Welcome to the fourth year of I and the Bird! Our third anniversary bash really was something, thanks to our distinguished host and scintillating contributors. You can be forgiven for not reading through all the entries (…yet) but one response to the topic question spoke unexpectedly, albeit eloquently to the narrow scope of the topic question. The Great Man of Gippsland, Duncan began as follows:

With the third anniversary approaching, Pastor Mike of I and the Bird has exhorted the members of his congregation to examine their consciences and answer the question “Why are you still bird blogging?” Well brothers and sisters, I stand here before you with bowed head to confess that I have sinned, yes, weak mortal that I am, I have strayed far from the paths of righteousness. Even though I have taken part in every one of the seventy eight services, my thoughts have often been far away, to my shame, lusting after other earthly delights. In springtime I am too easily seduced by the beauty of wildflowers blooming, and in summer the brilliant flashes of dragonflies draw me to the pools to gaze Narcissus-like at the water. And then at night, those hot sultry summer nights, the moth light lures me to wait expectantly for some mysterious beauty to appear and beguile me with its charms. Then, in autumn and winter, fascinating fungi draw my eyes away from the tree tops, and as the faithful will have noticed, my posts have reflected my wayward transgressions. But have I really been so wicked? Before ye of unwavering faith condemn me and turn your backs on me, please let me offer some words and pictures to justify my backsliding.

Duncan then went on in typical fashion to dazzle readers with all manner of exquisite Australian flora and fauna.  But his point about “bird blogging” being too restrictive a description of what most of us do is well-taken. Well-received too, judging by the outstanding comments attending his post. Tai Haku nailed it when he wrote, “Let the ‘bird’ blogger that is without this particular sin cast the first blog post!” Clearly, if loving nature is a sin, we’re all going to the same place.

The ranks of bird bloggers are rife with closet botanists, herpers, and ode-oglers. Many of I and the Bird’s most prominent contributors are out-and-out naturalists. Our newest host certainly is! Patrick of the Hawk Owl’s Nest is as likely to post about butterflies or bees as he is to blog about birds, which is consistent with his keen interest in just about every organism he encounters.  I often have reason to appreciate his omnivorous interests, not just as an avid reader but also far-too-infrequent ally in the field. In any setting, Patrick’s expertise and engagement serves as a welcome reminder of how much fun it is to simply look, listen, and learn about the world.  Enjoy his Olympic-themed I and the Bird #80!

Do you fit bird-blogging in among your many interests? If so, share the fruits of your labors with veritable connoisseurs of quality bird bloggery. The next I and the Bird quits the Garden State for what I now consider the Conservation Capital of the World. That’s right, we’re headed to Ontario under the able stewardship of Seabrooke Leckie of the Marvelous in Nature. Please send your best post on birding or wild birds to me or Seabrooke (sanderling AT symbiotic DOT ca) by Tuesday, August 5 for the August 7 edition.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.