Who is Devin Griffiths anyway?

Dev_scopeGood question. For those of you who I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a professional writer and second-generation obsessed birder, and currently fully engaged in raising the third. I started birding when I was eight or nine, at the heels of my mom, who became hooked after a family trip to Florida’s Everglades. I don’t know when I developed the ability to ID birds in the field, to really differentiate one species from another, but I can’t remember a time when a bird was just a bird; now it’s as natural as distinguishing faces in a crowd. Not that I’m always right—far from it—but to just call something a bird and leave it at that is as alien to me as referring to my family and friends simply as human beings.

Since that fateful trip, I’ve birded on four continents and two oceans. I’ve retraced Darwin’s footsteps and watched the finches that inspired perhaps the greatest contribution to natural science in that field’s long and storied history. I’ve seen the great spectacle of avian life in all its pageantry and drama. And I’ve been able to share it with those I love.

Birding to me is more than a hobby, it’s an abiding passion as necessary as food, air, water, and shelter. Birds rejuvenate me, provide solace and hope, pull me out of human concerns and desires and connect me to nature in a deep and profoundly spiritual way. Nature is my church, and communing with Her is to be in the presence of the mystical, holy, and sublime. Birds are Her heralds, and whether I’m photographing, observing, or just walking among them, there’s no better sustenance for the soul.

Why do I watch birds? Because I love them. Because they fascinate and amaze me. Because they fill me with joy, wonder, and awe. Because birding connects me, not just to the outdoors, but to the people most important in my life. Because, like being a husband, a father, and a writer, being a birder is integral to my identity, essential to who I am.

I bird because I must.

7 thoughts on “Who is Devin Griffiths anyway?

    • Thanks, Kathie. I just visited your blog, and I love your connection and commitment as well. I don’t eBird myself, but that’s because my teenage son (who’s a better birder than I am) is religious about submitting all of our sightings himself. He definitely shares my obsession! I added your blog to my links, so hopefully my visitors will also check out your site. Good birding!

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog Devin, your posts are so eloquently written!

    I actually was wondering if I might be able to pick your brain for a birding tour I am hoping to launch to India. I am trying to learn as much as I can from experienced birders so that the tour is organized and conducted according to the highest of standards. My email is logan.mc@icloud.com

    • Logan – Thanks for reading, and for getting in touch. I’m not an expert in India’s birds, but I’d be happy to talk with you about your plans. I’ll send you an email and we can discuss further.

  2. Found your blog by way of your eBird profile. Found your eBird profile because I wanted to know who took the great pic of the Gray Catbirds on May 7, 2015 (it came up when I did the photo test review via eBird…gave it five stars…an intriguing photo that captures the spirit or should I say jizz of the catbirds… and I noticed that one bird was banded!). Great eBird bio by the way!

    • Thanks, Kelly. I’m glad you tracked me down, and that you liked the photo of the Catbirds. The banded bird is one of 17 Catbirds banded in our yard through Neighborhood NestWatch. We’ve been participating every summer since 2012, and love that we’re able to contribute our yard, and our sightings, to this project. It’s great to find another kindred spirit, particularly regarding citizen science. And I love that your avatar is a Chipping Sparrow!

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