Esquire, the self-proclaimed “magazine about the interests, the curiosity, the passions, of men,” just served up a provocative feature on The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master. Of course these essential skills includes perennial testosterone-drenched favorites like throwing a punch, cooking meat, and kicking ass. Hey, this is what we men do. But as the list slides into home, author Tom Chiarella delivers a shocker:
74. Know some birds. If you can’t pay attention to a bird, then you can’t learn from detail, you aren’t likely to appreciate the beauty of evolution, and you don’t have a clue how birdlike your own habits may be. You’ve been looking at them blindly for years now. Get a guide.
Suddenly, I feel a lot more manly about stalking the tops of trees to spy colorful little birds! If you’re ready to bird like a man but need some guidance on a guide, pick up the Sibley Eastern or Western Field Guides for North America and the The Complete Guide to the Birds of Europe for the western reaches of the Old World. I, on the other hand, will continue identifying birds WITH MY BARE HANDS.