"All I know is American Airlines loves me."
September 18, 2016 2:17 PM   Subscribe

"Just over halfway through the year, a man named John Weigel spotted a Buller’s shearwater in California on July 16, making him the holder of the record for most bird species seen in North America in a calendar year: 750. But two days later, Olaf Danielson [world record nude birder] of South Dakota saw his 750th bird of 2016, a red-faced cormorant in Alaska. Now the men are in a fierce competition...." (previous bigyears)
posted by jessamyn (33 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
a red-faced cormorant

i mean, how would you react to some naked dude hiding in the bushes, scoping you out with binoculars?
posted by indubitable at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


I assumed that "nude birder" was just a term for birding that I was unfamiliar with. Nope, he has no clothes on.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2016




Nope, he has no clothes on.

I'll bet American Airlines doesn't love him.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:47 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do hope Olaf practices safe birding and keeps a trogon on his nuthatch at all times.
posted by Flippervault at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


[world record nude birder] of South Dakota

The Onion must have reported this years ago.

I assume there are birds in ND in February, tough guy, deserves the record.
posted by sammyo at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2016


That would explain all the US rental cars impatiently waiting for the police to open up Leslie Street Spit (it's a park! it's a landfill! it's only open in the evening! it's a big line of rubble dumped into Lake Ontario!) the day that someone reported seeing a Ringed Plover.
posted by scruss at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Sir, why are you hiding in the bushes naked, using binoculars?"

"It's OK officer. I am waiting to see some great tits or at least one booby. I was lucky enough to see a young European shag earlier. Do you want to see the video I took?".
posted by w0mbat at 3:43 PM on September 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


I am now imagining a movie version, where the two birders race across the continent trying to out-do each other, leaving a trail of devastation and ruin in their wake. They meet in Yellowstone, racing to see the last bird on their lists. As they both spot it at the exact same moment, the caldera blows, and the Earth is destroyed in 15 minutes of explosions and magma.

I think it will be a hit. Miike could direct.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:44 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


One morning I spotted a red-faced cormorant in my birthday suit. How he got into my birthday suit I'll never know.
posted by fairmettle at 3:46 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am now imagining a movie version

People shared your vision and there was a high budget Big Year movie made with actors that you've heard of (Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin) based on this sort of thing. I went to see it and enjoyed it but it weas not well-liked by the average movie person. Maybe not enough magma.
posted by jessamyn at 5:32 PM on September 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


People shared your vision and there was a high budget Big Year movie made with actors that you've heard of (Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin) based on this sort of thing.

Well, I know what I'm doing tonight.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2016


"World record nude birder" is kind of dismissive of the range of this guy's accomplishments, IMO. To wit, here are the opening sentences to his novel Windigo:

Dura awoke to the feeling of warmth on his back. His mind was awash with confusion; his head and body ached as he struggled to sit upright. Using his left hand, he brushed what appeared to be sand from his face. "Sand?" he said aloud.
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:06 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Big Year could have been a good movie with Wes Anderson. Unfortunately, it is harmless, and plays everything safe and predictable.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2016


I loved the movie A Big Year. I don't know what others were thinking.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


People shared your vision and there was a high budget Big Year movie made with actors that you've heard of (Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin) based on this sort of thing.

There's an amazing Christopher Guest movie here, too bad it wasn't a Christopher Guest movie.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:44 PM on September 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


I enjoyed the book the movie was based on, for what it's worth. I haven't watched the movie yet.
posted by Songdog at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2016


From Olaf-the-nude-birder's blog:

"There is a saying back home about being up to your ass in alligators but what if you are up to your ass in bears?"

The joke writes itself. WOCKA WOCKA!
posted by not_on_display at 7:48 PM on September 18, 2016


750! I can't even imagine how...
I'm in the middle of a mini-Big-Year right now. Low-budget, lower 48 and Canada only, no insane last-minute coast-to-coast travel. Still, to achieve our moderate goal of 500 species, I've had to quit my job, put all my stuff in storage, and spend the better part of the year driving and camping around the US and Canada.
Right now, I'm volunteering as a bird bander for the entire migration season to wittle down my last 50 species. Then, a few cruises to see some rare seabirds, and December trekking through the frozen woods for a handful of boreal specialties. It's a SICKNESS. Like Pokemon Go, except the critters are real and infuriating to find. But you haven't truly lived until you've wept at the sight of a ptarmigan.

tl;dr: if you have a hot tip to find a Short-eared Owl on the East Coast, memail me!
posted by Freyja at 8:00 PM on September 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


The Big Year is a charming movie. Quirky and generally sunny. Nice when you want a happy movie that's a little off-beat.

I admire your Big Year, Frejya. I've got a very casual life list since I took up the hobby when my kids were toddlers -- so much time sitting on park benches staring at the trees while they played I eventually started noticing the birds! And my kids and I keep a Pinterest board of our backyard feeder birds, which they like because it's visual so they can try to match birds they've seen before. These guys with their $70,000 budgets strike me as nuts, but more power to them!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:32 PM on September 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Valley News article says they're up to 757 (Danielson) and 760 (Weigel) as of last week. And I thought I was doing well when I saw my first puffin this summer.
posted by Quaversalis at 8:33 PM on September 18, 2016


"Sir, why are you hiding in the bushes naked, using binoculars?"

"It's OK officer. I am waiting to see some great tits or at least one booby. I was lucky enough to see a young European shag earlier. Do you want to see the video I took?".


he's a little ahead of you all with those jokes
posted by atoxyl at 9:02 PM on September 18, 2016


I imagine at that 700-plus bird count level there's not really a lot of competition for the 'world champion nude birder' title.
posted by easily confused at 10:45 PM on September 18, 2016


At his desk, a certain Very Important American Novelist stamps his little feet in impotent, envious frustration...
posted by From Bklyn at 10:59 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dura awoke to the feeling of warmth on his back. His mind was awash with confusion; his head and body ached as he struggled to sit upright. Using his left hand, he brushed what appeared to be sand from his face. "Sand?" he said aloud.

"Yes sand. And bits of sick."
*pointedly closes book*
I'm Garth Merengi, author, visionary, dreamweaver.
posted by Dysk at 1:54 AM on September 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed the book the movie was based on

That's true, I had forgotten that the book is quite good. I mean I liked the movie just fine, but I definitely enjoyed the book a lot.

Freyja if your New England jaunts take you within a few hours of where I am (Central Vermont but also sometimes South Coast of MA) please do look me up and I'd be happy to take you out for a meal in exchange for some bird stories. Best of luck with your Big Year.
posted by jessamyn at 6:51 AM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bird watchers... Fierce competition... Illogical, illogical. All units relate. All units. Norman, coordinate.
posted by Splunge at 7:04 AM on September 19, 2016


I refuse to believe that there are more than three types of birds. There are turkeys and geese and and pigeons and that's it.
posted by clorox at 1:48 PM on September 19, 2016


What about emus, did you even stop to think of emus???
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:07 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Emus are just big turkeys
posted by clorox at 5:39 PM on September 19, 2016


Could a "big turkey" defeat the Australian army? Emus are a crueler, deeper bird....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:52 PM on September 19, 2016


Turkeys are pointies while Australians are notoriously round, do the math!
posted by clorox at 6:22 PM on September 19, 2016


I assumed that "nude birder" was just a term for birding that I was unfamiliar with.

I thought it meant doing birdwatching without binoculars.

[Scrolls down.]

Oh....
posted by jonp72 at 7:35 PM on September 19, 2016


« Older A tiny vestibule of literary happiness   |   Galactic Socialism at 50 Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments