Bird is the word

I’m a birder. There, I’ve finally confessed publicly what I’ve been doing privately. I make this admission because birding has officially been declared “creepy” in an academic study by Francis T. McAndrew and Sara S. Koehnke of the Department of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Never heard of it? Me neither.

Apparently, there had not previously been an empirical study of creepiness. So they did an international survey of 1,341 people and found more creepy men than creepy women. No surprise there. They also discovered that the creepiest vocation of all was clown. Does this result sound valid to you? Me neither.

I’ve been a birder since the late 1980s and followed my fixation in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., the Caribbean and Europe. I’ve seen everything from roadrunners in Texas through dippers in British Columbia to pink flamingos in the Camargue in southern France. Never once felt creepy.

Well, maybe a mite creepy when I focus my binoculars on a neighbour’s place and it looks like I’m peering into their windows. So, if you see me ogling your house, backyard, or chimney I’m not spying. I’m just pursuing my hobby, seeking to add to my life list. No clown costumes allowed.

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