One British reviewer said of our site that “It’s written more stylishly that (sic) your average anorak’s blog.”  That’s nice and all, but what is an anorak?

That’s easy, say the fashion-inclined out there.  An anorak is a jacket, or more specifically a heavy, waterproof jacket with a hood.  Lots of birders wear anoraks when pursuing birds in inclement weather. Since when did outerwear start keeping weblogs?

Clearly, the term ‘anorak’ has another meaning, one that hits the birding community closer to home than in the wardrobe.  An anorak, our birding word of the day, is used to describe a dull person or an individual with a boring hobby.

This British term was originally used to disparage nerds of all stripes.  However, it has evolved into a more mild tag for obsessive personalities like trainspotters, techies, and stats junkies.  There are a host of U.K.-based websites that proudly proclaim their anorak status.

How did we innocent birders get lumped in with the pirate radio fans and number fetishists?  It is probably due in part to our collective emphasis on lists and counts.  I suspect the real reason is that anyone who is passionate and knowledgeable about a hobby that requires a specialized skill-set can be hung with this label.  That makes birding a perfect fit.  So we’re anoraks…what of it?  I’m having fun.  How about you?

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.