Birder License Plates

I met a Canadian birder several winters ago in Texas who had an interesting side hobby: she collected birding vanity license plates. So now, one of the things I do as we travel the country with the Airstream is keep an eye open for birder license plates and snap a photo of each one.I try to get a little info on the owner but sometimes the vehicle is unoccupied. It has led to some interesting stories and some interesting people.  Here is  the one that got me started:

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This plate belongs to Pat Folsom, of Waitsfield, VT -- a friend of mine who is a great birder.

This plate belongs to Pat Folsom, of Waitsfield, VT — a friend of mine who is a great birder.

A Twitter friend, @Birder_Katie, sent me a photo of her boss’s license plate. It’s a cool plate on a cool car.

A Twitter friend, @Birder_Katie, sent me a photo of her boss’s license plate. It’s a cool plate on a cool car.

This one (with a bonus Red Sox frame) is from our next door neighbors in Texas, Ray and Linda. Ray is a former Vermonter from Wilmington.

This one (with a bonus Red Sox frame) is from a next door neighbors in Texas, Ray and Linda. Ray is a former Vermonter from Wilmington.

The owner of this plate was a former Vietnam era chopper pilot so besides birding, we had some things in common.

The owner of this plate was a former Vietnam era chopper pilot so besides birding, we had some things in common.

I saw this at the county park and told the owner that she had to be a hardcore birder with a plate like that. Empids are flycatchers that look alike and are virtually impossible to identify if they are not singing. It turns out that the owner is a close friend of a subscriber to this blog who lives in the Northeast.

I saw this at the county park and told the owner that she had to be a hardcore birder with a plate like that. Empids are flycatchers that look alike and are virtually impossible to identify if they are not singing. It turns out that the owner is a close friend of a subscriber to this blog who lives in the Northeast.

I came across this at Estero Grande State Park and while not meeting the birder, later found out a lot about him and hope to meet him next trip.

“Father Bird" is a well-known Texas birder, environmentalist, spokesperson, and articulate person of faith.

Father Bird” is a well-known Texas birder, environmentalist, spokesperson, and articulate person of faith.

I met the next birder at Falcon State Park and he’s definitely a “twitcher,” one who chases birds. Owner of a new Airstream which was packed with collectables of all sorts, he was out bright and early and home late.

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Ginny from upstate NY told me that she wanted a Loon plate so she used Gavia, the genus to which the loons belong.

Ginny from upstate NY told me that she wanted a Loon plate so she used Gavia, the genus to which the loons belong.

This plate is one that I spotted in a parking lot in Texas but never met the owner.

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I finally have the iconic Vermont plate, the one that everyone down in Texas mentions when they see my green tags. It is Fred and Chris Pratt’s “Pipit” which I see on the backroads of Vermont and in Texas. In Vermont the plate is often muddy from their outings but here it is.

Fred and Chris bird under the name of Team Pipit, and they are a great team.

Fred and Chris birded under the name of Team Pipit, and they were a great team.

And lastly, here is the vanity plate I got for my truck in August, 2015.

And lastly, here is the vanity plate I got for my truck in August, 2015.

These “empty nesters” are looking forward to retirement and more birding.

Do you have an interesting plate or know someone who does?  Why not take your phone a grab a photo of it and send it to me:  vtbirder at gmail.com.

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