Course Hero. "Watchmen Study Guide." Course Hero. 17 May 2017. Web. 15 Aug. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Watchmen/>.
Course Hero. (2017, May 17). Watchmen Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Watchmen/
(Course Hero, 2017)
Course Hero. "Watchmen Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed August 15, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Watchmen/.
Course Hero, "Watchmen Study Guide," May 17, 2017, accessed August 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Watchmen/.
Dan Dreiberg's article for the Journal of the American Ornithological Society discusses the tendency of bird enthusiasts to focus more on the physical characteristics of a particular species than the larger purpose and experiences of birds themselves. He shares an anecdote about hearing an owl screech in a hospital parking lot, which made him not just want to learn about owls but "to experience rather than merely record."
Dan's article speaks to his desire to understand owls and other birds beyond their physical characteristics. This sentiment also applies to his personal relationships and his learning style. He isn't just searching for the answer to what something is—he wants to know why it is. Only then can he draw a conclusion about a particular situation. That's one of the reasons he's hesitant to pass judgment on Rorschach in Chapter 7.
The anecdote about the owl in the hospital parking lot is notable in part because of what Dan was doing at the hospital in the first place. He was "visiting a sick acquaintance at a hospital in Maine on behalf of a mutual friend." Dan doesn't have a lot of friends, so it can automatically be assumed the man in question is Hollis Mason. Hollis was in the Minutemen with Byron Lewis, aka Mothman, who was put in a mental hospital for alcoholism and insanity. That's most likely whom Dan was visiting. Dan is the only member of the "new" generation of crime fighters to go out of his way to maintain a relationship with the old. Their conversations and companionship make him feel like he belongs.