If you’re anything like me (and you have my sympathies if you are!) you probably find yourself wracked with pangs of jealousy far more frequently than is healthy. I envy people every single day simply for where they happen to be. It matters not a whit where I am or where I’ve been. If you woke up in Ireland, India, Indonesia, or plain jane Indiana, chances are I’d like to walk a mile in your shoes, if only to admire the common birds in your backyard. Nearly everyplace holds some semblance of exotic allure, but thanks to my constant wandering across my beloved northeastern United States, I’m less covetous of temperate woodlands than I am of mountains, deserts, or rainforests. Still, every locale, every ecosystem looks good to me!

It’s tough, in a world of wondrous choices, to evaluate what areas offer the best bird watching. Yet, no less an authority than Mel White opined in the most recent Living Bird magazine (the phenomenal publication put out by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) that the most optimal area in which to ogle avifauna in the U.S. is probably southeastern Arizona. Now the distinguished Mr. White clearly has a bit of experience with birding hotspots east and west of the mighty Mississippi. For him to place the pleasures of the Sonoran Desert ahead of the excitement of the Everglades, Rio Grande Valley, Pacific coastline, or Jamaica Bay (perhaps I’m biased with this one), Arizona must offer quite a lot in the way of both birds and beauty. And if you’ve ever visited Arizona, you know that it truly does.

If, on the other hand, you’ve never had the privilege of cruising through this otherworldy landscape, brimming with delicious desert birds, be glad that Kathie of Sycamore Canyon lives in the heart of it! Based out of the Santa Ritas Mountains in Corona de Tucson, Kathie sallies forth to chronicle the dazzling diversity of her gorgeous desert home. It’s natural to feel jealous of her excursions through those cactus-kissed canyons… I certainly do. Just choke back that envy long enough to enjoy her enchanting “artsy fartsy” edition of I and the Bird #82!

Are you writing the kind of birding posts that make readers like me green with envy? If so, they belong in the next I and the Bird. Our next host is our fine friend, Wren of Wrenaissance Reflections. This Wrenaissance Woman is certain to present an I and the Bird for the ages (no pressure, Wren) so be sure to get your links to me or her (wrenaissance DOT woman AT gmail DOT com) by 9/2 for the 9/4 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.