Am I getting better at iding birds? No, Im getting verse...

April 3, 2010

An email from one of the expert birders of Bangalore, about the difficulties of id’in birds, had me breaking out into a verse rash again:

This confirms what I’ve always known….. My birding knowledge hasn’t grown All I learn remains as words… It doesn’t help me id the birds.

It serves only to illustrate A truth so very plain, and great The more I learn, the less I know These birds have confusing signs to show…

I can’t get them…. and therefore My id’s are as bad as before. I may apply verse and chapter But I still can’t identify a raptor.

When it comes to all those warblers I must say I am a wobbler. Is the supercilium weak or strong? Alas, my measure’s always wrong.

Making mistakes on secondaries and coverts Is common, according to experts But I want to be sure…and be pally With the local Audubon and Salim Ali…

Walk around with supreme confidence Id’ing finches, tits and wrens. Oh, well, I’ll remain a hmmingbird…. When asked for an id, I’ll not utter a word:

“Hmm!” I’ll go, until another ace Id’s the bird from a spot on its face… Sagely, then, I’ll nod my head As if that was the bird that I too would have said.

I’ll appear wise and knowing…and only God Above, will know the extent of my fraud!

An apt verse for April Fool’s Day…alas, when it comes to bird id’s, every day is April 1 for me!