About TTU

Welcome

If you like birds and nature, I hope you will find my website useful and enjoyable.  The focus of TTU is the advocacy of birding and the protection of the environment we ALL share, all birds, people, and all the flora and fauna of the planet.  I enjoy birding, nature, photography, making web pages, and educating people about the environment,  so TTU is a result of blending all those interests into a product I hope creates more interest in birding and protecting the environment. 

Peregrine Falcon, Pea Island, North Carolina

Sceech Owl, Durham, North Carolina

There are dozens of great birding websites and organizations, many of which are listed in the right column found on each TTU page. In particular, eBird from CLO(Cornell Lab of Ornithology), ABA (American Birding Association), and CBC (Carolina Bird Club)  are all excellent resources that I use regularly. And yes, we do love acronyms in birding.

TTU hint: many postings about bird sightings use species acronyms, such as GBBG, Great Black-backed Gull.  Here is a link to all the codes.

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Sandy Creek Park, Durham, North Carolina

Ring-billed Gull, Lake Superior, Michigan

The goal of TTU is to present birding to birders and non-birders alike. There are hundreds of "birding" organizations, birding websites, and birding blogs.  The goal at TTU is to present the art of birding,  especially to beginners, in a manner that does not overwhelm them, that does not make them feel minimized, and,  that will excite their inner bird to get out, get birding, and get involved. Many expert birders, in my experience, lose connection with beginners.  Most have good intentions but perhaps are too wrapped up in the finer points of birding to be able to relate to beginners.  Even I forget how exciting it is to see, hear and identify the first Catbird, Tanager, or Hooded Merganser.   Experienced birders need to consider how they interact with other, less skilled birders, and the general public.  Beginning birders, too, have a responsibility to study up on birding ethics and common courtesies.  Hopefully,  TTU will help make accessible the information needed to make birding enjoyable for all, for the ultimate benefit of birds and the environment.

I want to also stress good birding ethics (please read), and good bird photography ethics (please read), and guidelines for using audio playback (please read).  The best we can all do is exhibit good,  ethical behaviors and politely encourage those who do not.  Park in approved areas, close car doors quietly, pick up trash, do not move in for a photo that causes the bird to move.  At one time or another, we all make mistakes. Once, I drove up on (as in, almost ran it over) a Snowy Owl at Ft. Fisher because I mistakenly thought the group of birders off in the distance was looking away from my direction, not toward it. I did get some great pictures for my mistake but felt really bad about it later. And then, there is the non-birding community. Educate them. We need landowners and farmers and hunters to help us protect birds. Giving negative ammunition to those who might prefer nature not be protected is like shooting ourselves, and birds, in the foot. 

Hermit Thrush - Brickhouse Road Impoundments, Durham, North Carolina

Great Blue Heron, Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina

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