My Turn: Bird watching not what it seems

I saw its face, now I’m a believer. I used to think bird watching was like other mundane hobbies. What’s worse is I saw “The Big Year” with Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black, and it only worsened my opinions of birders because I got to see the obnoxious and competitive side of bird watching.

But then I went to Oasis State Park on Saturday for the Birds of Oasis event and when I got there I saw placards with pictures of birds and their descriptions. My knowledge of birds is minuscule and pictures and books weren’t going to catch my interest. It’s not like that’s any better than what I got to see in public school in an industrialized city. I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

Cheyenne Lattin, a seasonal worker at Oasis, began talking about the birds she studied, making them more personal. I laughed when she described that certain species of male birds have to show off in order to mate with the female birds, not much of a difference from humans.

Her tales had me intrigued and right on time, a great horned owl was spotted in the tree next to us. My eyes got wide like that of a child convinced they saw Santa Claus. The only owl I felt I knew was the one from the Winnie the Pooh stories.

I get why they watch birds now, because rarity is attractive. It was beautiful. I just hope I’m not addicted.

Christina Calloway writes for Clovis Media Inc.

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