On Birding, Naming, and Loving

White-crowned sparrow.

I’ve been interested in birds since before I knew I was gay. I’m that girl who lugs around binoculars on walks and stops in her tracks when she hears the flutter of wings. I’ve spent hours learning the particularities of bird songs, brow lines and beak length.

You can love birds in general, but when you learn how to identify a particular species – when you learn what makes it unique – you can love that species more… well… specifically.

And then when you see one member of that species, one specific white-crowned sparrow, and are able to notice what sets it apart from the other