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Sticky Birds

February 10, 2012

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.

  1. Kent Fiala permalink
    February 10, 2012 7:40 am

    Carolina Bird Club has a nice window decal of its logo.

  2. Brian permalink
    February 10, 2012 8:52 am

    Ok, I totally get you. I was that same cyclist. (however, i just couldn’t get to the point of shaving my legs since I hate shaving enough that I only shave my face every other day) The stickers rock! I have similar ones. I even have the “Do Your eBird” on my office door.

  3. Nate permalink*
    February 10, 2012 8:00 pm

    @Kent- I love that logo, but I can’t put it on my computer. You wouldn’t have a sticker version lying around somewhere, would you?

    @Brian- I shaved to look the part, I was never quite good enough to justify it, but i tmade me feel hard core, which I will argue does mean something.

  4. February 11, 2012 12:41 am

    Nice post Nate. Even though I shaved my legs, I found myself riding home solo a number of times. It has been a couple of years since I’ve been on a club ride and now I’m more prone to chase birds, my standing heart rate is a few beats higher.

  5. Luisa permalink
    February 11, 2012 8:16 pm

    I’d give a toe for that eBird bumper sticker.

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