Getting off the ship in Cartagena, I was once again faced with the inexplicable behavior or birders. I guess collecting a life list of birds seen is no stranger than a list of ports visited, countries invaded. Or fridge magnets, post cards, keychains or t-shirts. But what really counts> it used to be that saying what/where/when was enough. Seen the bird, record the data and move on to the next target.
Apparently the rules have changed. You have to have a picture of the bird. Your picture, not someone else’s no matter how lousy you are with the camera. I guess it is to prove the point since integrity is no longer being allowed. But what of birds in captivity? Do birds in an aviary or zoo count? And if birds in cages count, why not those in the various natural history museums? Or is the line drawn at “in the wild” or at simply alive? Not much argument about species of bird at least for those stuffed and mounted.
The reason for all this muttering has to do with the aviary at the port expanding since the last time I was here. Then it was peacocks, black swans and flamingos (all of which are more than colorful and worth seeing in their own right). But now there are several species of parrots, several hawks and other unhappy birds in cages with jesses. It was a challenge to even be able to walk through the area once the ship had really started unloading due to the people and cameras.
Photos are fun, but seeing what appeared to be a brown pelican near the river seemed to be more interesting to me. Him, the pigeons and various small varieties of the song bird family were out and about without human supervision.
I don’t think birds in cages count, but hey what do I know? There are people who believe the various performing groups that entertain arriving ships are actually representative of the current local population ……