Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birding Stereotypes: A Sneak Peak to a Low Budget Birding Movie in the Making

The following preview has been modified from it's full length feature.  However, this is an extended preview about another birding movie that will hit YouTube.com.  It's unlike The Big Year, A Birder's Guide to Everything, it's going to release on YouTube, hopefully someday and will be just about as long as the other features.  Some may like it, and some probably won't like it.  But the good thing is, it will be free for all to view anytime and anywhere (whenever it comes out).  Please enjoy watching and reading this extended preview....

There are many different kinds of birds.....

Most of them are cool, and there are a few that aren't so cool.  Don't worry, all of the ones above are cool.  Can you identify them?

There are many different field guides to Birding in North America.  Some of them are excellent...like these ones below:

These books, in my opinion, are North America's Big Five Field Guides.  Each of them can teach us differently, and each of them may be good for all birding skill level.  Have you picked up your copies yet?

There are also field guides to specific families of birds that draw more attention and careful identification than your typical pigeons, coots, mallard, and grackle.  Some of them are excellent, like these ones below:

There are also regional bird finding guides and natural history books for specific regions.  These books are published and then followed up by future editions.  Some of them are excellent, like these ones below:

And then there are horrible examples of field guides for the three categories listed above.  Examples could be given for each, hmmm....let's see.  Nah, this blog isn't one that likes to hurt other people's feelings.  Heads could be chopped off by one critical comment.  But for those pictured above, give yourself a pat on the back, cause your beyond awesome!  And there are plenty of excellent guides out there that aren't on here.  The counter and writer don't have the room for everybody and can't afford all of them at once, but if your not up there, chances are you may be next in line :)

There are also many types of birders out there.  MANY!  We have experts and beginners, chasers and patch-sitters, crybabies and tough-bloods, patient and impatient, hawk-lovers and finch feeders, short and tall, good and bad, ethical and immoral, and just about everything else.  When you walk down a high school hallway, you see many different stereotypes.  The jocks, the cheerleaders, the teachers, the geeks, the punk-rock-emo-kids, the loners, the class clown, the bullies, the average kid, and a whole lot more.  Well, the birding community and birders out there are no different.  There a studs in birding, some that are nice and not-so-nice.  There are jocks, good-and-bad teachers, plenty of loners, tons of geeks, a few class clowns, even a few bullies, tons of average birders, and of course, a whole lot more.  And this comes to the point of this movie, which is called Birding Stereotypes.  What type of birder are you?  Do you fit into a certain stereotype?  The birding community isn't too much like high school.  Even though there are stereotypes, most of the different birders learn to get along with each other.

So I've taken the task of sort-of coming up with this task of making this movie, and so far, I have had the help of many of my friends, most of which are all birders.  I'm the director of this movie, but I'll admit, I'm nowhere as funny as most of my friends.  I can think of plots, but I'm not as funny in front of the camera.  So I've had the help so far from some very awesome folks, most of which are birders.  In the movie, Birding Stereotypes, my goal is to have 40 to 50 different stereotypes.  This preview will feature 15 of those.  Come along for the ride!  These videos aren't public other than on here, so my readers, you are lucky (or perhaps not so lucky with a low budget and corny film!)

Hawks Only!

Eyes are on a rare bird in Arizona, but one "birder" can only see it as is a bright piece of hawk food.  He yells at the other birder and describes the lookout hill as being a "hawk hill".  He's on a mission, to be the best "hawker" in North America.  Every now-and-then, birders do run into that "birder" who only cares about hawks.  Click here below to view the video.  And NOTE ALSO:  If your browser runs slow by playing the video off of this screen, click on the YouTube button at the bottom right corner of this link icon to view the video in better fashion on YouTube for this and the remainder of the videos on this post.

All iPods out!

With the ever increasing demand in technology, birding has become the same way too!  We now have most of North America's top field guides available with just a click of the iPod.  Access to images and bird sounds has been made to be easier than before.  Take a look into the eyes of the iPod/iPhone birder and play the video below!

Some Rivers Never Stop Flowing!

When Missy made the huge mistake about inviting Dr. Scenus along on a birding expedition, everyone in the vehicle had to listen to his "greatness" as a birder over decades.  We have all run into birders like that, those people who never know when or where to stop talking and loving to hear themselves talk!  Laugh along at the Blowhard Expert..

Take Your Field Guide Everywhere!

Some birders don't grow past the early field guide stage.  They need their field guide present for all id's, and constantly flip back-and-fourth between looking at the bird and the book.  Watch the video and have fun hanging out with the Field Guide Flipper!

Where's Joey At?

Irene and William keep running into the same problem from the same employee at their workplace.  While they are working, their employee, Joey Brody, is usually sneaking out to look at birds.  Irene and William don't understand birding, and Joey is ignorant and needs to have a job at something he really enjoys, such as avian studies.  Watch the daily routine of "the guy who birds at work".

Impatient and Patient

When a reported Northern Waterthrush went undetected, one birder gave up after several minutes, while the other one never lost hope.  Take a look at a double stereotype, impatient and patient.

Half Good, Half Bad

Some birders, like these two, are good in some ways, and terrible in other ways both at the same time.  They know their birds, but also give their birds a very bad name...

Pitiful Peter

Peter's reputation has never been a good one.  He's annoying, nasty, mean, rude, and everything else in the book.  This especially takes place on birding tours, where Peter is commonly the one birders hate to be around.  On the Timothy Titmouse Tours, Peter acts the same way, and guide Timothy Titmouse doesn't like it.  As we all know, there's one in every group!

The Birding Guide

Rob Smith is one of the foremost birding guides in the United States.  He has good ethics, knows his birds, and knows how to keep his clients happy.  Join Rob as he shows his client William a variety of different target birds...

Let's Call It Right In!

Everyone knows Mr. Playback.  He's the one who plays tapes to bring most of his targets in, whether they are a sensitive and limited species or a common species.  Mr. Playback doesn't care either way, he wants the job to be done immediately.  When others question Mr. Playback, he has excuse after excuse of why it is ok to play tapes.  Take a look at Mr. Playback, he does call in a lot of birds in interesting ways with even more interesting expectations..

Josephine the Joke

When Josephine gets word of a mega Arizona rarity three hours away, she quickly hops in her car in hopes of seeing the bird.  She picks up her birding friend Malcolm along the way, and they both take the long trip.  Malcolm is expecting that Josephine was prepared for the trip.  But with a mega rarity, freezing temperatures, and a heck of a drive, would Josephine bring all or any of the items Malcolm and she really need?

Fancy Meeting You Here!

When Birder Jr. was out birding by himself without guidance, he ran into famous field guide author and birding stud Lloyd Stillwright.  While Birder Jr. wasn't expecting to run into Lloyd and yet have Lloyd talk to him much, Lloyd invited him to come along and he taught Junior many things without anything in expectation back.  While some experts are thought of as being too busy, Lloyd is one who enjoys helping others just as much as he has enjoyed his own success.  Doesn't watching this video below make you want to bird with Lloyd?

The Butcher Birder

The Lonerhead Shrike is a great birder.  He has accomplished many things, but then he hasn't accomplished much at all.  The Shrike is a jerk, and he hurts the feelings of many other birders.  Because of his success, everyone wants to bird with him.  But as the crowds say hi, the Shrike says bye.  The heartless Shrike only cares about himself in each and every little way.  He's the one birder who humble, friendly, and acclaimed field guide author and birder Lloyd Stillwright never has mentioned.  The birders often say, "Who will the Lonerhead impale next?".  Watch to see how the Shrike pierces his next victim.

It's Right There Guys!!!!!!

When Max birds with other people, life is never easy for him.  Max often spies good birds and when he tries to get others on the birds, he can never seem to pinpoint the bird well.  The other birders often get made at Max's describing skills.  In the long run, how will this useless tactic affect Max's chances of birding with these birders for very long...

It's a punoo-peppwaaa

Ever run into birders who mis-pronounce the name every single bird it seems?  Take a look at this Wisconsin birder, he's a prime example...

Now, that wraps up this preview of the movie-in-the-making, Birding Stereotypes, I hope you have enjoyed it.  Out of the 15 stereotypes so far, which one are you or are you most like?  Are you the:  There's One in Every Group, The "Hawks-only Birder", The Bad Describer, Impatient or Patient, Half-good and Half-bad at the same time, the iPod Birder, The Field Guide Flipper, the Humble Expert, The Lonerhead Shrike, The Birding Guide, Mr. Playback, the Guy Who Birds at Work, The Unprepared Birder, The Blowhard "Expert", or the Bad Pronouncer?  Or are you several combined?

There is a TON of work and filming left to do on this project, but you can be sure more birding stereotypes are going to be filmed.  I hope you've enjoyed this preview and these clips for this film so far, which is only a third of the way done.

Actors and Actresses (so far!)

Laurence Butler

Mark Ochs

Gordon Karre

Chris Rohrer

Magill Weber

Timothy Knupp Jr.

Abigail Torres

Dominic Sherony

Nathan Williams

Tommy DeBardeleben (Me)

A huge thanks goes out to everyone who has helped so far!


  1. This is one of the best posts I have seen Mr. Tommy!!!!

    I would have to be the bad describer and I used to be the worst pronouncer out there!! I have also met my fair share of Lonerhead Shrikes!

    Again this is one of the best posts I have seen out there great job Mr. Tommy!!

    1. Thank you Mr. Caleb!

      I still have a lot more work to do on it, but it's coming along. Glad you can relate to a few of them, I know I relate to a lot of them too. We both share the bad describer and like you, I used to be the worst pronouncer also. Many more to come!

  2. AWESOME Tommy,

    It's fantastic to see them in one place too. I guess I missed the premier of some of these videos, including Timothy Titmouse Tours, and that one is now my favorite!
    You guys crack me up. Thanks for the work you put into filming, editing, and producing these; they're thoroughly enjoyable.

    1. Thanks much Laurence!

      I'm glad to have them in one place! I can't really pick a favorite myself. I like all of them. But yeah, the Timothy Titmouse stuff is beyond hilarious. I had the hardest time keeping a straight face when Chris walked out of the woods and started talking.

      I am less than 1/3rd of the way done on these, and I need you to help act in a lot more of them! Including the bros stereotype.

  3. You AZ birders are way too creative and have way too much fun. Is that even allowed in birding?

    Seriously, I love originality and humor. Good stuff, Tommy.

    What are the range maps for these birder species -- universal? limited? any endemics? We may have some unique sub-species of these or separate ones altogether up north.

    1. Thanks Josh! Arizona, we are quite the wacko bunch. I used to be too serious of a birder, but now I've come to realize, "what's it worth if you can't have fun and joke around at the same time!?"

      These birding stereotypes can be found possibly anywhere. Universal would be the Bad Pronouncer I'm sure, limited would be the hawks only birder. There's plenty of hybrids out there too, I guess I'm a hybrid of several stereotypes. Endemics? That would be another stereotype I haven't made yet, but it would fall under the "Patch Birder" I think-a birder who never birds anywhere else but one place (and there are a few of those out there).

  4. You and everyone else had just too much fun while I was gone this week, or at least that's what this post suggests. Great stuff on all of them! Looking forward to seeing more in the future.

    1. Thanks Gordon! It wasn't any added fun, this is just a recap of the stereotypes so far, so you really didn't miss anything!

      Hopefully many more to come!

  5. This is fantastic!
    You need the Walk and Talk Birder and the Blind Birder by Ear (who insists on driving and leading caravans). That one might be a rarity or subspecies though.