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Jesper Bay Jacobsen, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Before 2017 this website used to be www.naturewatch.dk.
|How it started||
I'm born in 1966 but didn't start birdwatching until 1987 which is late compared to most of the brighter stars on the avian firmament. And it was a very hesitant start.
Being negative and skeptic about many things in those years my first encounter with the birding world was no exception.
My family shared a summer residence in Sweden with 4 other families; my father's colleague being one of them. And he was a birdwatcher. And when we went shopping we would drive through the landscape, and he would start like this: ”Look, that's a Buzzard sitting on that post”. And later: “That was a Red Kite flying behind the trees, and those are Ravens...” For a long time I just ignored it as useless boring information, and we would drive on with no further comments on my part.
But during the years he would continue, and I came to a point when it irritated me that he made his statements with such confidence and enthusiasm. “Don't fool me you old hippie!” And I started questioning him with a very skeptical expression on my face, trying to show as much mistrust as possible! As if anybody would be able to identify a bird sitting 100 meters away while driving at 80 km/h. HA!
Of course my bad intentions of exposing him as a fraudulent bragger didn't bare fruit. He started explaining the details and differences, and crosschecking with his bird guides I understood that what he said was true.
Denied a successful result to my bad-mannered attack, I had to accept that there was a world of challenging feathers out there that I did not master nor knew of. And even more irritating: It fascinated me!
From there on it started little by little, and with a few breaks in the earlier years my birding interest has just kept growing.
During these years I have been birding most countries in Europe as well as Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, China, India, Gambia, USA, Canada and Mexico.
In 1988 I visited Mexico the first time.
I'm still not completely sure why I felt attracted to this strange country so far away. One reason, though, why I made my decision was that my high school friends who also decided to travel far in those years all headed in the other direction out of Denmark, toward the Far East. The classical naive hippie illusion as I saw it. I needed to manifest my disapproval, so I turned the map upside down, and it pointed toward Mexico.
The Mexican landscapes though, have always been a great attraction to me, I see that today, and in those years the Pre-Hispanic cultures probably as well, since I visited all the important ruin sites during that trip.
Being a very newborn birder I still didn't understand the concept that well and the talking about species list and lifers didn't affect me at all. So when it was time to pack my bag I did it with the intention to travel light, so I felt I had to choose between binoculars or my camera to minimize the weight. And since photography was still more interesting to me than watching birds I opted for the camera.
A disaster from a birding point of view it turned out, since I after going back to Denmark didn't have a single clue about any birds I had seen during the 3 months I traveled through the region other than from two photos I took: A California Gull in LA, and an Ocellated Turkey at Tikal in Guatemala.
Not a single feather from Mexico, and as my birding interest grew stronger over the years, the frustration did too. So close to so many attractive species, and nothing. I had to go back!
With patience we all shall die, and finally 18 years later in 2006 the world re-arranged itself allowing me to once again set foot on this faraway land that during all these years had been slumbering in my heart as a forgotten attraction.
So on the 6th of January I could make my first Mexican records: It was in Aguascalientes on a freezing cold morning, and I was thrilled to see Inca and White-winged Doves together with Clay-colored Sparrows and, as it has turned out later, a rare Green-tailed Towhee and scarce White-crowned Sparrows. I loved it, and have done so ever since.
My interests can be summed up to field identification, species lists, taxonomy, photography and traveling.
On one hand I am extremely systematic and love to have control via my lists, while I at the same time have a poetic inclination, which I hope will express itself through my photos and texts.
All rights reserved. The material on this website can only be used commercially or publically according to previous agreement.
Danish because I'm Danish, English because it is unavoidable and Spanish because Mexico is my new home country. But the site is no longer being maintained in all three languages, only English, except for the species names. However, Danish and Spanish might still appear as my mood and inspiration dictates it.
All photos are taken by me, unless mentioned otherwise in the comment field of the picture.The few pictures dated before October 2007, have been taken with a Nikon Coolpix 4500 and as handheld 'digiscoping', if speaking of bird pictures.
Photos dated between October 2007 and March 2015 have all been taken using a Canon 40D + 400mm f/5.6 or 17-40 4.0 L.
Have bought Canon 7D Mark II in March 2015, and all pictures from that day will be taken with this camera.
While doing a short trip to Belize at the beginning of December 2018, my 400mm lens simply fell apart while watching a beautiful double rainbow glowing over Bird's Eye View Lodge in Crooked Tree. I might try to have it repaired one day, since it has been a perfect companion for a mobile birder taking photos, but after having regretted the incident for a short while, I decided to see it as positive signal to finally get a newer lens. And often doing handheld and monopod shooting I have long wanted to have a lens with stabilization, why I January 7th 2019 bought the 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Realizing that I'm a birder with a camera and not a photographer shooting birds, I expect this lens to support my continued need for flexibility and mobility.
If you have found a photo that you want to use, contact me by email, and we will work out a price and conditions.
All names of bird species on this web site follow Clements taxonomy in latest edition (ebird/Clements (2018)).
The Danish names follow the list produced by Navnegruppen under The Danish Ornithological Society. This list though, follows Sibley & Monroe, and therefore if mismatches occur, I will have to name the species from another source and will put a note on this with the species name.
The Mexican names follow this list, or ebird. Spanish names for species not relevant to Mexican, I will find using Wikipedia.
In general, names which do not follow the mentioned rules, will be marked with an asterisk in front of and after the name.
|Wish list - bird books||
Within the categories the titles are ordered alphabetically, to say that the one at the bottom of the list is equally wanted as the one at the top.
Can't live without it!
Guide to the Birds of Honduras
Robert J Gallardo
Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World
Eugene M McCarthy
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (7th edision)
Jon L Dunn(Author), Jonathan Alderfer(Author), Paul Lehman(Illustrator)
Oceanic Birds of the World A Photo Guide
Steve N. G. Howell and Kirk Zufelt
Can live without, but life will be better having it in the collection.
A Birdwatchers' Guide to Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Caymans
Guy Kirwan, Arturo Kirkconnell and Mike Flieg
William S Clark
Antpittas and Gnateaters
Birds of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao: A Site and Field Guide
Jeffrey V Wells & Allison Childs Wells
Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama
Andrew Vallely and Dale Dyer
Birds of Cuba
Orlando H Garrido
Birds of Eastern Polynesia: A Biogeographic Atlas
Jean-Claude Thibault(Author), Alice Cibois(Author)
Birds of Japan
Birds of Vietnam
Richard C Craik and Lê Quý Minh
ISBN: 9788416728138 (hardback version)
Identification Guide to European Passerines, 2nd edition
Moult and Ageing of European Passerines
Lukas Jenni and Raffael Winkler
North American Ducks, Geese and Swans: Identification Guide
Frank S Todd
Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean
Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America
Stephen A Shunk
The Helm Guide to Bird Identification
The Helm Guide to Bird Identification: An In-Depth Look at Confusion Species
Keith Vinicombe (Author), Alan Harris (Illustrator), Laurel Tucker (Illustrator)
The New Birds of Kazakhstan
Woodpeckers of the World
Don't really need it, but is welcome in the collection.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Brazil
Ber van Perlo
A Guide to the Birds of Fiji and Western Polynesia
A Guide to the Birds of Nicaragua / Nicaragua - Una Guía de Aves
A Message from Martha
Birding Northeast Ecuador
Steven L Herrmann
Birds of Bhutan
Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp and Richard Grimmett
Birds of Borneo
Birds of Central Asia
Birds of Costa Rica
Birds of Nepal
Birds of Oman
Jens Eriksen(Author), Richard Porter(Author)
Birds of South America: Non-Passerines, Rheas to Woodpeckers
Birds of Trinidad and Tobago
Martyn Kenefick, Robin Restall and Floyd Hayes
Birds of Venezuela
David Ascanio (Author), Gustavo Rodriguez (Author), Robin Restall (Author)
Birds of the West Indies
Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith and Janis Raffaele
Birdwatching in Colombia
Challenge Series: Autumn, Birding Frontiers Challenge Series Volume: 1
Collins Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Cuckoos of the World
Endemic Birds of Cuba
Feathers: Identification for Bird Conservation
Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia
Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu and the Cusco Region, Peru
Fieldbook of the Birds of Ecuador
Finding Australian Birds: A Field Guide to Birding Locations
Tim Dolby(Author), Rohan Clarke(Author)
Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa
Peter G Ryan
Identification Guide to Birds in the Hand
Laurent Demongin (Author), Hervé Lelièvre (Translated by), George Candelin (Translated by)
Important Bird Areas of the Americas
BirdLife Conservation Series Volume: 16
Moult, Ageing and Sexing of Finnish Owls / Suomen Pöllöjen Sulkasadon, Iän ja Sukupuolen Määritysopas
The Birder's Guide to Africa
Michael Mills(Author), Tasso Leventis(Illustrator)
The Book of Eggs
Mark E Hauber
The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand
The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand