Book of Birds Author’s Note

me celebrating reach 300 species for the year (December 2020)

I mean, at this point, everyone who knows me knows how much I’ve gotten into birds. I’m starting to relate to Owen Wilson’s character in The Big Year when he says it’s not just a hobby, “it’s more of a calling.” 

I’ve had a connection with the Mountain Bluebird ever since I had a Vision Quest experience with them in Utah in 2004. But it wasn’t until 2015 that the recent interest in birding was really sparked, when Shana and I came across one of those nature info signs at Mushroom Pond in Westminster that showed a photo of a Cinnamon Teal and we were like ‘what?? There’s a red duck?” It was like a whole new non-vague avian world was suddenly revealed and we were curious.

It grew steadily into an obsession from there, getting binoculars and field guides, finding some of the birding hotspots in the area, discovering eBird and submitting checklists. By the fall of 2016 we were birding regularly, and it started making its way into my writing as well. The birds, usually specific species, seemed to effortlessly fit in as symbols for my internal world. 

In the summer of 2017 I got my first camera, and then it wasn’t just enough to sight and list the bird I also hadta capture it and post it on Instagram. I’ve used some of those photos for featured images in the book. 

  • Do you like Song Sparrows and/or are a people pleaser?
  • Do you like American Robins and/or lose your temper when things don’t go as expected?
  • Do you like Summer Tangers and/or feel like you’ll never have your shit together enough to become a parent?
  • Do you like Black-capped Chickadees and/or get disappointed that others aren’t more excited about nature? 
  • Do you like Common Grackles and/or struggle to take care of your mental health?
  • Do you like Northern Cardinals and/or want to will miracles to happen?
  • Do you like Whimbrels and/or get annoyed by normies who like french toast?
  • Do you like Canada Geese and/or get annoyed by normies who throw rocks at frozen ponds?
  • Do you like House Finches and/or have trouble predicting when things are going to die? 

Then you might Me&You with this book!

– Jonathan 

%d bloggers like this: