Wow! Thanks to all who responded and the advice. I want to show my
appreciation with a story.
In March 1965 when I was twelve, at my request my father took me to my first
meeting of the Nashville TOS at Peabody College where I met "real"
birdwatchers, including Albert Ganier (one of the founders of the TOS),
Amelia Laskey (the Bluebird Lady) Katherine Goodpasture (Vanderbilt
University) and many others. My father introduced us to the crowd. After the
meeting was over I was greeted by everyone with open arms, and by the next
month I went on my first "real" bird watching field trip on the Spring Count
to Percy Warner Park. That day, April 24, 1965, is still one of the top
five memorable days of my life for the awakening of a city boy to the
wonders of nature shared in good fellowship. I was hooked and until I left
for college I was a regular member and went on many field trips.
After that first TOS meeting on the way home my father, a good judge of
character, remarked, "That was the friendliest bunch of people I ever met."
Perhaps it's the love of nature and the excitement of sharing that love that
birders possess in abundance. It's a rare occurrence in this world to find
people who so willingly share their time, enthusiasm, and knowledge. I'm
happy to report it's still the same today as it was 52 years ago.