You’ve got to start back to blogging sometime, I guess. Here’s one for all you plugged-in readers who know what a twitcher is.***
Someone at eBird had the great idea to feed rare-bird sightings into a Google widget. Now you can get a fresh list, right down to the last harlequin duck and wandering tattler, every time you check your e-mail tally/Fox News headlines/stock prices. You even get a link to a Google map of the bird’s last known address.
Future versions of the widget might improve the text wrapping or make the regional selections more versatile, but this is a nice piece of software that ought to be lapped up by hordes of avid listers. Get it here.
***A twitcher is a kind of birdwatcher with an unwavering focus on rare birds. Your typical twitcher keeps a variety of lists, including all birds seen in a lifetime, in a year, on a continent, country, state, county, backyard, etc. In pursuit of the longest lists possible, twitchers are willing to travel great distances when birds show up in unexpected places.
As with most addictions, it’s not easy to tell when you have a problem, but one rule of thumb is that if you are willing to burn more than one tank of gas specifically to pick up a rarity, you might be a twitcher.
“Twitch” also works as a verb, as: “Last winter he spent MLK weekend twitching hawk owls. Drove nonstop from Cincinnati to Minnesota through the night. Lived off diet Cherry Coke and Pecan Sandies the whole time.”