I met two truly amazing women who are also birders and dancers, like myself, at The Hawaii Island Festival of Birds this past weekend.
I hit it off with Lizzie Gordon right away. We knew as soon as we looked at each other that neither of us appeared to be ‘a typical birder.’ I don’t need to go into detail or define the stereotype of what ‘a typical birder’ is. If you’re a birder and you’re reading this you already understand, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re young or old, you get it.
Lizzie and I started off by complimenting each others nails while I was helping my friend Che pack up his booth at the festival, right next to the ABA booth Lizzie was working. Our flattery of one another led to informal introductions, followed by drinks by the pool with her husband, Jeff Gordon, ABA president and my friend Che, AWE creator and wildlife biologist for Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project. We all enjoyed sharing birding and travel stories. I forget how it came up but Lizzie mentioned how she loves to dance and has even danced professionally for a Middle Eastern audience! Once she saw my reaction she realized she was sharing mai tais with a fellow birder who also enjoys Arabic dancing professionally! Imagine my excitement! All these years I thought I was the only dancing birder!?! Come to find out there’s another belly dancing birder out there!?!?! Lizzie and Jeff invited Che and I to be their guests at the gala dinner for the festival! Che and I were both flattered and ecstatic! There’s no way we would have been able to attend otherwise. If you ever read this: THANK YOU again Lizzie and Jeff! I only wish I had more time to spend with you both!
The following day my friend Brad and I met up in the afternoon to bird Keokea for seabirds. We met up with another local birder and more visiting birders from the festival. There was one other birder there who was a woman. I was intrigued by everything she said about her ABA Big Year and all the birds she had already seen. Once she realized my interest and our eyes met she knew I was a dancer. I still don’t know how she knew I was a dancer but she did. I guess I could use the expression, ‘it takes one to know one.’ Not only did she know I was a dancer she knew I was a belly dancer!?! She told me she is proficient in almost every other style of dance. I really wish our impromptu birding gathering didn’t end shortly after that realization, due to the amount of amazing birds we enjoyed, but also because I didn’t have more time to talk with Yve Morrell, The Dancing Birder. That’s right! She calls herself the dancing birder and her birding journey this year is very impressive! Check her out at: http://thedancingbirder.com I will hopefully get to bird with her again when she returns to Hawaii in November of this year 🙂
This excitement and new found friendships led me to post my selfies seen above with Lizzie and Yve on Instagram and Facebook. Lizzie then shared our pic on World Girl Birders’ page and began wondering how many other lady birders are dancers. Over a dozen ladies immediately responded! I just made friends with women who are serious birders and skilled dancers all over the country!
I know I have yet to mention how many awesome birds I saw on this trip to Big Island for the birding festival… I promise I will share details in my next blog entry!