Monday, January 19, 2015

Post #1 - Welcome to The Speckled Hatchback!

*For future reference, this entry has been copied verbatim into the "About this blog" tab near the top of the blog.*

Welcome to The Speckled Hatchback! My name is Dorian Anderson, and I am avid birdwatcher, bird photographer, and generally curious amateur naturalist. I have been birding since age 7 (I am 36 as of January 2015), and in those years I have developed a deep appreciation for the natural world and as well as a concern for its health. This blog is my way of sharing this appreciation with you. This blog actually stems from my 2014 biking and birdwatching eco-adventure, "Biking for Birds". During that year, I cycled 17,830 miles through 28 states, observed 617 species of birds, and raised ~$50,000 for bird conservation. The entire 365-day project was petroleum-free as I used only the bike, my feet, and a kayak for transportation. My blog from that project,
was well received, and I hope to here replicate at least a fraction of the excitement for that project.

The birds that I find on my regular birding outings will certainly provide the starting point for most entries, and I will build on this avian base when I can with natural history, relevant conservation efforts, and occasional commentary on environmental policy. As an avid photographer, I plan to use my images to both generate and augment written content. I hope to explore how humans perceive and interact with the natural world around them, and what changes can be made at both the individual, local, and national levels to make this interaction more sustainable. More than a technical or policy expert, I am an ordinary citizen with what I think is an extraordinary interest in birds and nature. I hope this blog helps its readers to discover or further cultivate their own interest and relationship with nature. 

The blog derives its name from a childhood experience of mine. Besides birdwatching, ice hockey was my other significant interest as a youth. I played on a local team, and one day the guys were giving me a particularly hard, though good-natured, ribbing. My friend, RP Urban, joked, "I mean what do you do when you go birding? Go out into the woods and just wait for the Speckled hatchback to start peeping?" With this statement RP managed to create a false, but completely believable and humorous bird name that has remained with me for the last 20 years. Although it is purely fictional, the Speckled Hatchback for me represents some mythical bird that I or some other birdwatcher might one day finally glimpse. Beyond birding, the Speckled Hatchback is a metaphor for anything that a person might be searching, whether that be as tangible as a bird or as abstract as the purpose of one's life. We each have our own Speckled Hatchback, and, just as no 2 artists' renderings of the hypothetical bird will be exactly the same, neither will any 2 persons' passions and ambitions. Each of us is looking for something - real or imagined. This blog is part of my search to better understand and appreciate the natural world. I hope you enjoy it. 

I will not be updating this blog every day as I did for "Biking for Birds". As entries will be less regular, readers might find it helpful to receive Email notifications when I do put up new content. You can do this using the "Follow by Email" feature at the top right of the blog. 


  1. I love the name of your new blog and look forward to reading your blog posts here.

  2. Yeah, perfect name for the blog. Just added it to my RSS feeder and looking forward to frequent updates