Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Room For All!

An empty boardwalk at Magee Marsh.

Me and the Doodles were at the boardwalk at Magee Marsh this past weekend(go figure!)...and we heard a few very disturbing comments...and I'm sure I'll hear a few more after this post.

Some of the 'regular' birders at Magee are complaining about the upcoming Biggest Day in American Birding festival. "They're going to ruin MY favorite place to bird!" "How am I supposed to see MY warblers with all of these amateurs?" You get the I usually try to keep a humorous outlook on all things birdy, but this is really pissing me off.

With all of the habitat being destroyed on a daily basis, birds coming closer to extinction, isn't it a GOOD idea to get MORE people involved in our past time? Isn't that the point of the Audubon Society, American Birding Conservancy, the American Birding Association and all of the local bird clubs that need new members?

Yes, the boardwalk WILL be more crowded during the festival, with folks that may have NEVER seen a warbler before. Imagine their excitement when they spot one of those colorful critters! We learned so much during our visits to Magee during International Migratory Bird Days in the past. With the crowds, we could over hear descriptions of what we were seeing and learn about these birds and how far they traveled to get here.

Yep, we were just two 'amateurs' hogging up some 'regulars' birds and look what has happened to us! We volunteer with different bird groups, we help raise money for birds and habitat and more, we even donated an acre of land in Ecuador for habitat restoration!

Please imagine what other new birders could do for the world...and make a little room on the boardwalk...

Don't be a grumpy old Coot!

Imagine seeing a Golden-winged Warbler for the first time!

...Or someone visiting from Canada!

Or discovering a quiet little Black-throated Green Warbler that the regulars have passed by.

How would you learn about the amazing journey of a Blackpoll Warbler without the help of so many birders around?

Then there's my favorite, the Black-and-white Warbler. I want to share this joy with as many people as possible!

And the Doodles wants everyone to see a TimberDoodle in real life!

Kenn Kaufman has an article in the latest issue of Bird Watchers Digest
on this very subject. It's really worth reading!

It's time to spread our wings and share our love of birds with as many as possible!


  1. Thanks Donald! Hopefully we'll see you up here in a few weeks!

  2. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the great post! We appreciate all that you do to share the joy of birding, through your photography and writing, as well as in person. We're looking forward to sharing some warbler-watching with you in the coming weeks!

  3. Thanks Kenn! Yeah, Warblerz!!

  4. Couldn't agree more with you. I get as much fun watching others bird when they see a new one then I do birding. Being able to point out and identify a bird to someone who has never seen it really gives me great satisfaction.

  5. Hi Dave,
    I totally agree on the last words! Your second and third pictures are splendid!!! Well done!

  6. Thanks Richard, as we've gotten better at birding, there is that certain 'rush' when you can point out and describe a new bird to a beginner!

    Bonjour Chris! Thank you, coming from you it really means a lot! I hope I get another chance with the Golden-winged Warbler this May!

  7. And the best part is that when the Magee boardwalk gets too crowded for some people's tastes -- they can just pack up and go to Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (less than 10 minutes from Magee) where they have nine miles of trails, they own fabulous boardwalk, a monthly auto tour that allows people to drive through closed areas of the refuge, and a visitors' center that will knock your socks off!

    On days when the winds are coming off the Lake, Ottawa is THE place to go birding. The birds will seek out more inland areas of woodland habitat and Ottawa is where it's at, baby! ; )~

    Thanks for the great post, Dave! You have no idea what your support has meant to the BSBO team!

  8. Really loved this post. This is my first warbler migration. See everyone on the boardwalk!

  9. You have your priorities in order. I might have gotten my kids more interested in birding if not for some poorly timed behavior by grownups who should know better. Maybe there is still hope for the youngest if I can keep him away from them. I have pulled out of that group WRT volunteering, money, etc. and focused my efforts elsewhere....

  10. As a new birder, I am a little intimidated by the comments made by more seasoned watchers. However, I am looking forward to coming up to the Marsh in a few weeks with my cousin, who is an avid birder and is excited to show me the ropes. I have been enjoying your BWBO Facebook page and I am getting excited to see my first warbler.

  11. Ateoclock and Anon...Thanks for commenting!
    Please look for me on the boardwalk at Magee or at BSBO! We all have to learn to get along out there and share the wonders of birding.

    Go to and look for the Ohio Young Birders site, there's hope for us yet!

  12. Thanks for understanding and explaining the importance of awareness of our natural resources, specifically BIRDS!!!!

  13. Thanks for all of the great comments!
    I know it gets crowded and crazy, but that's how we ALL will learn more about birds and each other!

    I hope I can meet all of you sometime in May!

  14. I started Birding when I was 12 at Magee Marsh with my parents. I am now 48 what a gift my parents gave to me showing me this wonderful world. I haven't been to Magee Marsh in years but it's sad to think people would not welcome newcomers. Just think if I would have been treated that way when I was 12? Bring on the newbies...I love it!

  15. Thanks Kelly! I wish everyone felt as you do. There's only one week in the year that the places will be crowded, the rest of the time it's very peaceful.
    But WHAT A GREAT TIME we'll all have during that crazy week!!

  16. Those warbler shots are just the best Dave and I had forgotten waht Timber Doodles were until you reminded me. I ringed one once at good ole Long Point.

  17. Thanks Phil! How could anyone forget the Doodles?! That's a bird I would love to see that close.