Taking pictures. Photography. Visual Art. Are these distinct disciplines? Is one better than another? To answer the question, I relate to my other hobby: birds!

Bonaparte`s Gull frolicking in Atlantic Ocean surf Myrtle Beach

Birdwatching. Birding. Ornithology. In most minds, those three terms conjure differing depths of avian appreciation. Bird enthusiasm ranges from the simple enjoyment of backyard birds, to submerging in state lists and big years, and even deeper into the intellectual fathoms of anatomy and natural history. The books upon the shelf range from Your Backyard Feeder to Latin Terms for Taxonomists.

Birding Ornithological Life List Checklist

But is one level of devotee better than another? Is the ornithologist more serious or dedicated than a birder? Is it wrong to only dip in our toes when we could be swimming deeper? Can we drown in the intellectual depths and forget the satisfaction of the shallows?

In reality, one can be all things, or be what one desires! In his chapter of Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, David A. La Puma writes, “Find out what you love about birds and dive in; the pool of knowledge is deep and rich and full of others happy to help you along the way.” An ornithologist can still enjoy birdwatching just as a photographer should still delight in just “taking pictures”.

Find out what you love in this season of life and dive in. The only wrong thing to do is to completely dry up!

Photo credits: William Wise.

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May 30, 2020


I went to see if I could spot a Kingfisher yesterday and ended up taking pictures of  Dragonflies instead. I just love nature generally, wildlife and flowers and taking pics is educating me in many things I didn't know before. Nice blog William :)

May 30, 2020


Very good!

May 29, 2020


I never thought I would become a bird enthusiast but here I am.  I am thankful for the cardinals that lives in the tree in our yard.  It's nice to have your favorite birds nearby.  Good article.  Ultimately, we are are just "taking pictures."

May 20, 2020


Great advice!

May 19, 2020


Great article!

May 16, 2020


Short and sweet - a delightful read, William - Thank you!

May 15, 2020


Birding is relaxing, fun and interesting. For me, taking a camera along means being at the right place at the right time to hopefully capture 'the moment'. Nice article.

May 15, 2020


Nice article

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