Birding While Black

Truth and wry humor — ’cause we’re too big to cry — on the subject of doing human while black.

Gotta love it:  “those crepuscular hours.”  That’s fine writing.

I figured we’d need something removed from the immediate concerns of politics.  That there’s politics in the larger (and lasting) sense in the video above?  I concede.  Sue me.

You want a lagniappe?  Here’s one more Lanham video:


Have at it from here.  Let this take wing as an open thread.

53 replies
  1. 1
    Wormtown says:

    Thanks. These are great.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Thanks for that, Tom. Not a birder myself, but I’m really fond of the eastern shore (and the Eastern Shore.)

    Wanted to drop this video here, from Chelyabinsk, Russia. It’s half “you think *you* have infrastructure problems?” and half an expression of the making-lemonade-from-lemons that the Slavs are so good at.

  3. 3

    Cool/sad(!) video. I love birds. Some places, my nym is Corvidae.


    “Well now you know how Baboo feels!”
    “What, crepuscular?!”

    I love Archer.

  4. 4

    @srv: I don’t think Baud! has what it takes to be an astronaut. Not with that liver.

    Unrelated to Baud!: ActBlue just flagged my donation to Duckworth (yes, the post reminded me I’d been meaning to donate to her) as needing further review. That’s never happened before.

  5. 5
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Crows are my favorite birds – they are so witty and clever and intelligent. I love the hawks, but they’re not as social (unlike so many predators, heh). And I have the most fun with geese; for some reason I get on quite well with them.

  6. 6
    p.a. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Well, Corvidae (if that is your real nym), you can’t just go around giving money to progressives using assorted noms de plume without raising suspicion, can you?

    edit: noms des plumes? google isn’t helping

  7. 7

    @p.a.: Don’t ask me, I don’t speak that vulgar French crap. Latin FTW

  8. 8

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): OMG I hate geese. My grandpa had a goose that hated me, so, now I hate geese.

    And sparrows, since they endorsed that presidential candidate who’s scarcely distinguishable from my preferred candidate in the primary, so they’re PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE

  9. 9
    Hal says:

    Saw a window decal today on a mini van that read “The greatest lie ever told…” and here’s where I expected for a second to be something about Obama, but I was wrong, as the rest read “vaccines are safe and effective.”

    Wear that ignorance pride minivan driver.

    EDIT: Apparently it’s something for “vaccine liberation army.” Just a little surprised to see it on a worn minivan in Buffalo.

  10. 10
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): You’ll like Colleen Gara’s photo here, then. (Scroll down).


  11. 11
    p.a. says:


    “The greatest lie ever told…”

    I’m just going out for one drink…

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    they have a fun website !


  13. 13
    scav says:

    Closest I’ve even come to death (repeatedly) was probably in a car with a birder who caught sight of an new raptor while driving. Still generally fond of the LBBs and assorted juncos that show up at her feeders and can recognize the standard set, even a few adolescents so I’ve not been permanently scared away.

  14. 14
    LAO says:

    Don’t mean to go all O/T: but has anyone else watched this video. As a female sports fan/ user of the Internet, it really made me sick.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Hal: DPLA was posting on the hoped for worldwide eradication of polio on Twitter today. Which we were on the way towards, except there is the horrible news out of Pakistan, & the bumper sticker person too.

    I’m only one generation removed from my father’s cousin dying of polio in just 48 hours. Massive understatement- people with bumper sticker person’s opinions tend to make me upset.

  17. 17
    Chris says:


    “The greatest lie ever told…”

    Stop that, you’ll go blind?

    No, it doesn’t make you look fat?

    Both sides do it?

    “vaccine liberation army.”

    The phrasing implies that they want to liberate vaccines. Careful guys, these things are dangerous. I hear they cause autism and things. You sure you want to turn them loose?

  18. 18
    Redshift says:


    Both sides do it?

    Ding, ding, ding!

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:


    @Major Major Major Major

    edit: noms des plumes? google isn’t helping

    How about nom des plumage?

  20. 20
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I negotiated a treaty with a momma goose once. We both honored it.

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Many thanks! I like lots of those photos, but that one is so sweet.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    And I have the most fun with geese; for some reason I get on quite well with them.

    I loathe Canada geese. Before I knew what they were up to, a pair nested a couple feet from the front door of my apartment (the only exit). For two weeks, I had to run like hell to escape the male trying to grab me by my neck.

    The bastards are protected, but when I see one that’s been run over, I can’t help but gloat. It surely got what it deserved.

  22. 22
    Baud says:


    That’s not me, but I might give him a role in shaping the party platform so that his voters don’t stay home on election day.

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I don’t think Baud! has what it takes to be an astronaut. Not with that liver.

    My liver was fine. They said my hands were too small.

  23. 23
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @LAO: Well, yeah. It’s pretty awful. But it’s all about ethics in journalism you know?

    Full disclosure: 1) I am both female and a person who has not read the sportswriting that provoked these.
    2) I have twice been subjected to sexual assault by men I knew, and fought back to the kind of draw where they stopped the assault because it was too much trouble and/or they were concerned they might get hurt.

    1) and 2) may/probably do bias my response to the jezebel video; hence the disclosures. Ethics and all that.

  24. 24
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    Note to those who have SiriusXM: The Groove (channel 50 on my system) is all Prince for the time being. Hits and deep cuts.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    @Brachiator: “nom des plumage” sounds rather like you ate a duvet.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:


    “The greatest lie ever told…”

    Religion makes people moral.

  27. 27
    Bill Arnold says:

    Thanks, those videos are really sweet. (Birder here, with spotting scope in car.)

  28. 28
    Bill Arnold says:


    White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars

    And back! Twice!
    I love that story. Clearly a smokescreen to camouflage The Truth. : -)

  29. 29
    LAO says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): like the shoutout to gamer gate. The one nice thing about the video was how physically and emotionally uncomfortable the men were. So not sure we women should blame our reaction on bias.

    But, as always, I respect your ethics. Lol.

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    Hmmm. This fun stuff about birding reminds to to check out the 2011 comedy movie, the “Big Year,” based on a book about birding.

    The book followed three men on a quest for a Big Year – a competition among birders to see who can see and identify the greatest number of species of birds in North America (north of Mexico) in a calendar year. The film uses the same premise with fictional characters loosely modeled on the actual personalities.

    Stars Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson.

  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    Birding While Black..

    well, why not…


  34. 34
    Trollhattan says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
    I consider crows aggressive winged vermin, but they sure have nerve. Here’s one going after a hawk (Swainson’s) above my kid’s soccer game a couple weeks ago.

  35. 35
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    WTF guy is an serious birder and he’s walking around with some cheap ass Vortexes? Get some Swarovskis or at least some Zeiss glass.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m a freelance birder — never went on a hike with an expert or took a class. Something to consider! But I love watching birds, and I’m lucky to live near so many gorgeous shorebirds.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Maybe he doesn’t have the scratch for that level of glass?

  38. 38
    MomSense says:

    If you like birding and appreciate art, I encourage you to look for the bird’s eye pastels by the artist Rev. Paul Plante. I have a small collection of his works which are created as part of his daily prayer. He is a generous and lovely human being and was so kind to my kids (then young)when they selected the eyes that spoke to them.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:


    I consider crows aggressive winged vermin

    Crows are not vermin. They’re no dirtier than any other bird, and they’re really smart. For example, they can recognize individual humans and tell ones who leave them alone from ones who have inspected their nests. Biologists who study crows know they have to wear disguises when investigating nests to avoid being harassed by crows the rest of the time.

  40. 40
    Ajabu says:

    those crepuscular hours

    Nice, but late to the party. Thelonious Monk wrote “Crepuscule for Nelly” decades ago.
    Also,too: Three forms of I.D. Shit, we need that to go to the convenience store.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ajabu: It’s “Crepuscule *With* Nellie.”


  42. 42
    Dr. McCoy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: —-$2500.00-$4000.00, no problemo. What are you the 99%?

  43. 43
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He’s a grown ass man and a professor. Glass is the only kit you need for birding.

  44. 44
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Why handicap yourself with a $200 pair of binoculars?

    (No offense intended towards the differently abled)

  45. 45
    scav says:

    Some poor SOBs confuse manhood and competence with having the most expensive toys present at all times.

  46. 46
    Shana says:

    @p.a.: At The Wodehouse Society, there are a number of members with noms de Plum. For the uninitiated, Plum was the nickname for Pelham Grenville Wodehouse.

  47. 47
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @scav: people who have never had to distinguish between, say, a black capped chickadee and a Carolina chickadee at dusk can just form a line over there by the vending machines.

  48. 48
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Like any plant in the wrong place is a weed, too many crows in the wrong place are vermin. We have waaaaay too many.

  49. 49
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    I, too, love birds – and love these videos. Guess you could call me a backyard birder. We have multiple feeders, and I spend enough time on our large, very high deck – surrounded by mature trees – that the regular feeding visitors have come to know me. When I feed or water, they will sit on my hand waiting for the goodness. So far, I’ve identified 68 species in our backyard – which is located in a rural suburban area outside Cedar Rapids, IA. Those include bald eagles, pelicans, and seagulls.

  50. 50
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: Oh, I have – not to mention the 14 (?) different woodpeckers in our backyard. Do the birding rules allow me to count those separately on my list? If so, it just increased hugely.

  51. 51
    KS in MA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That wasn’t a sparrow, it was a finch!

  52. 52
    Paul in KY says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Me & geese get along pretty well. There’s a lot of them out at a lake I walk along & I don’t bother them & they don’t bother me.

  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Sounds really cool!

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