Last night was our local bird club meeting. Invariably, someone has a new book, new optics, new field gear, or a new article from one of the magazines he/she subscribes to. The conversations almost always include laments that we have too much of whatever. But we don't seem to be able to help ourselves.
It's relatively easy to justify another field guide. After all, there is so much information that can't be included in a given guide, that each of them has slightly different information that will lead to an identification on a tough bird. But do we need 5 or 6 bird magazines? Do we need to be members of half a dozen organizations devoted to our hobby? Evidently, we do. Because we put up the money.
I am a relatively low tech birder. Mostly because I can't afford to replace anything that costs more than $50--at least, as many times as I would have to do it. I can be absolutely depended upon to drop, bump, forget, or otherwise break whatever expensive piece of technology I have. For Christmas last year, my husband was determined that I buy a new pair of binoculars because one pair of mine was stolen and the other pair had been super glued multiple times and still only had one usable side. So I searched and compared and finally bought a pair on binoculars.com for half price. Still $300. Guess what? I had them 3 months and bumped them on something and they now have a little bit of a blur on one side. So I am back to a monocular.
I absolutely can resist bird "pretties." If it has to be dusted, I can usually resist. I'd rather be out in the field than cleaning. However, when a person finds out I like birds, they seem compelled to give me bird stuff. If it has a bird on it, I must like it, right? I have been on the receiving end of more ugly bird stuff than any person should have to accept.
But if there is a new bird book out there, I have to have it--after all, you can never have too many bird books.