Sunday, September 11, 2011

BIRD is a 4 Letter Word

Birding has changed alot since the advent of the Internet and Smarphones. It used to be a mystery each time we went out birding - what could we see today, are we at the right place at the right time, does anybody else bird here? The best we would know about a certain birding location would be that another person showed up with binoculars. Or, it was mentioned in a birdwatching magazine.

For instance, Connie and I went to Newfoundland many years ago on a 3 week camping trip - in August. Who knew that we should have been there in June for more birds? We also went to New Mexico one year in May which you would think would be good for birding, but we didn't know where to go so we didn't see that many birds.

Nowadays, I simply walk around with an iPhone and get text messages and Tweets telling me about great birds being seen in the area at any given moment. The problem is that the texts and tweets come in 4 letter bird code and half of the time, I can't figure them out. Take last week's text : GWWA and BWWA at Higbee. Or this one : MAFR heading over bay. Or Adult ROST flew west past Coral Ave. Luckily, I can figure some of them out with a little concentration but even more to the point, I can use my iPhone to look it up! Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Magnificent Frigatebird and adult Roseate Tern all make sense.

I have been the grateful recipient of the text messages, tweets, and Birdseye information until this weekend when I was finally the giver of information when I spotted this Mourning Warbler under the pavilion at Cape May Hawk Watch on Saturday afternoon.

Admittedly, I thought is was a Connecticut Warbler until I alerted other birders who pointed out the difference in the eye ring. I then texted "MOWA at start of trail in State Park" and was shocked when about a dozen other birders flocked (get it?) to the spot to see the bird. Ah, technology.

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