Today I birded with Meghin and Aaron along the Puyallup River in Tacoma, Washington.

Today I birded with Meghin and Aaron along the Puyallup River in Tacoma, Washington.

Meet Meghin and Aaron Beckner! They're young, in love, and both birders. Two weeks ago, as I traveled through Seattle, I was able to spend some quality family time at home. During this brief reprieve, I attended the beautiful wedding ceremony of Meghin and Aaron and watched them tie the knot. I even kept an Ebird Checklist of the event- maybe becoming the first-ever "official ceremony eBirder" Maybe it will become a thing? If you have any birding-friends getting married, let me know! I'd be happy to attend the wedding and do an eBird checklist free-of-charge. Just feed me, please? 

Meghin and I have grown up traveling together, through a family association started by our younger brothers. They have been best friends since grade school, so naturally both our families have spent lots of time together. Through the years, we have traveled to Arizona, Palm Springs, and Eastern Washington together for fun in the sun and snow. When we were younger we both liked birds, but it hadn't grown into the passion it is today. Recently Meghin took her bridal party birding for her bachelorette party! What a great idea! (Well, maybe not for everyone...) 

Tonight I birded with Meghin and Aaron for the first time as a married couple, and we visited the Gog-li-hi-tee Wetlands in Tacoma, Washington where a Slaty-backed Gull has been a permanent fixture for the last few years. Several factors weren't in our favor we found out- the lighting, high tide, and the severe lack of gulls, compared to the last time we birded together in December on a quest to find the same bird. Regardless, we had a great time watching Caspian Terns and looking at Mallards in their summer eclipse plumage- where the males closely resemble the females making identification the perfect challenge to advance our field skills using a spotting scope. I had a chance to interview Meg and Aaron together for The Birding Project. Thanks guys for a great evening! 


THE INTERVIEW

How did you get started birding? 

I liked birds when I was little. I did projects on them I think because I wanted to fly like a bird.  Or maybe you brainwashed me? (laughs, jokingly)

I got more into birds when I got my DSLR camera. I was up at Twin Lakes, and I was tired of taking pictures of the scenery and so I wanted something that moved. I found some birds on a wire and took pictures of them. I had to figure out what they were of course! I found a bird book in the back bedroom of my Grandpa's cabin, and found out they were Barn Swallows. So that was my first bird, was a Barn Swallow. It stuck after that. My Grandpa gave me the book- it was a National Geographic book from 1980. 

Aaron, are you a birder too or are you just along for the ride? 

I enjoy the hobby because she enjoys it so much and I like to support her. She got me into birds after she got all her bird feeders. I started buying feeders. I trained the nuthatches and chickadees to eat out of my hand. It was a lot of fun.

Birding is...

Aaron:  Continuous. Ongoing. 

Meghin:  Addicting. (laughs)