Every so often, I have to ask myself, how such an unusual bird, can become so common place, that now, I pay it little or no attention? How is it that a bird, just a few months ago, was a new “Lifer”, and such a thrill, now fails to excite? My new “home” here on the Mexican Baja, or Baja California Sur, as it is officially known, has provided so many new birds to my Life List. A few are somewhat common to this area, as well as farther north up into the US. There are 6 or 7 endemics, depending on whose list you follow, and there are a few rarities. Then you throw in some unique sub-species and this new home of mine has been beyond wonderful, a true birding paradise.


So, again, the question comes up, how does, say the Heermann’s Gull, a virtual rarity anywhere else, now leave me wanting for a new bird? A new subject to focus my lens upon. So much so that I walk right by them, even when in the peak of their brightest seasonal plumage? I have to wonder then, is this a common malady, suffered by birders all over the globe? I have to assume that to suffer this interesting mental condition, requires the kind of steady movement that I have managed to accept as normal. Living on a sailboat, hopping from harbor to harbor, even country to country, as the seasons allows, does put us in many locations for days, months, or even, as now is the case couple of years.


When we first crossed into Mexican waters, and anchored in Bahia Magdalena, I was so thrilled to see the Magnificent Frigatebirds over head! Now, I see literally hundreds of Frigates every day, and well, I just don’t even look. Yellow-footed Gulls, Gray Thrashers, and Phainopeplas don’t even rate a quick look see, or a photo unless they happen to be doing something quite unique. Even the Xanthus’s Hummingbird, a bird that brought me such joy when I was able to locate them, is starting to lose that sense of newness and awe.






Am I so easily bored, or is this a case of Birding ADHD? Oh, look, something shiny. Nah, never mind, it is just a Verdin.

I think I will need to move on to Costa Rica, with some 900 plus species. Nearly 2/3 of which would be new birds for me. Now that should keep me out of trouble for years to come!


Written by Tom Brown
Tom Brown grew up in the high desert area of central Oregon. His love for birds and photography started at a young age. Thru the course of time, travel, and a lot of different occupations, he ended up living in Seattle, and met a girl with a sailboat. When he is not scouring whatever area they are in, looking for the next great bird photo, he can be found trying to earn enough money for the next adventure, and of course, a new lens or camera body! Having been nick-named “The Bird Nerd” by his last remaining friends and family, Tom continues search for that next lifer, and the accompanying photo that goes with it. Find his continuing adventures, photographs, and guiding opportunities at Focus on Feathers.