A birder’s plea: Let’s stick with standard time

Today we observe the annual “fall back” ritual of reverting to standard time in the United States, and I welcome the change. My birding opportunities had dwindled over the last several weeks as sunrise came later and later, shrinking the time I had to get out in the fields and trees before heading off to work.

The reversion to standard time also moves up sunset by an hour, and I welcome that as well. I rarely have time to go birding after work on weekdays, so I see no impact there. But on the weekends through the cold months, the sun sets by 5 p.m. most days, and that’s helpful. When I want to get out for some golden hour opportunities around 4 p.m., I’m able to get home without pushing my wife’s patience on getting us ready for dinner, not to mention cocktails.

My birding time has further been limited by some personal travel I did the week before last, stopping in Seattle to visit one of our sons and Kansas City to visit relatives on my wife’s side of the family. I was able to do a little birding on a few days, most notably at Carkeek Park on the shore of Puget Sound. This morning, luxuriating in an extra hour for sleep, I went back to the Pole Farm and got the Savannah sparrow shot topping this post. I had a few good chances to catch a Northern harrier, although I’m still not satisfied with what I’ve captured.

No matter what time zone I’m in, I’d prefer it be set to standard time. I dislike having to switch my body clock (and my analog clocks) twice a year. Congress seems to be leaning toward sticking with one time year-round, and I hope the scientists who strongly recommend sticking with standard time will be persuasive.

Published by Dan

University media executive by day, blogger by night, I am a well-traveled resident of New Jersey

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