Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cool Picture

Does the entire population of the UK go birding? Here's what happened when a Long-billed Murrelet showed up there in November.


Susan said...

Another worthwhile question - where are the women in this picture? Can you imagine such a skewed gender ratio in the US? Women in Europe are much less active in many hobbies and interests. I haven't figured out why, as the birthrate is probably less than it is here, and in some cases their wealth and security are greater.

Susan Gets Native said...

I think they ferried in some birders from Ireland, too.

Birdchick opened an interesting question regarding birders:
Where are the non-caucasian birders?

Cool shot...Isn't it nice when we are with other birders? It's like we all belong to a really cool fraternity, and anyone can join.

Patrick Belardo said...

Susan #1,

I've seen letters in various publications about the lack of women birders in Europe. I'm not sure if there's any one specific explanation.

Susan #2,

That's such a great question and something worth exploring. I've seen 1-2 African-American birders in my time and I know some Hispanic birders, but most of them are from countries with lots of birds. What can we do to help I wonder? More opportunities for inner-city children, more advertising in places where there are high populations of minorities? Hmm... maybe a project for my next bird walk...

Nuthatch said...

Kenn Kaufman discussed the non-white birder issue in an interview in the latest issue of Birding. It was one reason why he paid for the Spanish translation of his field guide out of his own pocket (I always purchase a few copies of these when traveling near or south of the border, and give them away).

As for the UK picture, perhaps part of the lack of women also has to do with the fact that female birders, I think, tend to be less competitive than men. This was a first-UK record for the murrelet, which attracts all the hard-core listers (twitchers over there).

I note they also seem to be nice and orderly, something I'm not sure would occur over here!

Patrick Belardo said...

Nuthatch, I'll have to checkout that article. I just got that issue. I think the Spanish field guide is so great and I applaud Kenn for all that he is doing. I applaud you too for doing that. NJ Audubon just came out with a guide to the NJ Meadowlands which is near urban areas. They produced that guide in Spanish. It's free too.

Good point about the competitiveness. That's probably a big factor. I participate on BirdForum periodically which has a large UK audience. Most UK and Europeans on there are male too.