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July 31, 2019

Birding, Running, Boredom, and an Unexpected Plot Twist

My dad is an ornithologist, a person who studies birds and has written books about them. My mom wouldn’t dub herself as such, but her enthusiasm about birds is actually what got my dad interested in them fifty years ago. My childhood was filled with treks to wildlife refuges (though my parents claim they didn’t take us that often), frequent moments of stopping, freezing, and staring at the sky until the bird swooping by was properly identified, and a house filled with a variety of nature’s treasures most people leave outdoors: abandoned nests, bowls of acorns, old peanut butter jars temporarily housing an insect of some sort. One of the reasons for my unique name (and the one I offer last and only under my breath) is the group of dabbling ducks named teal.