The views expressed by guest essayists do not reflect the opinions of Two-Fisted Birdwatcher or anybody else for that matter. Especially when the guest essayist is the recurring Bob Grump. But we still publish his stuff, whether we agree with him or not. And besides—the guy’s just playing with us. Or is he?
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Ducks ain’t birds.
By Bob Grump
They’re ducks. Geese ain’t birds, either. And neither are seagulls. Chickens sure as hell ain’t birds. Don’t care about ‘em at all. Loons ain’t birds. Now you might be thinking I’m one of them. A loon.
I wouldn’t blame you, because all that stuff I just said is loony. But it makes sense to me.
Coots ain’t birds, either. And you might think I’m one of them, although you’d have no way of knowing if I’m a coot or a loon.
Looniness and being a coot go together, most of the time. But not always.
But, where was I? Oh yeah, if ducks and the like ain’t birds, then what ARE the real birds? Hold on. I’ll get to that.
I’m a guy who spends half his life in wild parts of the upper Midwest. I walk through weeds, into woods, along lakeshores and up and down rivers.
I get mosquito bites, ticks dig me, I get scratched by thorns and I get covered with those sticky burrs that come off plants I wade through. I’ve seen bears, but mostly their ass ends because bears like to run off when I’m comin’.
I watch a lot of birds when I’m out in the sticks. And they ain’t ducks!
They’re bird-shaped honest to Pete birds that look like birds. Robins, swallows, thrushes, woodpeckers, hawks, meadowlarks, bobolinks, kingbirds, orioles, tanagers, bluebirds, finches, sparrows, you know what I’m talking about: real birds.
When I’m out in the wild and I see a real bird there, say a Brown Thrasher, I figure, awright! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
I have started thinking of myself as a two-fisted birdwatcher, thanks to your Johnny-come-lately web magazine of this name.
You are two-fisted in some ways I guess. (I like the picture of booze on your Facebook page). But in other ways you’re smartass, talkin’ about books and all.
Still, when I hold binoculars in my scratched-up scabby old two fists, and I see some real birds, I do get a two-fisted kick. Wanted you to know that, pal.
It’s not because the birds I see are unusual, either. Although sometimes they are. Hell, I saw a Dickcissel. A bird with a stupid name that I commented about in an earlier guest essay.
No, I get a kick because real birds are little bits of red, white and blue freedom.
Now, okay, you duck lovers, you seagull lovers, you coot, loon and goose lovers—you’re probably sayin’….what the hell!
How about these birds you like so much? They’re free, and sorta colorful, too. I refuse to argue about this. All I’m sayin’ is that they don’t do it for me.
For me a bird is a bird that looks like a bird. I wouldn’t walk across the street to look at a duck. I’d walk across a mountain to look at a Clark’s Nutcracker, though.
That’s how it is, as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t care if anybody likes it or not. I’m going birdwatching now, not duckwatching, so enough talk.