Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hipster Birders: Where Are They Now?

I suppose an explanation is in order…

Since completing my graduate studies earlier in the year, I've been looking for full-time employment all over the country. Despite all of the tedium that necessarily results from a really intensive job search, it was exciting knowing that we could end up almost anywhere. In fact, within the span of a single week I was flown out to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Georgia for interviews, and the prospect of living in any one of these places sent me right to the field guides for information on species distributions.

Yes, the variety of birds did weigh in my final consideration. As cold as Wisconsin or Minnesota might get in the winter, the idea of birding along the Mississippi flyway during migration kept both areas in the running right up until decision time. In the end, though, the job in Georgia was the best fit, and so I'm pleased to announce that the Hipster Birders have moved to Savannah!

So, with all of the whirlwind preparations, the packing and unpacking, and other, similar distractions, we hadn't had time to bird, let alone to blog about it. But we're back, and over the past several days, we've been doing our best to make up for lost time in the field. And we're both pleasantly surprised by how incredible Savannah is for birding!

Our gut reaction in thinking about Georgia, was that a 7 hour drive up I-95, from one coastal city to another, wasn't going to make that much of a difference in terms of birdlife. But many widespread species stop short of south Florida, giving us the opportunity to (hopefully) see all sorts of birds that we've been missing out on. Everything from Winter Wren and Pine Siskin, to American Black Ducks and the scoters.

On the other hand, we've had to leave behind more birds than we expected. We won't be seeing any Black-whiskered Vireos, White-crowned Pigeons, Snail Kites, Black-bellied or Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Florida Scrub-jays, or Roseate Spoonbills in these parts. Particularly sad (and slightly unsettling) is the fact that the last Limpkin we'll have seen for the foreseeable future was that pile of remains detailed in our previous post. On our last day in Florida, we made a last-ditch effort to find just one more, but to no avail. Sigh.

We look forward to begin sharing our new adventures with you very soon! There are some unbelievable hotspots here, and there are a plethora of places competing for our time. For now I'll leave you with some pictures of our new backyard: a 39 acre marsh, visible from our patio. Yes, I think we're going to enjoy it here.


  1. Lovely marsh. I'll bet that thing is chock full of Clapper Rails...

  2. Good luck with the new job and have fun exploring the new birding areas. Look forward to your posts.

  3. @Nate - I know they're out there, but no luck so far. Hopefully something turns up for the Savannah CBC on Monday!

    @Bill - Thanks!

    @Steve - Ha!

  4. Congrats on your new job! They are lucky to have you!
    Enjoy your backyard and the GA birds! The natural area behind our house was exactly why we chose to live where we do and it was totally worth it.
    Best of luck to you both in all your endeavors. It was a pleasure to have worked with you and birded with you!

  5. Welcome to GA! Maybe I'll run into you sometime.

  6. Thanks, Grant - I certainly hope so!