Q. Where do you live?
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Q.  What's your favorite birding spot in Oklahoma?
Introducing our November 2005
Birder of the Month:

Jim Harman
of Ft. Gibson, OK
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Q.  What field guide do you prefer to use?
Q.  What are your 3 favorite birds? and is/are there any particular reason(s) they're your favorites??
Q.  Tell us about your BEST birding experience.... so far.
Q.  What was your WORST??
Q.  What are you most likely to say when a bird flies before you can ID it??
Q.  What was the last book you read?
In 5th grade, Miss Pearl Robison stopped class one day to call our attention to a Grey Catbird feeding young in a nest in a rose hedge just outside the classroom window, and she got us turned on to Audubon bird cards.  Prior to that, living in a semi-rural setting, we were aware of common yardbirds such as Robins and the Eastern Screech-Owls that nested in the old sycamore tree.  More serious birding came at Oklahoma A&M in the 40's, guided by Dr. Fred Baumgardner.
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Wherever I happen to be on any particular day.
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Stokes, as I find his photographs more compatible with my color blindness than the art work in most other guides.
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Grey Catbird, for reasons pointed out in #2 above, and I have a nesting pair in the back hedge every year.
As I am not a very good birder, I think of myself as a birder enabler.  So my favorite bird is the species I happen to be showing to another birder to be added to his/her lifelist.  For instance, several years ago on a field trip, the group identified a Hairy Woodpecker, but a novice had not seen the bird well enough to get the identifying characteristics.  We stayed behind to give him time to identify the bird.  That day, the Hairy Woodpecker was my favorite bird.  That (then) novice birder is a far better birder than I.  On another occasion, an expert birder and I were working waterfowl.  She had never seen a Black Duck.  I noticed a pair of Blacks in a flock of Mallards and pointed them out to her.  That day, the Black Duck was my favorite bird.
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A trip to southeastern Arizona with the best possible companions:  Jerry Sissler, Jim Norman, and David Gill.  The birds were almost all new to me, David's planning was superb, scenery was outstanding, facilities accommodating, weather and birds cooperative.
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I don't want to talk about it---but I will.  In the mid-50's, I was trapped atop an observation pole on the Aransas NWR looking for the first arrivals of the whooping crane's fall migration.  I was dressed in summer wear for the 80* weather when I went up the pole.  The temperature began dropping in front of an approaching "blue norther."  A family of exhausted whoopers, out-running the weather, dropped in on the marsh between my position and my jeep.  The young of the year and the female sat all the way down on the ground, with wings drooping.  They rested while I "cooled my heels," treed for almost two hours as the temperature dropped more than 40 degrees.  When the birds finally moved over to the bay to feed, I was barely able to climb down the pole due to lack of cooperation from frozen body parts.
     Also note that it is none too pleasant to climb up the south side of one of those poles in a north breeze when a Great Horned Owl has recently dined on skunk on the "crow's nest," or to reach for a hand hold to pull yourself up and find the "crow's nest" covered with you-know-what after a vulture or owl had reduced ballast to become airborne!
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Not much, as it happens so often.
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The Verb "To Bird."
Q.  Who are your heroes or role models?  Whom do you admire? and if you care to comment, why are they your heroes?
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My hero is my father.  Although we lost him when I was thirteen, he was (to us) strong, principled, an entrepreneur, an outdoorsman, and a father in the true sense of the word.  He knew the common names of all birds common to our area and taught me those names.  For instance, he taught me what a Widgeon was.  Then, when I went to college, they taught me it was a Baldpate.  See?  Father knows best!!
Q. How long have you been birding?and what first got you interested in it?
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I live where I grew up:  Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma.  Within an hour's drive are three national wildlife refuges, forest habitat, prairie habitat, riverine habitat, lakes, and everything in between.  When I first moved into this house (1980), it was the last house on the last block on the southeast edge of town, not unlike where I grew up on the north edge of town.  In 1980 notable yardbirds were:  Eastern Meadowlark, Common Snipe (this addition was a wet meadow in olden times when I was a kid), and Killdeer.  Now this community is a young urban forest and notable birds are:  Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Mourning and Eurasian Collared-Doves, Carolina Wren, White-crowned and Harris's Sparrows, etc.
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