Perhaps I’m growing suspicious in my old age. Maybe my ability to judge others has, through constant application throughout the years, become more sensitive to deception and, dare I say it, deviance. Whatever its origin, this nagging doubt has festered in my mind long enough, causing me to question birders, bloggers, and possibly the entire I and the Bird community…

What is up with N8?

You know, of course, who I’m talking about. N8 of The Drinking Bird has been a stalwart contributor of I and the Bird since he first hit the scene back in July 2007. In fact, he even hosted a highly infotaining IATB #61. But recent allegations as to the laxity of this North Carolina resident’s moral fiber (see IATB #85) have given me cause to take a deeper look at the “drinking bird” himself.

First of all, what’s with all the drinking? His fondness for spirits is right out there in the name of his blog, yet he doesn’t disclose the details of his drunken squalor. Not that we’d be titillated by such tawdry content, but pretending you don’t have a problem doesn’t make it go away.

Next, I have to point out the presumption inherent in that alpha-numeric pseudonym? Combining letters and numbers together might be reasonable perhaps in a password or some garbled computer code that doesn’t see the light of the day, but is hardly fit for polite society. Who does he think he is, Prince?

Last and perhaps most important, one has to question the veracity of his very raison d’etre. N8 has taken great pains since January to meticulously chronicle a North Carolina Big Year that would be thrilling… were it not so blatantly false! I have it on good authority from my aunt in Mocksville, NC that there are probably only 20 or 30 species of bird in the whole state. She’s identified chickadees, pigeons, hawks, Canadian geese, mallards, ducks, and a handful of other culturally relevant birds. Piling hundreds more species on top of what is already enough smacks of scientific relativism, which hardly belongs in the South.

If N8 truly is up to something, he’s been masterful in keeping the nature blogging community unawares. I say we must be vigilant to the threat he poses, stopping at nothing to thwart whatever diabolical machinations he’s plotting. In order to bring this menace to light, I’ve conspired to put N8 in charge of another edition of I and the Bird. In keeping with his penchant for psychological warfare, his Freudian I and the Bird #86 plays serious headgames. Is he on to us? I recommend that you explore his blog thoroughly for hidden insights and symbols; leave no post unturned in your efforts to learn what N8 is really up to.

On a related note, what are YOU up to? If your scheme for world domination involves blogging about birding or wild birds, we may have a place for you in our organization. Agents of I.A.T.B. keep the world safe for truth, justice, and biodiversity through ceaseless monitoring and documentation of the state of the planet’s avifauna. If you’d like to join forces with some of the world’s most powerful bird watchers, send a link and summary of your full report to me or our next host, the irrepressible Ecobirder (tiercel63 AT yahoo DOT com) by 10/28 for the 10/30 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.