Q. How long have you been birding?
Q. What got you interested in birding?
Q.  What's your favorite birding spot in Oklahoma?
Introducing our September 2002
Birder of the Month:

John Sterling
of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
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?
Really, most of my life.  I have always been interested in the outdoors.
Like I said, I have always been interested in the outdoors.  I took Margaret Baumgartner's short birdwatching course while at OSU and that stirred some interest.  Then when I was stationed in Rota, Spain during the late 60s, I had the opportunity to see a lot of really great birds.  That helped keep my interest alive.  After I got out of the Navy, I birded on-and-off for a number of years.  Then I attended my first OOS meeting.  There I met a group of really great people and birders.  That experience opened up a whole new world of birding.  Since then, I have centered most of my recreational activities around birding.
Ok, I will give the same answer that Jeri and Berlin gave, the Black Mesa area.  I first went out there in 1967 with some friends who had been there with Dr. Sutton.  I have been going back ever since.  There is just something about the place (the people, all the people who are not there, the wildlife, the weather, the mesas).  You never know what new birds will be around.
I generally use a Sibley, with the new National Geographic and Kenn Kaufman's books as backups.
Well, I thought about taking Jim Norman's view.  Many times I have heard him say, that flower, bird, whatever, is my favorite.  I have come to believe that all the flowers, birds, etc. are his favorites.  I am kind of like that, too; I like them all.  Narrowing it down some, the Canyon Wren is up near the top because of its song.  It is the song of the mesa country.  Around home, the Field Sparrow is a favorite.  I like its clean, neat markings and colors.  Also, I live in the country and they sing during the nesting period.  But the top of the line, the one that always gets me excited, is the Peregrine Falcon.  No matter how many I see, it is always a thrill to see one.  Their form, flight and plumage are always near perfection.
This question is also really tough.  I have had many great trips.  Anytime you can get out with a group of friends who are birders, it is going to be fun.  Just to answer the question, I will settle on the last trip to Black Mesa.  We all got a great look at a male Black-throated Blue Warbler.  It was a lifer for several of us.
The worst was going out by myself for over five days in eastern Oklahoma.  I birded from Red Slough to the far northeast.  I think I got about five warblers, none of the really good ones and not much else.
"Gee, it would have been really nice to get that one," along with a few other mutterings.  You always know any bird that isn't identified is a really good one.
It has been a while since I read a complete book.  I have been busy working on my house and getting ready for retirement.  I think the last one was Dr. Brown's book on Cliff Swallows.  Other than that, I generally hit a passage or two in the Bible.  It's one tough book to digest.  Comprehending passages in relationship to all the other passages, along with all the other material presented, is really challenging.
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