Smirror: Watching people watch birds improves quality time


pasted-image-0-8-1658053136-1522963025323.pngHey friends, Becky here.

Beau didn’t have time to write his column this week. He got caught up in March Madness, and I haven’t seen him since Loyola made the final four.

But that’s okay because now we can talk about bird watching—er, more specifically, watching the bird watchers.

Bird watching has pretty much been an artform since the late 19th century, but staring at those weird kids who watch the birds? An underappreciated craft, mastered only by the truly dedicated and mentally tough. 

There are a lot of facets to bird-people watching, and some just don’t get it. So let me try to explain:

First, you have to seek out the birds. Some fanatics will tell you that the robins and blackbirds will eventually fly your way with a handful of patience and a bit of luck, but let’s be real. Those are the amateurs. 

The few, the proud and the strong will chase the birds, Gone with the Wind style. Does this usually work? Nah, not really. They’re better off covering a right hand in peanut butter and corn kernels.

The true watchers will stumble upon their prime targets—freshman biology majors—staring out the bay windows from the Ordal Dining Hall. From there, the watchers will angle themselves just a few tables away, using a newspaper and a bowl of Lucky Charms as a coverup. 

This practice allows the bird watchers to remain comfortable in their natural environment. If the watchers get too close, the freshies get flighty and are gone before any cool observations can be made about them or their closest friends, a.k.a the blackbirds.

But here’s what we learn from all this: People are birds, and birds are people. They both do their best to build a comfy nest, fly from place to place and would really just like a couple friends. 

So, why would we condemn ourselves to only watching out for the aves, when the ones doing the watching are just as interesting? Is this actually just stalking? Probably.

If you’re looking for a new sport, but can’t make the D-2 athletics cut, just pick up a set of binoculars and stake out the dining hall. Just make sure to bring a Moleskine or two.

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