A.
A.
Q. How long have you been birding?
A.
I've been thinking about this question.  It's a bit difficult to answer.  I think even ever since I was a kid growing up in West Texas, I took notice of birds without actually naming them.  But if birding is identifying, then I would have to say since about 1983 when we moved to Newcastle, OK.  The whole family to one degree or another became interested at that time.  19 years.  Wow!  I never realized that before.
Q. What got you interested in birding?
Q.  What's your favorite birding spot in Oklahoma?
A.
PHIL FLOYD
Lexington, OK
(co-host of A Dim View)
HOME
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??
A.
Sibley, Sibley, Sibley!  My, what a wonderful thing he has done.  Best book in the world.  I have bought several copies for friends and people interested in beginning to bird.  When I started, I used the National Audubon Guide which is also very, very good and easier to carry around with me.  I used to note in the Audubon Guide what I saw and when by the picture and description of the bird.  Year after year I did that.  Some pages are filled more with my notes than print.  I prize that copy now.  I can look at it and not only see what I saw when, but where I was when doing so.  Good memories, all.
     Sibley, however, is the holy book and I would never deign to write in it.  Now food and drink stains, pieces of potato chips, small insects, leaves from interesting plants.... yeah, they're all there.
Boy, what a hard damn question.  Okay, here goes, in no certain order.
    
Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Love to have friends over to the house that are not birders and the Yellow-billed calls out.  They sit forward in their chair, their eyes get big, and they exclaim, "what was that?"  Always love that reaction.  "Resident Yellow-billed Cuckoo," I tell them.  "Want to see it?"  I love the way the bird sits in the shadows of the leaves, leans slightly forward on the limb, and possesses that air of intelligence seldom seen in the fowl world of sparrow, grackle, and starling.
    
Carolina Wren - If there is ever a bird more in tune with itself, I don't know what it would be.  Very gregarious.  When it sings, it throws forth its breast, leans back its head, opens its beak as wide as it can, and lets loose with the most melodious song in fowldom.
    
Eastern Phoebe - I like them because they nest around the house.  They never seem inopportuned by human presence and are certainly the most avid insect eater I've ever encountered.  The tail flip settles it.
There are so many wonderful spots but I've got to say that the house where I live and the six-mile stretch of the road that is Edge of the Earth is hard to beat.  Red Slough is a close second and the Great Salt Plains is right up there.  What makes birding here at home so wonderful is being able to sit on the porch with my ID book, binocs, notebook, and glass of Jack Daniels and let the 100 or more species of Oklahoma birds that have appeared here show up.  It just doesn't get any better than that.
Our house in Newcastle was surrounded by woods and had a small stream behind it.  The birds came to me.  I started making notes on what I was seeing, put up feeders, got some identification books, and was immediately hooked like a junkie on Crack!  My oldest son, Chris, got his degree in Ornithology from OU and we did a few experiments together in and around the house.  One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was seeking out other birders and new places to go.  The addiction was in full bloom by the time he graduated in 1992.  I've thought about joining Birders Anonymous but just can't get by the requirement of leaving your binocs at the front door.
Q. What is your name, please?
A.
My name is Phillip Floyd; I go by "Phil."  Phillip is from the Greek "Philos," meaning love, and "hip," meaning horse.  Put it together and you get "lover of horses."  Always thought that was a bit suggestive so have opted for the simple, "Phil."
Q. Where do you live?
A.
In the center of the cultural universe:  17101 Edge of the Earth Road, Lexington, OK.
Q.  Tell us about your BEST birding experience.... so far.
A.
Got to be working on the Oklahoma Breeding Bird Atlas.  Working an area again and again and again.  Studying what you see, making the notes, meeting the people in the area, answering their questions about your presence and birds they can't identify.  Those four years were by far the best experience in birding I've ever had.
Q.  What was your WORST??
A.
Once again, it was the Breeding Bird Atlas project.  The area I had was around Sallisaw.  I was driving down a small dirt road when out of nowhere I was surrounded by an old codger in a beat-up Buick and a local farmer in his pickup.  A few minutes later, a Deputy Sheriff showed up.  I was questioned, grilled, ID demanded, and told it was not safe for me to be doing what I was.  When I asked if I were on a private road, the answer was simple:  "No, but it doesn't matter."  Later, on the same plot, a guy with no teeth driving a new BMW pulled up next to me and physically threatened me if I didn't leave the area.
     Always wanted to go back there someday.  Let them know I was not scared off and that I think birding a lot more important than their little patches of illegal flora.  My 12-gauge shotgun should do it.
     Only time I've ever encountered anyone who was not fascinated with the fact I was birding in their area.
Q.  What are you most likely to say when a bird flies before you can ID it??
A.
I have always thought that good cuss words are a wonderful way of expressing oneself.  Put several cuss words together and it's even better.  The one I most often use is.... well, this is a family site so I'll just say it uses a famous deity in tandem with a favorite human pasttime.
     To tell the truth though, I enjoy not being able to identify a bird or even getting involved with a discussion that is never resolved about a bird seen or heard.  It is the mystery of the species that draws me and not the notches of identification I get to record.
Q.  What was the last book you read?
A.
Just finished "The Fall of Constantinope 1453" by Steven Runciman.  Before that was "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about the  Roosevelts during the war years.  Currently, I am reading "Empire Express" by David Haward Bain, concerning the building of the American transcontinental railroad.  All fascinating and I highly recommend them.
Q.  Who are your heroes or role models?  Whom do you admire? and if you care to comment, why are they your heroes?
A.
Naturalists:  Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Loren Eisley, Annie Dillard, Ed Abbey
Politicians:  John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman (with qualifications), Adlai Steveson, and none since
Novelists:  Victor Hugo, Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky, Carson McCullers, John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, Gore Vidal, Norman Mclean
Essayists:  Edmund Wilson, John Hershy, Gary Wills, Ed Abbey, Wendell Berry, Matt Ridley, Herschel Raney, E.B. White, Walter Kerr
Poets:  Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, Wendell Berry, Howard Stein, Gary Snyder
Historians: Stephen Ambrose, H.W. Brand, Shelby Foote, Daniel Boorstin, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Scientists: E.O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Bernd Heinrich, Steven Pinker
OKIE-BIRDERS
FIELD NOTES
TULSA BIRDS
EOER
GRANDPA PHIL