Sunday, October 12, 2014

Raise Birdfail-itis Awareness

Most birders have heard of and know what a "birdfail," is (If you don't already know what that is, it's a birder who thinks every god dang bird is a first ABA record).

Actually, most of them probably don't, because I just made up that word and am launching a pathetic attempt for it to catch on in the birding community (While I'm on that topic, everyone should use the phrase "Mysterylegs," insetad of Tringa sp. from now on. Courtesy of Seagull Steve).

Anyway, most birders probably have (genuinely) heard of warbler neck, a physical condition where your neck becomes sore after looking up at warblers too much.
Dangerous, yes, but not as dangerous as the mental disease Birdfail-itis, a deadly and crippling disease which results in lots of hypothetical birding pain.

This is clearly a Tricolored Blackbird that fell into a puddle of oil and got its wing stained. 

*This document was verified and approved by the National Birdfail Prevention Society *

What is Birdfaili-itis? Birdfail-itis is a mental disease in which the birder falls into an excessive desire to find rare birds.
What can Birdfail-itis lead to? If Birdfail-itis is untreated, it can result in either becoming a birdfail, a listserv addict, or Neil Hayward.  The first two results are the case 99.999% of the time and therefore Birdfailitis poses a serious hazard to all birding communities worldwide.

Eurasian Magpie (China)
How are we sure this isn't a rare Black-billed Magpie vagrant from the ABA area?

Step 1 Check yourself for Birdfail-itis. Symptoms of Birdfail-itis include:

- Excessive posting of unverified listserv reports

-Studying and excessively photographing Spotted Sandpipers, winter peeps, mysterlegs, wood-pewees, pheobes, catharus thrushes, juvenile robins, first-winter gulls, female ruby-throated hummingbirds, Selasphorus hummers, Yellow-rumped warblers, Pine Warblers, vocalizing Empidonax, immature herons, coots, Song Sparrows, godwits, Red-winged Blackbirds, Long-billed Curlews, House Finches, juvenile Mourning Doves, female/imm. Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, common shearwaters, American Pipits, or Common Terns for for than one hour because that Common Tern might be a Whiskered or some crap, which it turns out not to be 99.9% of the time, leading to the next symptom...

- Experiencing a feeling of heartbreak or disappointment when any bird turns out not to be a first ABA record

-Blaming birds.

-Experiencing the feeling that every birder sees more rare birds than you when the reverse is true or.. maybe not true because you've already become a birdfail and all the listserv posts you make are horrendous mis-IDs

"I know Boat-tailed Grackle is out of range, but you NEVER KNOW." -something someone said sometime

Step 2  Treat yourself. Get the "Birdfailitis Awareness," Treatment Kit for $12345 dollars today! Warning:

- A toy which requires you to tie a knot to use it. Now, stop tying and end toy.

 - An egyptian code and a machete to cut it up with. Now, stop birdfailitis before you rune your knife.

- A shedding, furry, cat with too much hair to clean up. Now fur, let it and forget finding all the rare birds, because there are more important things going on in the birding world like the thousands of birds feral cats are killing.

I think this is a Little Egret with pigment problems. 

End toy your birding,