Birds of a Feather

So now, if you scroll all the way down my sidebar, you'll notice another new addition: Birds I've Seen. This semester, I'm taking Integrative Biology 134: Appreciation of Nature. It lightens my course load this semester, and it also fulfills my natural science GE, which I need to graduate. On our first day of class, after we all arrived, our professor said, "Okay. Let's go." Someone asked where we were going and he looked at us like we were all stupid. "To appreciate nature, of course." We went to a duck pond.

Though the class is called "Appreciation of Nature," it may as well be called "Bird Watching." The emphasis is on birds since they are the easiest animals to see and appreciate. During the semester, among our other duties, we are required to identify seventy-five different species of birds. Before class yesterday, I spent a couple hours walking around and looking for birds. In class, when I annouced that I had seen three brown creepers, my professor gave me a high five. ("It's not that they're rare," he said. "It's just that no one ever sees them.") I'll be making my own bird feeder soon so that I can get a few birds to come to my house over the semester.

I'll be tracking my progress on my blog---not because I think that all of my readers will be desperate to know my latest progress in the birding world, but because that way, I'll always know where to find my list of birds. And I like to brag.

16 comments:

Th. said...

.

I just read The Big Year and it might be a fun diversion whilst you chase birds.

ambrosia ananas said...

Did I mention that I'm jealous you have a class with Timi? Because I am.

But not jealous enough that I'd actually want to take classes again.

Savvymom said...

Um, I took that class. I hope you have a different teacher than I did. My teacher gave us a four hour final and I barely got a B. I am a good identifier of birds though. If you ever want to get a deer on your list, we have them in our yard. I dont know if non birds count for you though.

Stupidramblings said...

Um...when you invite the birds over, do you invite more people? Or just the birds. Cuz your cats are totally gonna eat them.

To DEATH...

Cicada said...

SR,

Uh... I have no idea where your comment is coming from... I can't really decode it. I'm not sure what more people have to do with cats eating birds. And I don't have any cats...

FoxyJ said...

We put up a bird feeder last winter and I was surprised by the number of birds we got. Our street is somewhat busy and I hadn't seen any around, but once you feed them they never go away. Sophie loves watching the birdies.

Melyngoch said...

Boehmian waxwing, eh? There's a novel title in that.

Stupidramblings said...

I was making reference to the running joke from a while back about having lots of cats. If you have lots of cats and you invite birds over, mayhem will ensue.

UNLESS you also bring in some people so the cats and birds behave.

Poorly stated, I guess, but there it is...

Stupidramblings said...

P.S. Didn't you ever watch Tweety and Sylvester?
...

DanaLee said...

Oh, oh, oh I took that class and loved it! Do you have Dr. Black? He invited us to his house to see baby pigs and fed us his wife's homemade salsa during class. We also took a trip to the Bean Museum to see a bear someone had shot and killed. I took the class spring term 1998, and I still watch birds and identify them thanks to him. I hope you enjoy it.

sakhmet said...

Yee hah! I took that class (for the very same reasons your taking it) and I actually loved it. Perhaps for some non-birding reasons, but that's a different story. You should take a trip (or multiple trips) to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. It's a lovely place, and you'll see a lot of birds. You should also read _Refuge_ by Terry Tempest Williams. It's an excellent companion to a birdwatching class.

Limon said...

Do cartoon birds count, and if so, does Archangel from X-men count as a bird? How about Hawkman from the Justice League? Also, if your cats misbehaved while I was there, I certainly give them what for. So SR has a point: Don't feed birds.

Savvymom said...

huh. I must've had a different teacher than all you people with fond memories...

princess julia said...

Jeepers, you saw 3 brown creepers. they must be keepers, of some sort of peepers.

Cicada said...

SavvyMom---It looks like we do/did all have a different teacher from yours. I took this class from this teacher because Captain Fabuloso took it several years ago and loved the guy and loved the class. Dr. Black is so cool.

SR---Yeah, I watched Tweety and Sylvester. I just had no idea that there's a correlation between good behavior of cats and the presence of numerous people.

sakhmet said...

Has Dr. Black showed you his hairless legs, yet? Definitely a high point of the semester.