There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Being lonely implies an emptiness and longing – something missing and perhaps hoped for. Being alone means having to rely on yourself and having no one nearby to either help or hinder. I see “alone-ness” as a neutral position, whereas “loneliness” is normally something to avoid altogether.

So why “Lonely Birder”? For a couple of reasons. One, “Alone Birder” sounds a bit odd. Secondly, I’ve learned a lot about myself in my birding excursions. I’ve learned that I am  an introvert. That means interacting with people for any extended period of time uses up mental and physical energy for me. It’s not that I dislike people (well, we can get into that, regarding notions of conservation and environmental impacts, later), but I use my “alone” time to recharge and reset, particularly after interacting with people. But I also love to share my love of birds and the natural world, and the excitement I feel. This creates a conflict and a slight sadness: I am unable to fully share my experiences with others because I need that time to myself, in a sense.

I can best express this feeling as a loneliness. I do bird with others from time to time – close friends, festival trips, etc., but my default is always to come back to nature by myself, happy to recharge and refresh, but wistfully wishing I could share it all.

Perhaps this blog bridges the gap, and I hope you find it fun, helpful and above all, honest.


Christopher, Lonely Birder

You may notice that since 2015 I’ve been birding a bit more with companions, and that role as a birding mentor is important to me. This is a direct result of this blog, and I am managing well with them singly or in small groups. But inevitably, I have to have that recharge time by myself to keep going.

6 thoughts on “LONELY BIRDING

  1. Hi Christopher. I found your blog via your posts on Mead Botanical Garden, by chance I was also their on the day we flushed the chuck. After reading your ‘why lonely’ explanation I wanted to suggest “Lone Birder” to you. I’m also on the cusp between intro/extrovert, so I understand perfectly how while one can be alone not not lonely. Of course, if you to change your title, you would be required to wear a small black mask.
    😉 Bird on!

    1. That’s a reasonable title as well, Gail! For me, though, “Lone Birder” still doesn’t capture the wistfulness “Lonely” does. (Although these days I am usually feeling more cynical than anything else!). Thanks for the feedback and Happy Birding to you!

  2. Hello! I just wanted to say you nailed the description of a lonely birder. Spot on! I couldn’t have described it better, myself, especially the overwhelming excitement from birding but the inability to truly share that with others. But, you are doing an awesome job of doing so with this blog. I’ve subscribed, so carry on! 🙂

  3. Hi Christopher! I too am a lone birder most of the time. I find I don’t jive with the style of other birders and also am an introvert. For me, it is more about connecting with nature than ticking them off a list. I thought I’d say hi and you aren’t really alone in your perspective! Lovely blog. 🙂

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