Birders follow the calendar differently than the average person. Our moods and personal cycles entirely depend on what the birds are doing. This creates a roller coaster of emotion, sending people like me into an oscillating phase bouncing between fits of unbridled rage and complete elation. I realized last year that these phases follow a relatively clear-cut pattern, generally peaking at the two migrations.
Enter this incredibly detailed and beautiful graph depicting the major phases of the birder's emotions. We here at The Birder's Conundrum used complex and mind-blowing mathematical expressions to create this. Keep in mind that regional variations apply, but this works for the Carolinas and Virginia pretty well. Especially notable is the Red-eyed Vireo Valley - the lowest point of the year, summarized by the incessant singing of REVIs, invisible Cuckoos, and Cicadas. This is the time of year where birding nearly ceases, and birders briefly lose sight of their ridiculous obsession and begin doing "normal" things. The mind wanders to other pursuits, like posting beautiful photos of Cardinals and Bluebirds to Facebook pages, until at last a sandpiper shows up on a mudflat somewhere. We are currently stuck in this treacherous valley. Come on Baird's, White-rumped, or Pectoral - we need you. Please.