For the Birds

April 26, 2007

Reported by: Natalie Grise

They're a group on the hunt. They gathered from far and wide. All with one thing in their sights.

"Pick up some new birds. I just saw a bird I'd never seen, and now I have it so I''m happy about that," Bird watcher Bill Schmoker says.

"That's unbelievable. Its called a life bird," Dan Seger explains. He's attending the ABA convention from Ohio, "On the way here, we stopped in Alabama and its very exciting, hard to find."

Although they came with plenty of equipment, the only thing they're shooting is film. Schmoker takes pictures of all the species he's encountered, calling it his photolist.

"I love my photolist. This is number 560 and counting, I hope," He laughs.

At the ABA convention, birdwatchers get the chance to see more than 200 species of Louisiana birds, which might help him add a few more to the list, as will the extra eyes of his bird watching friends.

"You're more likely to find one than by yourself," says Seger.

But they agree that the best way to get into bird watching is to keep your eyes open, and start in your own backyard.

Seger says, "I lived in Louisville for five years, never went to the Derby until I moved away. So I think we definitely don't get out to see what's around us."