Birdpunk melds birding, punk music worlds

Mohawks. Tattoos. Studded leather jackets.

The DIY ethic that makes up punk culture has found an unlikely nestmate -- birders. Yes, call it anarcho-environmentalism but birdpunk, a subculture within two subcultural crossroads, is a growing movement, Audubon reported.

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"The positive interpretation is that there's a natural progression from the gritty and angry side we lived as young punks," Chris Warlow, a cabinet maker living near Olympia, Washington, told Audubon Magazine. "People get hung up on the spikes and loud music, but the important part about punk is the issues and values. Birding fits into that for me."

Don’t expect to find Johnny Rotten along water banks looking at egrets or cormorants but former punk musician Tony Croasdale leads a birding group near Philadelphia. Croasdale, who is director of an environmental education center, has helped publish reports and census publications on bird populations in the area.

He played in a punk band for eight years, performing in nearly 40 countries. During one tour, he and a bandmate took an excursion to go birding and ended up missing the show.

“It was kind of a big deal,” Croasdale, who has tattoos of a swallow-tailed kite, belted kingfisher and various other birds across his legs, chest and arms paying homage to his two passions, birding and punk music, told Audubon. “It occurred to me that my head was not in the band; it was with the birds.”

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