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Join the Club

January 24, 2008

When I moved to North Carolina it took some time for me to settle into the regular routine of living in the south. I can say with some pride now that I’ve come around somewhat. I’ve shed my old college basketball affiliations and become a full-fledged fan of the UNC Tarheels (it helps that they pay me). I can have an informed discussion about the merits of various types of barbecue. I can even use the word “y’all” in polite company without a trace of irony (no small feat). It took me awhile though, to get on board with the bird groups here. I had been fairly active with my Audubon group in Missouri when I was younger, even serving a term on the board when I was 14 (I don’t know that I really did anything). But I had not yet connected with any in NC. That is until recently when I finally bit the bullet and joined the Carolina Bird Club.

Residents of both my Carolina and the *ahem* other Carolina join the CBC instead of, or in addition to, the local and state Audubon Societies. The Audubon Societies around here have a far more all-encompassing environmental slant, and thus are less interesting to some birders, myself included. Not that I don’t love nature in all its forms, but you know, I’m a birder and having an organization that feeds that obsession is a nice distinction. Both states have separate Rare Bird Committees and bird lists but combining them allows for residents of both states to take advantage of the other’s birding networks and locales.

The CBC has three yearly meetings in different spots throughout both states. For someone like me who likes networking with other birders as much as getting out in the field, this was the tipping point. I’ve noted before in this space my admiration for the bird blogosphere and its ability to connect those birders of a certain age and technological savvy. While the CBC may be an organization consisting primarily of birders of an older generation, the opportunity to meet and greet with the other younger birders in my area that do, in fact, exist is one I can no longer afford to ignore.

I also get a discount on pelagic trips from Hatteras, not that it had anything at all to do with my decision to sign up. Nope. None at all.


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