Birding (bird watching) is a amazing popular outdoor recreational pastime that has some social perks for bird lovers. Some bird enthusiasts travel in search of a particular species, maybe. The Brits call this “twitching”. In North America it’s called “chasing”. This is a phenomena in well developed countries mostly. Some watchers don’t travel far and desire to just tend to their “local patch” of birds and others go great distances. Some are a bit scientific and want to study migration patters and other watchers just want to note what date the first Robin appears on their lawn this season. Why am I writing about this, well that is a very interesting question. Do you think the birds mind? Do you think they get self conscious when they see eyes on them? Maybe they nudge each other and quietly whisper, “Don’t look, but that creepy son of a bitch is back again.”
Again my mind wanders to people who have this birding urge, but not with birds in mind. This subject is super intriguing to me for several reasons and it gets me thinking about the fine line between what is considered to be a normal way to express fondness. Birders could be viewed as a type of stalker with no malicious intent, of course. They are just trying to appreciate or understand a winged creature. Well, what if a interested gent or gal is motivated to watching you? Consider him or her a “chaser” who is just merely “looking out” for you. Kind of like a guardian angel. Well, this is not heavenly, no. But it’s not harmful. No jumping out of the bushes with gun or knife in hand. No kidnapping, cutting, raping or boiling pets on the stove. I am speaking of a person who has you in his heart and has some time on his hands. An unpaid and unsolicited volunteer of sorts.
This could be a person who rings your doorbell and disappears leaving you to find a bag on your porch filled with chicken soup and Ny-Quil, after seeing you sneeze at the gym earlier in the day. Or who leaves dog treats at your work with a note stating that even though she doesn’t see you (in person) anymore, she still thinks kindly of your hound. Or leaves a random book about past lives on your car, because he insists that you both were once married a hundred years ago.
Let’s of course keep the creep factor in this discussion, but let’s take away the movie drama out of it. Let’s assume that you might know this individual and don’t hate him or loath her existence. What if this person in question thinks an awful lot about you and feels at home across the street sitting warmly in his car when you’re at home. Maybe, she is not interested or care if you have someone at your house, but just feels better being close to you and likes watching TV with you through your window. This person might also love to hear you breathe while sleeping at night and finds his way into your home to stand in your room to listen for a bit in the middle of the night, hopefully during your REM sleep.
This person might think of your safety and find a way to spy during your weekend hikes, and can’t help to mention the path you chose today in the forest was a bit out of the way. Or she goes through your trash not to find answers that are missing, but perhaps she is only looking for ideas of what she wants to buy for dinner at the grocery store. Or quite possibly he is standing outside your house spraying his cologne on your door when you’re not home, excited with the possibility that you might be thinking about him tonight when you get home.
Is it really that bad? Or can you just consider these focused individuals to be people or person watchers? I think it totally depends on your outlook, and the birds don’t really seem to mind when enthusiasts sit quietly in their habitats spying with binoculars. Maybe it all has to do with your attitude. If you find that you have this type of admirer, instead of picking up the phone and dialing 911, maybe you should open up you door and say “thank you for caring, you are so dedicated!” Perhaps that’s what the birds are thinking.