Someone yells "Duck!", and you look up and shout "Where?"Answering "yes" to any of these questions qualifies you as a birder.
Vacations are planned to maximize the number of life birds. You criticize television programs and commercials that depict a bald eagle but play a red-tailed hawk call.
Your kids are named Buteo and Accipiter.
People stop and stare when you pish at the shrubbery at the local mall.
Lunch breaks find you driving to check out your favorite hot spot.
Your spouse says, "It's either me or the birds," and you have to think about it.
On sunny days you hop in the car, crank up your tape of bird calls, and drive like crazy to the nearest mountain where the thermals are great for soaring hawks.
You pay a neighbor kid $20 to roll on a carcass and lay still while you search the sky for vultures.
You try to talk your kid into going to college in Belize so that you have an excuse to go and bird there.
It's a northeaster, the rain is horizontal, a small craft advisory has been issued, but it's birdathon and you need to up the day's list.
Clouds take on the shape of birds, and you can distinguish male from female, and adult from immature plumage.
A machine squeaks at work and you describe it to maintenance as sounding like a black-and-white warbler.
The first time you meet your future in-laws you demonstrate the courtship dance of the woodcock, replete with sound effects.
You spend fifteen minutes preparing dinner for your family, and thirty minutes mixing and placing seed for your birds.
You wake up your spouse at 5:30am and exclaim, "Is that a phoebe I'm hearing outside the window?"
Preparing for trips to visit out-of-state relatives involves contacting local birders, securing local bird lists, and buying the appropriate Lane's Guide.
You identify calls of birds in the soundtracks of television shows and movies.
You're willing to fight with anyone who criticizes your optics.
You participate in hours-long discussions about the pros and cons of using a certain field guide.
You lose friends, and perhaps even your spouse, from fighting over the pronunciation of "pileated."
-- from Roberts French, Ann Arbor, Michigan (author unknown)
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