Every blog has a beginning, and here it is. This has been a long time coming, and I hope it lasts. Since my five-year old son started casually identifying Baltimore Oriole nests in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park back in 2011 after taking a couple of guided Audubon Society walks, opening up a previously invisible world to me, I’ve been hooked. As impossible as it was for me to believe, there were birds of every imaginable size and color everywhere you looked. The challenge of finding and identifying them, and keeping a tally of those I identified, played to my strengths and compulsions. That it so nicely complemented our family culture of hikes and adventure made it an easy hobby to pursue. And here I am, nine years later, unable to shake the habit. 

What will follow, I hope, will be more than just observations on birds, and birding, and the places I go to see them. Whether it’s unexpected moments of drama and beauty and delightful little episodes of shared surprise, or observations on the unendingly curious rules, norms, and wardrobe of birdwatching, or deeper issues of conservation, class, and social justice, birding can (and this blog will) take us there. 

The title is an exhortation, a reminder, to be ready. I’ve never regretted bringing my binoculars with me anywhere–the birds are small, and often far away–but invariably rue when they aren’t around my neck. 

So without further ado, let us hasten forth – there are wonders to fetch as we go.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, January 2011