Dan Koeppel wrote To See Every Bird on Earth; it was about his father's pursuit to see/identify, i.e. list 7,000 species of birds from around the world, one of only about twelve birders to achieve this feat. The author felt the purpose was: "the desire to find one's place in creation, pursued with a single-mindedness that so far has only evolved in humans. Seeing every bird is a way of seeing everything, of attempting to know everything. Such attempts mark human history, in religion and art as well as in science; they're seductive, and sometimes dangerous." I'm don't jet around the globe as Richard Koeppel, but I have a great time birding (also dragonfly/butterfly/wildflower/lichen watching) where/when I can. I like the author's purpose, I would add 'living (not vicariously) in the moment'.
Today, I added two birds to my year list: cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedorum) and chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens). Moments spent looking and finding were fun, exciting, challenging and produced a large degree of happiness. I'm grateful for...all of it. Here's the beautiful little chickadee in action: