My New Book


Wheatus, The Birding Band

I really enjoy Twitter. It’s not for everyone, but for someone like me who has friends scattered all over the country, it’s kind of like sharing an office with them. I work part time from home and I’m a social creature. Being alone all day gets to me, but with Twitter, I can share daily bits of info with my friends (and some new people). It’s like being in a cubicle environment with people I actually enjoy and sometimes you discover cool things like WildBird on the Fly posted on her Twitter feed a link to a one in zillion penguin: it’s all black.  Be sure see the photo here and here too. It’s the Shaft of penguins!

Twitter is also how I got my interview with Rob at Outdoor Talk on Sunday–he asked me through Twitter (who was a blast to talk to with his on air partner Tim and gave a nice promo to this Saturday’s Birds and Beers.

But the big reason I love Twitter is the odd random people you can connect with on Twitter that you otherwise would never have the opportunity to know.  Some of you might be familiar with the band Wheatus.  I fell in love with them years ago when Non Birding Bill played me their song Teenage Dirtbag (if you’ve never heard the song, take a listen, it’s awesome).  They’ve released several albums and they even covered one of my favorite Erasure songs A Little Respect.

There was some kind of weird thread about vegemite going on with Twitter and I saw some retweet a photo from an @Wheatus:

Not a remarkable photo, but for one thing.  If you are a birder, do you recognize anything in that photo?  I spotted it right away and I’m not sure if I should be impressed or not that I recognized it so quickly.  Don’t see it yet?  Here’s a hint:

This is the back of my Kaufman Guide to Birds.  Take a look at the photo again:

To which I asked on Twitter: Wait a minute, does @wheatus have a Kaufman guide behind him? He birds???

And Wheatus responded: @birdchick Nice spot….best bird book ever.

We then got into a conversation about birds, Kenn Kaufman (and his ability to rock out), potoos.  I shared some with Kenn–we’ve got to get these crazy kids together.

This discovery has my mind turning.  Most birders are trying to find ways to get younger people interested in the activity.  Many bird festivals are looking to increase attendance.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to book Wheatus to a bird festival?  Wouldn’t it be magical to find a way to have both Kenn Kaufman and Wheatus at a bird festival?  Some organizers may balk and say, “I’ve never heard of them.”  That’s a sign that they are popular with the market you are trying to attract and have been unable to do so.

You can download albums from Wheatus and they allow you to do it free, but you should leave a donation.  It’s a new trend among musicians to make their own way in a struggling industry.  So give some love and support to this great band who happens to enjoy birds…and if you organize any birding event, find a way to get some funds to bring them to your festival.

8 comments to Wheatus, The Birding Band

  • There are those us young folks into casual birding! We’re just… in the closet? Maybe. I do feel like when we go to birding spots, we’re the youngest ones there every time… and I’m 26. :|

  • I know you guys are out there and not all festivals are geared to you interests. I was at an event last year and some of the organizers are the strong voices about getting more young birders. Yet, when young birders showed up and acted like young birders–they got mad.

    I’m not saying bird festivals need to turn into a rave but there’s room for fun. And too many festivals put too much stock in booking “well known” speakers who turn out to be much better on paper and shouldn’t be in front of an audience.

  • I’d love to go to an event like that- my problem is location! Hopefully there will be more opportunities when I move to a bigger city. I need no rave… any bird geekery will do nicely. But yeah, no one likes a stale speaker.

  • Andy

    apparently the drummer from Local H is a birder as well.

  • farleyk

    Um, I think that all black penguin is the Mr. Neil of the penguin world.

  • I’ve been having that conversation about attracting younger birders with my friends as well. One of my pals noticed that there is a small but strong group of very young (under 25) birders, a bigger group of older ones (over 50) but a huge gap in between. So the problem is not merely attracting serious younger birders, but keeping them in the field once they have kids/jobs of their own. I’d love your thoughts on this.

  • B’Chick, you missed the post-ABA karaoke session in Tucson where we proved that the 25-t0-25 demographic may be relatively rare in the birding community but the ability to rock out is definitely not.

    Too bad that Philly-based punk band R.A.M.B.O., founded by birder Tony Croasdale (a.k.a. Tony Pointless), reportedly disbanded in 2007.

  • Jim Mooney

    Thanks BC, bought it from iTunes….found it on youtube, can’t stop listening to it. It actually rocks: