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Triangle Birds and Beers: An idea whose time had come

July 19, 2012

Way back in January, when I and a handful of other “young” birders were invited down to the Carolina Bird Club winter meeting to lead a few field trips, we found ourselves bellied up the bar that was conveniently located across the parking lot form the hotel, amusing ourselves with the though that we – mid-20s and early 30’s all – were all still considered “young” birders and that it was nice to have an opportunity to get together to drink a few beers on occasion and discuss birds and herps and bugs and whatever else strikes our fancy.  I can only speak for myself, but birding is such an overwhelming part of my life I find it difficult at times to have conversations with the general public (I call them “normies”) that don’t have a birding angle.  The thing about birding is that it’s more than a hobby, it’s a way of life, which seems like a trite and unserious way to think about it but it’s a sentiment that people who are well and truly into it can understand.

That’s why we gather for field trips, why we travel to festivals and state ornithological conferences.  Why we seek each other out, because only in the presence of other birders can we really be ourselves.  And it’s a shame that too often those interactions are only in the field because a beer or two is a nice addition.

Anyway, this is a roundabout way of saying that the seed for a Triangle area Bird and Beers was planted during that brief post-field trip bar run, and the parties involved finally got our act together this week to make it happen.

There were six of us, not too bad for a hastily organized outing on a weeknight.  The three of us “young’ens”, and a handful of others, including some long time NC birders and even a member of the state records committee.  We chose a Durham bar with outdoor seating so we could watch the nighthawks tracking across the city and the ever increasing flocks of Chimney Swifts heading to the old chimneys at the remodeled tobacco warehouses.  Classic Durham.

We talked about albatrosses and butterflies and what should or should not be countable on a state list and birders we knew, and it was a really good time.  We’ll definitely be doing it again soon.  If you’re a Triangle area birder interested in coming up to Durham to have some beers and talk about birds, you are welcome to join us.  Just lemme know.

Til next time, friends.

  1. July 20, 2012 8:19 am

    I am turning 50 tomorrow. Would that be too old?

  2. July 20, 2012 11:50 am

    Excellent birthday, Simon. I turn 39 tomorrow. So I’m a tad older than mentioned here, don’t drink beer, and don’t live in North Carolina….but other than that I love this idea. Might have to visit someday!

  3. July 21, 2012 7:41 pm

    Might make for a more interesting crowd with a birds & margaritas get-together… 😉

  4. Alex permalink
    July 23, 2012 1:45 pm

    I wish this happened when I was still back in NC…now I just miss NC! Great idea, Nate. 🙂

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