My name is Eric and I really know very little about birds.
There, I’ve said it. Like a confession at a “name-your-additiction”anonymous meeting, it’s said and done and out in the open. Now, let me explain a bit.
Backstory… (skip to This Site if you want the nitty gritty)
Born and raised in Southern Oregon my whole family loved the outdoors in various aspects. As I grew, my focus became mountain biking, hiking, camping, snowboarding and the like. My father was a hunter, sister a camper, mom a beachcomber, grampa a gardener and grannie a birdwatcher. I actually understood most of their pursuits except the birdwatching. I mean, how boring. Seriously, when you could be hiking or biking or actually doing something, why just sit there and watch for birds.
Then one day my dad mentioned to me that eventually, when the work of hiking through hill and dale and carrying whatever he managed to shoot got to be too much for him, he’d probably put down his guns and pick up a camera.
And I realized then that it wasn’t the “doing” that was important, but the “being”.
Just being outdoors, closer to nature in a quieter place than our modern world, left at peace with your thoughts. Doesn’t matter what you enjoy doing, just the being in the outside that is important.
Well, my grandmother passed some time ago and I never got to spend time birdwatching with her, which I regret. However, I do run a number of websites, one of them which is MountainsToday.com, and when I saw that SiskiyouBirds.org was expiring and up for sale, I figured that it’d be a nice site to run that wasn’t too far out of my realm of experience, my grandmother having been a birdwatcher after all. So I bought it.
And then I realized I knew very little about birds. Or birdwatching.
I am not a scientist, botanist, naturalist, avian specialist or anything of the sort. I’m not technically adept at much of anything, including website work. However I am trying to educate myself about these things. I also feel that the Siskiyous of Southern Oregon and Northern California are a great place to live, visit and simply “be” in. My goal for this site is two fold. First, educate people (including myself) about not only the numerous kinds of birds that inhabit this wonderful area, but also about the area itself. There is much to see and learn if you only look around. Second I plan to develop this site into a resource for birdwatching in general with a focus on those new to the activity, but hopefully with something for everyone.
Feel free to stick around and check things out, leave a comment here or there or send me an email. I admit I’m not the best at replying to emails, but they all get read. I also admit that I am usually trying to juggle more than I can realistically deal with at one time, so if this site isn’t updated as often as you wish, then I apologize. Gentle prodding works, ask my wife, but rants get iced out.
Finally, as I mentioned, I am an expert on precious few things in this world and birds and all things avian certainly isn’t one of them. I am a budding enthusiast, however. Information from this site is going to be gathered from a variety of sources. It’ll all get filtered through my melon head and then put down in my own words and with my own style. If I lift too generously from a source I’ll attribute it, but otherwise not. (I’m a published English professor and hate it when others steal my work or when my students try to put one over on me, so I’ll be pretty good about that.) Pictures will also be sourced from a variety of, well, sources and attributed as accurately as I can. If I end up using one of your pictures and didn’t give you credit, please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. If I use your photo and you’d rather I didn’t, please let me know and I’ll pull it down right away. I have no interest in theft of other’s work and won’t tolerate theft of my own.
Lastly, websites take time and money. I may have links to various commercial sites, primarily Amazon, when discussing commercial products. Many of these will give me a small percentage of the purchase price if purchased after clicking a link on my site. I appreciate any purchases made, but am not encouraging or begging you to do so. If I make no money from this site and it all comes from my own pocket, that’s fine. If I make boatloads of cash, so much so that I can retire to Belize and watch amazing tropical birds the rest of my days, well, so be it. I’ll invite you all down for my world famous pancakes when that happens.
But for now, back to the birds…
ps – my pancakes aren’t actually world famous, but I have made them for people in more than one country on more than one continent. So, yeah, they’re known world-wide.
pps – the “BirdMaster” title I’ve elected to give myself is really just a stupid joke (like all of mine are, my wife would say) that popped into my head when installing this site. Kind of like “The Beastmaster” the awesome 1982 movie starring Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts and Rip Torn. Which is really awesome simply because it is so bad. So instead of the Beastmaster, I’m the BirdMaster. Which I’m not. Which makes it funnier, right? I think my wife is right, my jokes are bad.