April 3rd, 2010


Am I getting better at id'ing birds? No, I'm getting verse...

An email from one of the expert birders of Bangalore, about the difficulties of id'in birds, had me breaking out into a verse rash again:

This confirms what I've always known.....
My birding knowledge *hasn't* grown
All I learn remains as words...
It doesn't help me id the birds.

It serves only to illustrate
A truth so very plain, and great
The more I learn, the less I know
These birds have confusing signs to show...

I can't get them.... and therefore
My id's are as bad as before.
I may apply verse and chapter
But I still can't identify a raptor.

When it comes to all those warblers
I must say I am a wobbler.
Is the supercilium weak or strong?
Alas, my measure's always wrong.

Making mistakes on secondaries and coverts
Is common, according to experts
But I want to be sure...and be pally
With the local Audubon and Salim Ali...

Walk around with supreme confidence
Id'ing finches, tits and wrens.
Oh, well, I'll remain a hmmingbird....
When asked for an id, I'll not utter a word:

"Hmm!" I'll go, until another ace
Id's the bird from a spot on its face...
Sagely, then, I'll nod my head
As if that was the bird that I too would have said.

I'll appear wise and knowing...and only God
Above, will know the extent of my fraud!

An apt verse for April Fool's Day...alas, when it comes to bird id's, every day is April 1 for me!