Because I am physically incapable of resisting a meme...
1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?
This one's tough, since I've had so many backyards in my lifetime....
If we start way back in Minnesota when I was a kid, it would probably be the Cooper's Hawk that landed on our porch railing.
While living in the suburbs of Washington, DC, however, the coolest bird was definitely the Northern Mockingbird that acted as my alarm clock every morning.
In North Carolina, it's a tie between the Whippoorwill that would keep me up at night for hours, or the Eastern Screech Owl that I'd stay up for hours to listen to.
Up in Fairbanks, Alaska, it would be the bazillions of Common Redpolls that mobbed our feeders all winter.
While living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, it was the Mountain Bluebirds and Western Meadowlarks that always brightened my days.
And in Troy, Idaho, the covey of California Quail that lived under a bush on the side of our house win the honor hands down.
Back up in Alaska, this time along the coast in Seward, it depends on what qualifies as "backyard." If flyovers count, then it's the Marbled Murrelets that flew overhead to get to their nesting sites in the forest. If flyovers don't count, it would be the numerous Bald Eagles that would perch in the spruce trees all year long.
And finally, here at our home in Arizona we've got so many cool species that are really new to us, it's incredibly hard to pick. But the highlights are the Phaenopeplas, Verdins, Summer and Western Tanagers, Gambel's Quail, Gila Woodpeckers, and the five species of hummingbirds that visit our feeders.
Ok, I probably cheated on that question. Oh well...
2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favorite list and why?
Well, I only compose one list, and that's my life list. Right now it's been rather stagnant at 449 for a couple months. The flurry of new species we've seen since moving to Arizona seems to have cooled down. I'm going to have to make some more trips down to the Huachucas to look for more (like the Flame-colored Tanager and Elegant Trogon).
3. What sparked your interest in birds?
There's no doubt in my mind that it was due to growing up on a lake and next door to a wooded lot in Minnesota with a dad who loved birds (but never got as crazy about them as I have). Our crappy old pair of binoculars were constantly glued to my face. I even remember as a 9 year old kid requesting bird books for Christmas (in addition to Transformers and Star Wars figures, of course). I think it was obvious to everyone who knew me that I was destined for bird-nerdness. I mean, how many 9 year olds ask Santa for the Audubon Field Guide to Western Birds?
4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why?
Wow, that's a tough one. I'm assuming this doesn't mean it's the only place I could live, but rather the only place I'd be allowed to go birding? In that case, and given the assumption that I'd be able to go there any time I wanted to...either the cloud forests of Peru or the jungles of Indonesia. So...many...birds...
5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed?
If there was a single species that has eluded every attempt I have made to locate one, despite having lived most of my life within its range, it is the Great Grey Owl. I have seen (and even held) most every other species of northern owl, but the Great Grey continues to elude me. Someday...
6. Who is your favorite birder? and why?
Got to be Kenn Kaufman. If for no other reason than "Kingbird Highway" is one of my favorite books of all time.
7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder?
Well, considering we have a license plate that reads "BRDNERD" I think it's hard for us NOT to tell people.
Well, that's it. I think I'm going to tag Dave and Amy, even though neither one of them seems to really enjoy meme-ing much.