Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Role of Failure

Dipping must be my middle name.  This weekend's theme is failure.  I've been trying for some time now to see a Northern Saw-Whet Owl.  I keep track of the emails and ebird postings (which are often hard to find to protect this bird and rightfully so) and I even read up on the biology, habits and tendencies of this bird.  Still nothing.  I've been whacked by so many cedar branches and fallen pine cones, that I ask my self what I am doing looking for one little owl when there are plenty of other birds to see, behold, and enjoy.

This brings me to next topic.  Failure.  What role does failure play in birding?  How does the "dip" as they call it push us to move on or stifle our efforts?  How can we, as birders, naturalists, whatever you want to call it, ensure that we have the ability, capacity and tenacity to continue birding failure after failure?  Well, there are couple of things to keep in mind.  The first that without failure, there would be no success.  The joys of finding the bird you are looking come from, in part, the effort you put in to find it.  Failure isn't an end but rather, a step to being successful.  While I have yet to see a Northern Saw-Whet Owl, I do know what a cedar, pine and hemlock tree look like without a Saw-Whet Owl in them.  Along the way, I've seen Barred Owls, Juvenile Sharpies, Merlins, and all sorts of birds and raptors.  While I've enjoyed the pursuits, I do have a goal to find the Saw-whet and I have to keep that in mind.

Here's my future Target and I will keep trying!
File:Northern saw-whet owl.jpg
Northern Saw-Whet Owl (c) brendan.lally of flickr
original link:

2012 Life List:
248 (Eurasian Wigeon)

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