In February I wrote about the withering on the vine of birding humour. I was talking about this subject yesterday with a long standing birding friend, and we agreed there was still a dearth of good comic writing about contemporary birding.
Today Birdwatch magazine dropped through the letterbox. I instinctively turned to the inside back page and it was encouraging birders to watch more beetles. This seemed to prove the point.
But it turns out the was a humour piece in the magazine. It was basically about watching male birders as if they were birds. This is the extract they chose to highlight in large print:
“As a species they’re easy to spot: obligatory bins, three long, thin legs held together with gaffer tape and scruffy plumage made entirely out of pockets”.
Other gems include ‘The species is mostly solitary, but at times will flock together’, ‘They’re not always the most confiding of species. On first meeting they might seem gruff and grumpy’. It went on to a more positive finale, but built on those foundations.
I’ve had a few non-birding friends send me a link to the rude bird name place mats at the top of this article. I’ve had ‘I love tits’ and ‘nice tits’ mugs as Secret Santa presents at work, and that’s absolutely fine with me. But when humour by birders for birders relies on tropes like these we can do better, and we should.
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