Although the National Audubon Society’s first Christmas Bird Count was in 1900, my first foray was a few weeks ago when I joined Mary Backus and Sarah Sabatke, members of the Wausau Bird Club. Before this, most of my birding occurred in the spring, summer, and fall. Sure, we keep tabs on the birds coming to our backyard winter feeders, but the idea of going out to search for birds in the winter never really appealed to me – too cold and not a great variety of birds to see, or so I thought.
What secret sauce whets someone’s appetite to pursue a passion for art, birding, or both? Maybe it starts when a child assembles and customizes a birding journal cover. Perhaps it continues through careful observation while sketching basic body shapes and then characteristic details of crest, mask, or beak – all while seated in Woodson Art Museum galleries or on a tree stump in the field.