In some of my recent interviews I've asked birders to finish this sentence: Birding is...
Rangel and I were friends on Facebook, but we'd never met in real life until today. It happened serendipitously, with me using a birding app to discover new locations to see 'year birds' (birds new for my 2016 list) and I ended up at the nature center he works at. Immediately after meeting him, I sensed a sense of joy and enthusiasm for life that radiates from deep within. Anyone who knows Rangel or has had the opportunity to bird with him will agree.
We spent time watching the Scaly-breasted Munias, which appeared to be working up the courage to leave the dense foliage to dine on the feeder. Two screaming children made sure all of the birds in the vicinity stayed away from the feeder while we stood at a respectful distance talking about birds. We laughed about it. Birding is life.
Meeting birders has been a personal highlight of the month. Seeing life birds is exciting, but I've found myself enjoying the conversations with birders just as much as seeing the birds. We are lucky to be connected to a wide variety of people of all ages, who all share one thing in common: their love of birds. However, no Facebook chat could forge a friendship and connect two birders the way that real birds do every day.