Isn’t it obvious?
A few posts back, I bolded stated the obvious – life is not fair. I am back to tell you that not all birds are created equal. You really shouldn’t be shocked.
Since I occasionally post photos of birds, people sometimes call me a birder. I’m sure the real birders who know me collectively gasp in disbelief. The best that I can tell from a distance is that real birders are intrigued by most every little bird that wanders into their yard. They keep track of which birds they’ve seen and can rattle off any number of complicated bird names with adjectives. Me? Not so much … in every category. My confusion only begins with the names.
I’m also a little fussy about the birds I like … actually quite fussy. It might be good taste or a complete lack of it. I can guess what the birders are thinking.
Since I tend to analyze things, I decided to figure out my internal system for bird likeability. It turned out to be quite simple. For every attribute listed below, a bird gets the corresponding number of points.
Predators 20 points
Larger 5 to 10 points
Quirky 5 points
Cute 5 points
Exceptional colour 5 points
Common minus 10 points
According to my calculations, here are a few examples of point totals:
– hawks 35
– sandhill cranes 15
– grouse 10
– magpies minus 10
If I’m faced with the luxury of a hawk to my left, a sandhill crane to my right and some common little birds above me, it greatly simplifies the decision about where to point the camera. This works so well I may have to patent the system after giving it a fancy name.
Of course it’s far more likely that wildlife is in short supply and I photograph whatever living, breathing creature I can find. That’s how I ended up with magpie photos in my camera card despite my fool-proof system. (Maybe I won’t mention that in the sales brochure.)
To add insult to the fact I was chasing a bird with a minus likeabilty rating, the magpies were extremely skittish.
When I finally got some magpies in flight, they turned out to be a lot more interesting than I thot. But don’t worry, I’m not getting soft and changing the magpie’s points. Too many exceptions would destroy a perfectly good system. And I see a great future for it.