Theoretically birding and relativity

Theoretically birding and relativity

Or… “Location, location, location!” 

Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra.

Now it could be true that a large part of birding and the excitement that seeing a certain bird can provoke among birders can be quite closely measured using the DOB rule.

Namely that excitement is inversely proportional to :

Distance Of Bird (DOB) from observer x species occurrence index

OK, I just made it up. So what am I trying to say?

Let’s look at an example:

Above we have the modest Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) – from now on just “Coot”, as it is usually termed in British English.

If you (i) live in Europe and (ii) see a Coot on your local river and (iii) it is close enough to be well seen through the binoculars you are carrying, and (iv) it is within its normal range and is relatively common on that stretch of river your response might materialize in such a facial expression:

Birders normal coot face

Now if the Coot in question is so far away as to be a barely identifiable blob in your telescope your reaction, if any, might look like this:

Birders’ far Coot face

If the Coot is on that same river but somehow you have managed to get so close to it that you can take a good photo with your unassuming camera and lens, your response might be like this:

Birders’ very near Coot face

Now for a change of habitat. If a Coot appears on your city terrace and is looking into your bedroom/living room window you might wear this expression:

Birders’ city coot face

If you unexpectedly encounter a Coot swimming in your bath then your reaction would possibly be reflected in this look:

Birders’ coot in my bath face

If the poor Coot is plucked and roasted and sitting on your dinner plate, and you are an inhabitant of the Ebro Delta, you might wear this expression:

Birders coot on my table face 1

If its plucked and roasted and sitting on your dinner plate and you are an inhabitant of Barcelona, you might be wearing this expression:

Birders’ coot on my table face 2

If you are out walking the dog at your local marshes somewhere in California and a Coot crosses your path, you might pay witness to the event like this:

 Birders’ coot in USA face

Well, that’s my relatively theoretical  theory. What’s yours?