A quail perched among dry branches, clearly not in New Jersey

Birders deal with the summer doldrums in a number of different ways – some turn to herping, and others to dragonflies; some travel, and others patiently watch the garden for fledgings and second nestings.

I myself mostly poke the internet and watch other people play video games and ask myself questions like “Could cat litter be the most important invention in the history of modern environmentalism?”*.

That said, I do manage to get some birding in even so. For instance, take this image, found decorating a room at the summer camp in Friday the 13th: The Game.

A blurry bird ID poster

Apparently the ornithology of Camp Crystal Lake is pretty wacky. Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird – not drawn to scale but completely ok for New Jersey. The apparent Gambel’s Quail is a spicier choice but maybe hunters did unauthorized stocking of the area. Weirder things have happened.

But then you keep looking and hey…. is that a Eurasian Bullfinch? And a Yellow-headed Amazon?

I am forced to conclude that Camp Crystal Lake, whatever else it may be, is the center of an Extreme Irresponsibility Field. Not only do counselors let their charges drown and morgues let dead bodies escape, people are driving here from all over the eastern seaboard to turn loose exotic birds they never should have owned in the first place! Where’s the revenant monster who’s going to avenge that, I ask you?

I feel a screenwriting project coming on…

Featured Image: Quail, not in NJ, by Steve Hillebrand. Courtesy of the USFWS.

*think about how hard it would be to convince people to keep their cats indoors if it didn’t exist.

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Written by Carrie
Carrie Laben, after years of writing and birding in New York, moved to Montana to pursue her two great passions more effectively. She recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Montana in Missoula. When she is not cranking out essays and speculative fiction stories, or wandering around on mountains failing to see the birds she is looking for, she is likely to be drinking one of the many fine local microbrews or attending a potluck with something from the local farmer’s market in hand. On Mondays from 3 to 3:30 Mountain Time you can find her answering questions about birds on live chat at DaysAtDunrovin.com.