I met Dan at Magee Marsh in Ohio last week. If he didn't offer to drive me, I wouldn't have seen the Curlew Sandpiper. He didn't know that he would be interviewed for The Birding Project until after he heard my story. I'm glad he shared with me some pieces of his story, and now with his permission I can share some pieces with you!
How did you get started birding?
It’s all because I bought a camera.
I was working ungodly amounts of hours needed a break from that. I started taking pictures of birds because that’s what was out there. From there, it snowballed into a reason forgot going to work. It started in April, and there were birds everywhere.
Can you share some advice to a new birder or young birders?
Own every field guide you possibly can. So many people just use Google and look at apps, and post pictures to Facebook for someone else to I.D. Get a field guide and really use it. I have hundreds of field guides, i buy them everywhere i go. Book sales, garage sales. I’ve opened every one and gone through them because each one offers something different.
What’s a unique aspect about your experience as a birder?
I did a mini Big Year. To see more birds. I wanted to actually go out and see them.
I county list and I do like my lists, but I’ve had a little disdain with the listing. So many people sit around and wait for other people to find birds, and then go chase them. I like to go out and find them.
It depends on what day you ask me. It’s like a giant scavenger hunt. Every day you go out and you never quite know what you’re going to see. That’s what i like the most about it. It’s not the same thing every single day. At that point, I won’t do it any more, I’ll move on to moths and butterflies (laughs)