer and no one else in the office, he was doing the best his geeky little heart could to flirt with me; for really shy guys, just speaking to a girl is flirting; macho guys break stuff; military/law enforcement blow stuff up etc. as a way of showing off for the "female bird" and getting her attention. So, are there any identified exhibitions to look for in the male birder? Do they brag about their equipment (no, I don't mean it that way!), or their life bird list? Do they point out lots of birds to you, showing their ornithological prowess? Or do they just walk around with their eyes hooked to binoculars and noses in field guides?"

I don't feel qualified to answer this question. I have never dated a birder--ever. (I even dated a guy with a bird phobia, but never a birder). I know the signs from men in general to know when they're attracted but nothing specific to birders. This is a question that does come up in one form or another about 4 - 6 times a year in my inbox, so fellow birders, can we help this single birder out? I should mention that she's a younger birder, this isn't necessarily an older person but I'm sure all single birders out there could benefit from the answer.

How do you know when a birder is flirting with you?