New Brunswick — Authentic New Brunswicker Jeff Forclay swears his hobby isn’t for the birds. Rather, it’s all about them. Forclay is one of many New Brunswick residents who always knows exactly what bird it is that is screeching outside your window at 6:34 a.m., pecking at a dead skunk on the side of the highway or sitting on the power-line in your backyard, contemplating the nature of its existence.
Forclay attributes his encyclopedic knowledge of all things avian to being raised by his father to religiously attend the annual bird count, in which birders watch their feathered friends with binoculars and report what they saw to other bird enthusiasts. Forclay prides himself on knowing any bird on sight or by hearing its call.
Friends and family report that while driving, Forclay is prone to suddenly press his face against the window, ignoring the road completely if he spots an eagle.
“He always reads the birdwatching columns in the Times & Transcript out loud — both of them,” attested his impatient wife, Cindy. “And every Friday at suppertime, instead of going out the whole family has to sit down and listen to Alain Clavette on CBC radio talking about migration and mating and snow buntings and a house finch’s song.”
At press time, Forclay apparently took the day off work because someone spotted a pink-speckled cormorant mating with a yellow-bellied woodpecker in the Bay of Fundy.