Back in the olden days, before my triumphant return to birding, I was something of a competitive cyclist. The sort of dude that would think nothing of dressing up in tight pants and clicky shoes, shaved legs and all, to go ride around in circles and up and down hills as fast as you can. In its way, cycling is as much an idiosyncratic hobby, prone to its overindulgences and easily caricatured archetypes, as birding (that probably says more about me than those hobbies though), and there’s something to be said about a early morning ride, clicking along at a brisk pace with an echelon of like-minded skinny-tired folks, when everything just feels good and fast and alive. But as a social avocation, birding wins hands down, even if the cardiovascular advantages are not quite as pronounced, and I enjoy the fact that birding with experts makes you a better birder, but cycling with “experts” leaves you with a long solo ride home. Though I still have a few of the trappings of that period of my life, I’ve pretty much left it behind and embraced birding fully and enthusiastically.
But I sort of miss the sticker culture of cycling. It’s not unusual for bike companies to hand out loads of stickers to bike shop employees (I was one for a while), and almost every equipment purchase you can make usually has a few stickers you can use to decorate your water bottles or your rack fairing or your car window. It’s a nice thing, you get to show off your interest even if you’re not actively riding. Most of the general public wouldn’t get it, but other cyclists do. That’s the point.
So I’ve been trying to do the same thing with bird stickers – though there aren’t very many of them out there – sticking stuff on my laptop so all the people know the bird’s the word. And the best stickers I’ve found come from a little operation called Burly Bird. Lauren of Burly Bird sent me a few freebies, white silhouettes of easily identifiable birds on a black background, and I like ’em.
My favorite so far is the Nuthatch, but there are several good ones out there. Go ahead and check them out and maybe pick up a few. No doubt Lauren would appreciate it. Stick them places where people will see them when you’re not birding. Let that bird flag fly. That’s the point.
Thanks to Burly Bird for the samples.