• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Share your experience participating in this lesson's activities. Comment on as many or as few activities as you'd like.
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    • Mary Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      • Blue heron is one of my favs, they are so huge! Every year one or two hunt up and down the creek here in SE Kansas. We are lucky to see waterfowl, songbirds, owls, chicken-like birds, woodpeckers and raptors on a daily basis. Crows, Canadian geese, red-bellied woodpeckers, Harris' sparrows, nuthatches, juncos, Bluejays, spotted towhees and wild turkeys come into my feeder's view. 20240217_075321
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My woodpeckerActivity 3: There's a beautiful woodpecker that loves my bird feeder.  I thought there were about 5 types of birds that visited me, but I've learned there are more than a dozen just in my backyard.  Can't wait to learn about more!
    • Anneke
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      VideoCapture_20240206-172520Activity 3 - Chickadees! I've always sort of taken them for granted I think, as they are quite common where I live. Until very recently I only knew of the Black-capped ones, but recently found Chestnut-backed Chickadees visiting the birdfeeder. Watching them I've really grown to love them. They are quite friendly and often sit close by and watch while I fill the bird feeders. When I was a kid we used to call them "cheeseburger birds" because of their distinct call (which is "hey sweetie" in this course - which is also adorable!)
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      activity one, I voted for the Phorusrhacos longissimus, an extinct species.  I think the study of fossils is neat, and I often wonder what the various habitats really looked like. activity two, I remembered an evening hike I took in summer with the mosquitos and the Merlin Bird ID app- it was in a riverbank/marsh ecosystem.  I was able to identify (but not see) a Hermit Thrush (thrush), an Oven Bird (warbler), a Barred Owl (owl), and a Downy Woodpecker (woodpecker).  As far as identifying flying creatures by sight... only the mosquitos.  I identified some with a slap. activity three, Some of my favourite feeder-sightings are woodpeckers.  I have seen downy woodpeckers the most ( they had a nest on the yard), Hairy woodpeckers, and even pileated woodpeckers.  Crows are another favourite.  They overturn clumps of dried grass from mowing the lawn to look for food.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      The Wall of Birds is going to be a stop on a visit to New York. The plethora of birds and information is fabulous to see in one visual. The Merlin app is a no-brainer.  It is an incomparable resource in the field. When I walk in our woods with my grandchildren the Merlin quickly identifies any sound emanating from a bird. Teaching my grandchildren to listen and then verify a birdcall with the Merlin is exciting and rewarding. During the winter it is always a delight to see one of the birds we have heard on our walk at my various feeders on the farm.   Downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, tufted titmices, and chickadees are just a few of my favorites that visit the feeders. Beloved Bluebirds nibble their mealworms on the windowsills. Of course, the goldfinch (winter plumage is a bit drab) and the junco are also enjoyed. The rose-breasted grosbeaks and pileated woodpeckers don't venture to the feeders until spring. They like the woods better. Crows alert us to the Redtail and red-shoulders hawks circling the farm.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Africa 2014 004 Stork from Africa trip.  Great place for bird watching.
    • Brenden
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      When navigating the "Wall of Birds" I came across a bird called the Vulturine Guineafowl. This species of fowl had the most interesting bright crimson eyes and dark plumage, with streaks of white and purple patch's providing stark contrast. I first read about this bird while enjoying a compilation of paintings and anecdotes from a painter based out of Africa. The way that the bio for this bird was written, gave me a vivid picture of the habitat it calls home. Such a cool looking bird unique to the country it stems from, it's so easy to forget about the unique scope of animals that live beyond where one immediately calls home! The Secretary bird was another that I took note of, this bird has such a regal appearance to it. After further reading and some YouTube searches, seeing this bird stalk through tall African grasslands made me feel for the critters it was hunting under foot! A unique way to dispatch prey, the essentially deliver a karate providing a quick and sudden dispatch of their prey items.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Activity 1 - Wall of Birds - favorite bird is the elusive Wood Duck.  Elusive for me because I have never seen one.  They are colorful with red eyes.  There call is distinct and sounds like it is questioning (to me). Activity 2 - my three from the backyard feeder are House Sparrow, red bellied woodpecker and yellow goldfinch.  I used the Pterson Guide.  It is an old copy. Sparrow - Great flier (Peterson had listed as a finch Yellow Finch - Finches and Bunting. Peterson had it listed as a yellow finch Red Belllied Woodpecker - Woodpecker
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I explored the Wall of Birds and thought it was very interesting to learn a bit about 'exotic' birds (i.e., those from parts of the world very different from where I live). But I think I would use it more like a 'discovery' tool, randomly clicking on a geographic location, than as a go-to informational resource for specific species. The actual wall looked very intriguing and I might make a trip to Cornell (I live in NY) to check it out in person! Regarding the Field Guides segment, one thing missing was the very condensed and local plastic, folded pocket type. I got one some years ago to identify the birds that come to my feeder and it's incredible how I have been able to identify so many birds around my home from this little guide! I recently added Merlin to my tools and I love it, especially the bird song ID feature!
    • Lennart
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1: My favorite Bird from the Wall is the Toucan. I once visited Colombia where we heard a Toucan but unfortunately we were not able to spot him. 2: Yesterday i saw two magpies which are in the Family of the Ravens - i am still not sure whats the difference between a Family and a group and why in the Academy we talk about groups an in my bird Book they are categorized by families. I think the group would be songbirds. I also saw a Sparrowhawk which is a Raptor. 3: I like how a small dunnock comes to my Garden and if you don’t look carefully you would think it is one of the 30 House Sparrows but then you notice it is a little smaller and acts different from the sparrows.IMG_6337
    • Maddy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Three birds I saw in the field, in the past week, from 3 distinct groups are a Great Blue Heron (Wading Birds), American Black Duck (Waterfowl), and Purple Sandpipers (Shorebirds). It's hard to choose a favorite bird, but I would say that my favorite family is Anatidae (ducks)! I got this picture of what I believe is an American Black Duck this week. AmericanBlackDuck_Jan52024
    • Daree
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1 & 2:  I find loons, hummingbirds and frigates pretty fascinating. Activity 3:  It is winter here in Minnesota so there are not a lot of birds around.  I do enjoy seeing and hearing (mostly) the Black-capped Chickadee.  They are often active around my neighborhood.  I also see and hear… Blue Jays, Crows, and White-breasted Nuthatches and an occasional Pileated Woodpecker.
    • Kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 3: In our Northern California neighborhood, we rarely see owls, but at night we hear wonderful calls from male and female screech owls. During the day, acorn woodpeckers fight red-shouldered hawks for possession of our huge oak trees.
    • Kristian
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Activity 1: My favorite bird from the Wall is the Snow Bunting because of its pattern and Albatross because of the long wingspan and long flight distance. Activity 2: (Songbirds - Creeper and Nuthatches) - White Breasted Nuthatch, (Chicken-like Birds - Wild Turkey), (Raptors - Red Tailed Hawk). Activity 3: My favorite bird from the Wall is the Northern Cardinal which is also the state bird of Ohio. I love the color and they look majestic in the white snow. I will never get bored watching them.
    • Leila
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1: My favorite bird pictured on the Wall of Birds is the Great Blue Heron of the eastern USA. I live near the Florida Everglades, and grew up fascinated with them. They're so big and beautiful, and will always be my favorite bird. Activity 2: Songbirds (house sparrows), chicken-like birds (my neighbor keeps pet chickens), wading birds (egrets and ibises are common in my area) Activity 3: It's a draw between chickens and grackles. My neighbor keeps free range chickens that spend a lot of time in my yard, and they're fun to watch. One has even laid two clutches of eggs and hatched chicks in my garden, and they're just so cute. As for wild birds, I love grackles. The way they move looks so mischievous to me, and I like the blue sheen on their feathers.
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      eastern bluebird Activity 1 - I'm in North Carolina, and I've always liked herons for their graceful flight and focus when hunting.  We have green herons in our neighborhood hunting frogs in summer. Activity 2 - Woodpeckers, waterfowl and songbirds Activity 3 - The eastern bluebird is a frequent visitor to my feeder. We live with a greenway behind our property with grassland beyond that.  I've noticed sharp-shinned hawks perch on my birdfeeder hunting for squirrels and other small mammals.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      It seems that every time we study the "intelligence' of birds, they are smarter than we knew prior. I love to take the time to watch a bird or flock of birds to see what they are doing and trying to figure out why. As I observe nature, birds are the most common animals I see. A friend says, that  she sees many more insects, but I guess because most are small and during the winter in Michigan I see very few insects and mostly indoors.
    • Activity 1:  I can’t get over how many years an albatross can continue flying over the ocean.  That they have salt glands over their eyes so they can drink sea water is incredible.  I never imagined that anything like this was even possible.  Definitely a cool bird!! Activbity 2: I love orioles and mourning doves, but discovered there are more variations of them.  I also enjoyed discovering the different types of swallows. Activity 3:  My favorite is the Baltimore Oriole.  I watch for them here in Wisconsin in the first week of May and it seems to signal the end of winter.  Some of the males have such intense orange and I love trying to figure out how many pairs are visiting my feeders.  It’s always fun to try and figure out where they are building their nests and I never discover them until winter  when all the leaves are off the trees.
      • Dale
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        For me I feel winter has ended when I no longer see dark eyed juncos. Last winter I saw none at my feeders, but others said they had seen them during the winter. I read a book on a albatroses. Most fascinating group of birds I have never seen one, nor do I anticipate I will living here in Michigan.
    • Tim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We are visiting the Pacific Northwest and I’m getting see Snow Geese, Tundra and Trumpter Swans for the first time. Through the local Audubon group I’m also learning about conservation efforts and how these birds interact with local agriculture. (Hearing great stories about snow geese who get drunk on rotting potatoes…) I’m from Colorado, and I’m also seeing lots of shore birds I didn’t see there. Looking forward to this course.
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Yesterday I was out walking, and I came across three crows having a lovely conversation.  We throw our pumpkins over the fence at the end of the season to feed the wildlife.  We live across the street from a canal that runs through our town, and we have a lot of wildlife living there.  Two of the crows were checking out the pumpkins and reporting back to the one on the wire up in the sky.  I really love crows! I think my favorites are the house sparrows.  They are always so busy hanging out in our eaves and trees raising their families.  I am a very new birder so I have a lot to learn.  I do not get tired of seeing and learning about them!
      • Dale
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I also love crows and even think they would make a better national bird than the bald eagle. Crows are family birds and work together and support each other. The Bird Academy course on crows is excellent. You might enjoy it. I did! Also, read up on the New Caledonian Crows. They not only use tools to find food, but they actually make tools for that purpose.
    • Felipe
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hello Everyone! I live in Barcelona, in the very center of town. I went out for a short walk with my dog and as we were walking in a very tiny park (because there are no many here) I heard a very interesting bird singing. I used the Merlin app to identify the bird and it was a Spotless Starling. I didn't have the opportunity to take a picture but it was a very beautiful singing and I thought it was incredible to see a bird like that just around the corner in this concrete jungle! :) Felipe starling
      • Anastasia
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Oh, fun! I'm also in Barcelona! Will be watching out for the lovely Starling
    • Simeon
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
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    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 3: I love when I spot a ladderback woodpecker at my feeder (or... it could be a downy).  Recently saw a cooper hawk swoop through the yard - just because he can - and scare everyone else away.  And also love seeing gambel quail and roadrunners in my morning walks in the desert.  I live in New Mexico.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GibiThis is a wild turkey who used to come to our porch in southern  NJ.My daughter named it Gibi.  Happy Thanksgiving!