Anthropology is for the birds!

In the Appalachian Highlands of the northeastern United States, where I grew up, birdwatching was not thought of as a suitable hobby for a man. Local ornithological interest was limited to pheasants, grouse, ducks and geese–the kind of birds that could be shot and later roasted. A man walking around watching birds through binoculars would have been considered a bit weird at best.

My first experience with birdwatching came much later in life, when I was a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. One spring day I heard a great ruckus coming from the back lawn of our dormitory. When I looked out I saw a bunch of heavily-bearded guys munching on hot dogs and slugging from a keg of cold beer. Every so often they would look up at the sky and break out into animated jigs and loud cheering.READ ON @NATURE IN SHORT / Birdwatching proves to be a very suitable hobby for this U.S. male : Science & Nature : Features : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

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