Came across this question today, "... where exactly do you draw the line between a birder and a non-birder?" Of course, the easy answer is "Between those people that have to ask that question and those that do not". However, for those that prefer a fuller answer,...
A true birder has a passion for birds and birding. The sights, sounds, excitement and, above all, knowledge fuel his passion for the emotional and spiritual intensity and pure classic beauty that can occur at the intersection of man and bird.
In terms of goals, the zone is the focus of every birders existence, it is only through inhabiting the zone can birders attain fulfillment. A birder lives a life of virtuous ornithological conduct and practice in order to achieve the zone.
The zone is the state of a perfect peace of mind that is free from afflictive states (e.g. craving, frustration, anger). The zone is the end of the worldly; there is no identity, no boundaries for the mind. The birder is at peace with the world, has connection with all birds and gives up all other obsessions and fixations. This peace is achieved when the existing volitional formations are pacified, and the conditions for the production of new ones are eradicated. In the zone the root causes of craving and aversion have been extinguished.
The zone is linked to seeing the empty nature of non-birding phenomena, a radical reordering of consciousness and unleashing of awareness. In the zone the ideal personality, the true birder becomes reality. The zone is the highest happiness, an enduring, transcendental happiness integral to the calmness attained through enlightenment.
The zone is the neutral mind, a mind that has come to a point of perfect ornithological lucidity and clarity due to the cessation of the production of volitional formations. The zone is outside of time, lifelessness, deathlessness, the highest spiritual attainment, the natural result that accrues to one who lives a life of virtuous conduct and practice in accordance with the third path. Such a life engenders increasing control over the process of birding. It produces wholesome birding with positive results and finally allows the cessation of the origination of non-birding altogether with the attainment of the zone. Failing to achieve the zone means beings forever wander through the impermanent and suffering-generating realms of desire, form, and formlessness, termed bird-spotting or dudery.
Of course, another surefire way to spot a birder is social ineptitude and a scant regard for outward appearance and/or personal hygiene.
Just one more question, is that enough piss-taking for one night?