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Baby’s day out

October 12, 2009

I hold no small amount of pride in the fact that I had my newborn son out birding with me when he was but two weeks old. Even since that first trip, I’ve taken him along with me on several trips to my regular stomping grounds. For the most part he’s been an able, if not always willing, participant.  What I mean to say is, he sleeps a lot.

Because of my tiny, unpredictable companion, I’ve been hesitant to bird with anyone other than my dad, who knows precisely what he’s getting into with a trip out with us.  I like the freedom of being beholden to no one but my son.  If he gets cranky, I can leave, or at least keep walking knowing I’m not bothering anyone but myself.  So when I ran into some friends in the parking lot of Mason Farm Saturday morning who asked if they could tag along, I was a little worried.  I certainly wouldn’t want a crying baby to ruin anyone’s birding experience.

I shouldn’t have worried.  Noah spent the first 30 minutes entranced by the trees and eager to take a look at just about anything we passed by.  He was even amenable to a few stops to get looks at the Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the willow or to try to get everybody on the all too quickly disappearing Magnolia Warbler in the Sweetgum.  He soon fell asleep of course, but when he awoke, while we had a good portion of the trail left to cover, he apparently decided that food could wait, and that looking at the trees and talking people were a much more interesting way to pass the rest of the time back to the car.

Noah! Pay attention!

On the bird front, we appear to stuck in doldrums between the departed migrants and the yet to arrive winter residents, so it was  little slow with neither of them around, though late Indigo Buntings and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers gave a very late summer feel to a mid-October morning.  But the big news was Noah, who seems to be showing some active interest in being outside with me.  That was great, he’s never that invested in our walks but as he gets older everything around him seems to be suddenly more interesting.  I can only hope I can turn that to birds, or at the very least trees make a decent status quo.

  1. October 12, 2009 11:14 am

    I don’t think I’m going to be able to bring out Julian birding without Beth until he’s weaned off the breastfeeding. We haven’t been giving him a bottle and he only lasts an hour or two before he gets hungry.

  2. October 12, 2009 11:48 am

    You mean I am still going to be able to go birding in a month!?

    Life is worth living… 🙂

    What’s Noah’s life list?

  3. Nate permalink*
    October 12, 2009 12:53 pm

    @Patrick- Yeah, the bottle is key. We got Noah used to it because we had to supplement a little with formula pretty early on. He took milk from a bottle as easily as from the breast, which definitely opens things up. Now that he’s older though, he can go about 2 and a half hours without food, so while I take a bottle with me for emergencies, if I stay relatively close to home I don’t have to use it. But I’ve gotten very familiar with my local patch, it’s a good thing the birding is pretty good.

    @Corey- The answer is unequivocally yes! It can be done.

    And it depends what you mean by Noah’s list. If it’s what I’ve seen while he’s with me, it’s probably north of 100 now. If it’s what he’s seen himself, it’s Canada Goose.

  4. October 13, 2009 9:43 am

    MMM one solution is to take the mom birding with you!!!! That’s what we have been doing so far, and it has been doing great!!!

    My son is also fascinated by the trees……

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