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    • Bird Academy
      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.
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Chloë
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ukchloeinusa
      Activity 2.  I have been a long time bird lover, but very poorly educated, particularly with US birds, so the pandemic has given me time and opportunity to learn more about the birds I see.  I have been keeping a track of the birds that I see on my feeders and on my property and there is a much greater variety than I expected. In fact I have seen 18 different species since I started taking note and I can confirm that the Merlin app is very good!  Most exciting to me was three different species of sparrow, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow and White Throated Sparrow.  In the UK we only had one type.
    • Chloë
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ukchloeinusa
      Activity 1. I picked three birds, the White Throated Dipper, who was a favorite of mine as a child growing up in the UK, he was very polite and curtseyed to us as we walked by.  The other two are the Vulture Guineafowl and the King Vulture.  I love vultures, I think they're fascinating and they provide such a very necessary service to our environment, I learned a couple of years ago that some of them can even safely ingest Anthrax, so powerful are their digestive juices.
    • Micah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MicahNow
      Activities 2 and 3: I have bird feeders for the first time and we have been really enjoying seeing all of the birds. So far we have titmice, white-breasted nuthatch, house finches, house sparrows, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, Carolina wrens, mourning doves, red-bellied woodpeckers, and I think a Hairy woodpecker.  I also feed crows sometimes that hang out in the neighborhood. So, multiple categories. Picking a favorite is really hard. Either the red-bellied woodpecker just because of its sheer beauty or the black-capped chickadees for their spunk and flight pattern.
    • Roxane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      roxaneabbott
      E7F59316-A38E-49EB-8D86-52638E8DBF6F
    • Roxane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      roxaneabbott
      Activity two. I recently signed up for a local birdwatching class and we have traveled to some state parks and beaches in the area of Sarasota, Florida. For me the waders are fairly easy to identify. The spoonbill is one of my favorite. The raptors are plentiful here, and I have been able to observe ospreys a bald eagles. The group that I have the most difficulty with observing is the song birds. Yes Cardinals and Blue Jays are easy to spot, but I am finding it very difficult to identify the different types of warblers. Even with binoculars they are tough to identify. I’m hoping this course will help me look for ways to identify them. Activity three. I am very fortunate to live on a small pond in Sarasota, FL  There are some beautiful birds right in my backyard, which is one of the reasons why I became interested in birdwatching. The Woodstork  is one of my favorites  They are extremely friendly and fun to watch.  
    • Roxane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      roxaneabbott
      Activity one.  I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive bird wall. After exploring it for awhile, I found three birds that I would really like to see in the wild. The first one is the Shoebill, located in Africa. The second bird I would love to see is the Atlantic puffin. And the third bird I would love to see in the wild is the flamingo. Living in Florida for several years, I have only seen them in zoos and jungle gardens.  Recently retired, once pandemic is over, I would like to travel and do some extreme birdwatching!
    • Karrin
      Participant
      Chirps: 33
      klukacs
      I completed all 3 activities.
      • Activity 1: The Wall of Birds is really cool! I definitely want to go see it in person. It was interesting to see the size of some of the extinct birds - I can't imagine seeing something with a 20-foot wingspan overhead - but my favorite was the splendid fairywren for these reasons:
        • I love the whimsical name.
        • I love its color (bright blue).
        • My nickname is Wren, so I feel a personal connection. :-)
      • Activity 2: Knowing that most birds you see are songbirds really helps narrow down the groups. I used the opportunity to learn more about a bird I've heard several people mention lately - the junco. I looked it up in the Merlin app and immediately realized that I have been seeing them in my own backyard without ever realizing what they were.
      • Activity 3: I am not sure it's my  bird, but seeing a cardinal in the snow is a treat.
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    • Tish
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tyhyland
      I live on the salt marsh along the coast of South Carolina. From my backyard, I can observe birds from most of the bird families (except chicken-like birds and parrots). This past week I’ve seen a pair of Hooded Mergansers, White Egrets, Ibis, Great Blue Herons, Bluebirds, Robins, Sparrows (not sure what type), Downy Woodpeckers and Red-Winged Blackbirds. My favorite bird is the Bluebird.  I have a Bluebird box and most years I watch the babies hatch and fledge. It’s so much fun observing them.  At times it can be scary because a Hawk will come into the yard and go after them.
    • Teri
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Twickes
      This pictures is of the first Varied Thrush I've seen and it happened on my back deck during the Backyard Count. D9FDFADA-A7C7-4477-A7D2-4D6B6641593A
    • Alok
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      alokkr
      IMG_2426
      • Alok
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        alokkr
        Found this Great Egret during my walks around Coyote Hills Park on 19th Feb, 2021 who gave me company for quite some time and posed for photo ops.
    • Tisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      tme1078
      IMG_3111IMG_3114 Activity #3: I don't have a good bird photography camera so I don't have any great photos. And I find it hard to narrow down to just one favorite. There are so many that I like to watch. I really like Hummingbirds and Woodpeckers. But pictured I have a group of baby Carolina wrens, from some parents that like to nest on our porch. I like the Carolina wrens cause I think they are adorable, parents and babies. How they hop around and are so vocal too. I enjoy listening to them sing and chitter away. The other picture is a Barn swallow parent that nested on our porch at work. They were all fun to watch over the course of their nesting period. The parents were very protective. They would fly at us when we went to check the mail to try and shoo us away. Even standing at the window they were very aware of us; as you can see this parent turning their head to look at us. I loved their coloring too. As for any bird; it was awesome to watch them raise their babies from hatchlings to juveniles leaving the nest. They had 5 of them so we had a group of 7 barn swallows hanging around the porch for a little bit. :)
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      l.l.lustbader
      I particularly liked the Wall of Birds activity. I began looking for what is around where I live, then at places I've visited like Peru and Costa Rica, then where my in-laws live (in TX), and so on.  The diversity of birds blows me away. Those flycatchers are amazing-looking. And the cardinal outside my window is just as stunning in his own particular way. Thanks for the opportunity to widen my view.
      • Karrin
        Participant
        Chirps: 33
        klukacs
        I agree about the Wall of Birds. I want to see it in person, but I'm wondering how they share all of that cool information - maybe another phone app?
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      FlatRockBirds
      3 Birds I have looked at this week in 3 different groups. 1.     This winter in an effort to identify my different sparrows I made a great discovery! The white throated (white-striped) sparrow. They are the most adorable little song birds. He/she both look similar. Easy to spot them with their noticeable beautiful white throat, bright yellow spot kind of above/between each eye (lore). Strips alternate black and white on the top of their heads; also their chest are solid gray (differing from other sparrows).  For such a little bird they have a loud might song of “Old Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody” or “Oh Canada Canada Canada”. Simply a great find for me. 2.     Brown Thrasher. How I love to watch these birds. Very easy to identify with their colors on their backs a rusty brown (rufous) and striped chest. Their yellow eyes are always looking around as they forage for food. Their heads flip back in forth searching for just the right tasty nugget or bug.  They sing the most beautiful repeating notes like, “No Fear No Fear, Yes Yes, Who’s This Who’s This, or many other calls as they may know 1,100 song types. 3.     Crow. I have a family of 6 that visit my feeders every day. 5 American crows and one fish crow. I have trained them to come when I put out food. Last year I rang a bell and this year I just knock on my stainless steel bowl. They may have some alpha thing going on as a crow will come, call to the others, when more come they will eat.  They have a vivacious appetite and love many foods.  This year I make them, what I call peanut butter sandwiches. I break up bread in a large bowl then pour heated peanut butter over it & stir well.  Yum! They come & fill their beaks so full they overflow all around. So cute. They take their breakfast somewhere else to finish eating.  Not gone long, they always come back for more. My favorite bird that comes to my woodland yard is the Pileated Woodpecker.  He is big, beautiful, and I love how they circle my trees looking for food.
    • Penelope
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      penelopeeicher
      I am requesting some clarification in the Activity suggestion #2:  "Find birds...from three different groups that you learned about in this lesson."  In reviewing the lesson, I do see more than 3 groupings. Which 3 groups of birds is this activity referring to?  Thanks in advance for your reply.
      • Alok
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        alokkr
        Yeah, I have the same confusion.
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        ecm017
        Yes, you learned about more than three groups in the lesson. For this activity, choose any three of those groups that you are interested in. You do not have to choose specific ones.
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      awalkerbigsky
      I am picking birding back up after a long hiatus while I raised my daughter. Now I'm nearing retirement and wanting to renew my old interest. My favorite birds depends on the season, in Summer it is the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds that come by the dozens to my feeders. Winter it's the Cardinals in their beautiful red. But how can you narrow it down?? So many beautiful birds to see and discover. I also moved further out in the country and am surrounded by acres of National Forest so attracting them to my yard with native plantings is my goal. Three favorite groups are Woodpeckers, TreeCreepers especially nuthatches, and Buntings especially the Indigo Bunting.
    • Shannon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      calaguas
      So far our favorite is the purple finch - so beautiful!
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      stusnick
      In the past week I have seen over a dozen buzzards roosting in trees and circling overhead waiting for their turn at a fresh racoon carcus, and the flocks of blackbirds chattering and the lifting off in mass flightand the seeing and hearing the distinctive pelated woodpecker.  Great to see all these birds surviving with all the snow on the ground in Northern New Jersey.
    • Genie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      geniepalm
      I have a beautiful Scrub Jay visiting my backyard It just dropped in for an afternoon bath, so fun to watch it shaking its feathers and dunking in the water. Then it flew up to a chair top to dry off and shake more. I can easily see the birds from my bedroom window and find it so enjoyable to watch them. I also have many hummingbirds coming to two feeders I have out for them, what a joy to watch these happy, speedy birds and listen to their chatter. I feel very fortunate to be able to watch these sweet birds during this challenging sheltering time. A few moments of sanity just watching them!!
    • Mechelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MechelleNoronha
      I am a new bird watcher.  I have always enjoyed them but didn’t become excited about them until I met someone else that was crazy about birds.  He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t just hem and haw over a flutter.  His dramatic gasps and hysterical commentary about the birds made it such an adventure.  He always looked like he rolled out from under a bar stool of some tropical island and into the brush, which of course added to his flair.  He only ever carried his binoculars and a hat to hold in his Brillo pad hair (his words, not mine).  Can you describe a person that got you excited about bird watching?  What was he/she like?  What did they do that made you curious for more knowledge? What tools were used? Thanks
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Mbourg
      Everyone takes such great pictures! I'm in central Georgia near Atlanta, and as we come out of the cold snap of the past couple of days, I'm struck by how many goldfinches are in the area; I've been watching for a couple of years but hadn't seen so many until now. My favorite area birds are the towhee, which I actually rarely see but I like hearing the call and knowing one's around. The red-bellied woodpeckers can be bullies but they're always around and I enjoy seeing them. My favorite bird on the Wall of Birds is the osprey; I started watching some nests on webcams and that's what got me into birdwatching. They're phenomenal birds - migrating thousands of miles twice a year; always returning home to the same nest and same wintering area. Birds from three different groups in this lesson in my area: Cardinals (finch family), Starlings (blackbird family), Canada goose (waterfowl family Anitidae).
    • Kristen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Krubacka
      Bird Pic We moved in late August from a very busy neighborhood to a quiet country road. We have many of the same bird species we used to enjoy at our previous house. One of my favorites is the red-bellied woodpecker seen on our feeder. One the ground is a dark-eyed junco. We enjoy seeing these 2 feathered friends every day. It's interesting to note that we no longer see cardinals in our yard. Our old house is less than 10 miles away but our yard is much more open with fewer trees and shrubs. I'm wondering if that is why...
    • Molly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mamoynih
      I live along the coast in southern Maine just outside the state’s biggest city. Since working from home for almost the last year, I’ve been impressed by the diversity of birds especially along my neighborhood walk that hugs a small coastal bay. I’ve seen hummingbirds, woodpeckers, a snowy egret, and most recently a bald eagle (not uncommon in Maine). It’s inspired me to take up birdwatching! There are many ducks, sea gulls, and Canada geese on the water’s edge. Lately a small black and white duck bobbing in the water has caught my eye. I’ve seen them in groups of 6 or 8 away from the other birds. I’m thinking it’s a bufflehead or a goldeneye based on the online Audubon guide and a new bird book. Any tips on solving this mystery? I’ll try to snap a picture soon!
    • Clark
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      clarkrheem
      This is so dang fun, I can’t stand it!  Steller jays coming to my cracked corn. It is such a  BEAUTIFUL  bird.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jessseesbirds
      • I vote CardinalDSC_0779Cardinals frequent my feeder and on this particular day I was in awe by how beautiful they looked against the white snow. 
    • Gino
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      saneholtzm
      IMG_0020 copy Activity 1: I voted for the Carolina Wren from the Wall of Birds because we have really cute couple that lives in the backyard in NW Ohio. They have been frequenting our suet feeder in the cold weather. Activity 2: We chose 3 birds- the Peregrine Falcon, the Common Raven, and the Clark's Grebe. In order, the Peregrine Falcon's are raptors, the Common Raven it doesn't fit into any of the simple groups described, but would be most similar to the crow that is grouped with song birds, and the Clark's Grebe is water fowl. Activity 3: This is photo of a goldfinch. I recently purchased a finch feeder and within 1 week a small group of gold finches were visiting daily. It is winter, so their feathers are not as vibrant as during breeding season.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      KarenPeck
      Back in September, we moved to a 5-acre mountain property in the foothills outside Denver.  The birds were here to greet us and we have watched the changing populations of songbirds, ducks, owls, and hawks that share this land with us. I'm eager to learn as much as I can.  We watched a hilarious exchange of a Clark's Nutcracker snitching pinecones from a very irate Pine Squirrel.  Heard the crows making a racket one afternoon and finally went to investigate. A Great Horned Owl was calmly watching them all, and us, from his roost in a huge, old Ponderosa Pine tree.  We have hawks, Red  Tail and Harris, that hunt in the elk meadow and we've dubbed one tree as 'hawk tree' that we frequently see them scanning the area from.  Our 2 feeders bring round the little chickadees, juncos, and nuthatches with the Steller and Gray jays getting in on it also.  The Gray Jays (Camp Robbers) wait on our deck railing for us to lay out some blueberries for them.  We are told they will bring their babies with them to visit in the Spring. The whole property is alive with activity all the time. As spring arrives, we'll be watching for the return of the mallards to our pond and hummingbirds.  I've got a lot to learn!
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jillmed
      As part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, I was able to identify a Downy Woodpecker and Hairy Woodpecker.  I have an affinity for woodpeckers.  I see Downy Woodpeckers often at my feeders.  Today I saw both a Hairy and Downy at the same time.  This allowed me to really compare the two species.  I am now much more confident in distinguishing these two birds.
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jmcgonigal
      7DBCA1A6-394F-48A5-BF1E-3949516EA0C53CAF0830-5B07-4DED-A1F8-637B412E21707B204C5E-A247-40F2-818E-B6863E1DF7AB
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jmcgonigal
      More pics from the Great Weekend Bird Count...E36B613C-F44C-4720-B258-C049F022F6AB37A2CC43-2A95-42EB-A875-C92E8D876F72931A3114-14B9-4FB1-AF0E-84A141AEF516
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jmcgonigal
      My favorite part about the Wall of Birds was listening to the artist describe how she paints each bird.  What a talent!  Found 14 different birds during this weekend’s Great Backyard Bird Count which definitely covered Activity 2.  Probably my favorite bird so far is the Whitebreasted Nuthatch-fascinating to watch it feed upside down, and it seems to be the friendliest of the backyard birds-they don’t always fly away when you are nearby and often will land close by when attending the feeders.D4B3881D-B2A3-4939-BC34-9F5BB496E47854AB6BF2-4953-45C0-91DC-2B09F01EC228
    • Tisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      tme1078
      IMG_3116IMG_3113IMG_3118 Some birds groups found in my neighborhood: Downy woodpecker - doing his best impersonation of a hummingbird - group woodpeckers, I believe the next photo was a great horned owl but unsure - group Owls, Lastly a Ruby throated hummingbird - group hummingbirds.
    • Tisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      tme1078
      Activity 1: So hard to pick favorites there are so many great birds. I really like the Marvelous Spatuletail. It is so unique with it's long tail feathers and the dance it does with them.
    • Tanya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      TanyaRF
      Activity 2: I was able to narrow down several birds in my back yard. Carolina Wren is a songbird. Downy Woodpecker- seems that Woodpeckers have a group all their own! They stab at wood with their little face-knives, but they are adorable. Inca Doves- beautiful little doves in the Pigeons/Doves category. The White-wing Doves are somewhat bully-like, but the Incas just look like elegant little old ladies twittering about the local gossip before settling in for a nap.
    • Tanya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      TanyaRF
      Activity 1: The Wall of Birds is fascinating. I didn't do a lot of exploring individual birds as much as I did comparing sizes and shapes. I do enjoy the Southern Cassowary. I may have to take a trip down under to see if I can find one in the wild!
    • Tanya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      TanyaRF
      Activity 3: I can't seem to get any of my pictures to upload, but I've learned so much about birds in the last 2 years that I'm fairly excited. I've managed to identify 65 species in my back yard and now I'll learn a bit more about them. I have to say, though, if I had to choose favorites so far, I would choose the Tufted Titmouse because it's so adorable and cheeky! I love the softness of its colors. I would choose the Carolina Wren because no bird that small should have lungs so big! And finally, I would choose the Cedar Waxwing. I don't know why, but every time I see one, I'm just entranced. The name truly does it justice. It really looks like a wax figure with such beautiful coloration. The tan body looks like a wax figure. The black mask could have been drawn by an expert artist. The dash of yellow on the tail and the dot of red on the wings seem like fantasy colors a sculptor would have added. I love that bird.
    • Jana
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jreser
      One of my favorite birds is the barn swallow from the swallow family. They are so agile and their arrival signals that spring has finally arrived.
    • Bob
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Beenerbob
      887CC98E-F14A-4889-9171-BE7D6BED8FD2My favourite neighborhood bird is the Northern Cardinal but one year on December 26 we had a Parakeet visit our feeder. We saw him again a week later. We live just outside of Toronto. It was cold out!
      • Jana
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        jreser
        Aww, wonder what became of that little fellow.
    • Bob
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Beenerbob
      Activity #2 Chicken like birds - wild turkey. We often see them near the side of the road near the cottage or, in small groups, in the middle of a field closer to home Woodpeckers; this past summer we had a Downy woodpecker as a regular visitor to our backyard and feeder Songbirds - Nuthatches. We’ve had a popular feeder for years but this winter both red and white breasted nuthatches started to visit it regularly.
    • Bob
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Beenerbob
      There are so many interesting birds in The Wall of Birds! You could lose track of time poking around there.
    • Brandi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sunshineintn
      Activity 1: Hard to choose a favorite--so many fascinating birds in our beautiful world!!  A few that I'm extremely fond of would have to be the Emperor Penguin and any of the hummingbirds!  Activity 3: I've shared a few pictures from my backyard--for some reason, the chickadees will sometimes run into our back door and they will stun themselves.  This little fella in the first picture was out cold.  I picked him up and held him to keep him safe until he was able to fly away.  In the second picture is our friend Chuck the Duck, a Muscovy Duck.  We raised him from a duckling--he was abandoned as a baby.  His favorite treat is blueberries and he will come to our door to let us know when he's hungry! :) IMG_0345IMG_8807
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      hartc2500
      Image of a hawk in my backyard. I believe it is a young Goshawk eating a bird. I did see a pair them in a tree but did not get a picture. I live in Maryland and wondered if there are other hawks that this bird might be. I have seen a red-tailed hawk in the same area but it looks very different.20190814_124318 (1)
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Common pottoo
      Why does the summer tanager is in the Cardinalidae family and not in the Thraupidae family?  
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        ecm017
        The summer tanager and other species in the Piranga genus were originally placed in the Thraupidae family. However, more recent genetic testing has shown they actually belong in the Cardinalidae family.
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Common pottoo
      There is one bird that always catches my eye, the burrowing owl. I like it because it builds its nest underground. Though I had never seen it I like it. Another two of my birds are te American redstart( Setophaga Ruticilla) and the kingfisher.
    • Graham
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      VABirdNerd
      I constantly see these little guys in the forest behind are house and at the feeders we have up. And they Make amazing calls. I found out they where tufted titmice.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CLagares
      Activity One: Puffin Activity Two: I saw a waterfowl during Christmas break known as Brandts and I see cardinal more this year which are in the finches/buntings category. Activity Three: I love mourning doves, but also love cardinals, bluejays, and red tail hawks which are seen more and more common around here.
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jrussell8788
      DSC03733 Red-breasted nuthatches, from tree creeper group have been at my feeders this winter. They are tiny but feisty when challenging the chickadees for feeder space!
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      hartc2500
      20190814_124318
      • Theresa
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        annoney
        I am thinking it may be a Cooper's hawk staking out the neighbor's bird feeder for it's next meal. Cooper's hawks eat birds. Theresa
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bellanicoletta
      3DC59023-BF28-4C05-B422-75E2D756EE73My favorite bird is the pelican. I live near the beach and  have seen the brown pelican ,and the American oyster catcher . I enjoy them bothAB88D283-3B83-445C-AB9F-64C0C97C2F5E
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kbalsen
      We live in NYS, two hours north of NYC. My husband took these images of the lovely cardinal couple that visits our feeders and plays in the snow. Cardinal Pair-Got Milk-
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        wiseowlfarm
        i am very envious of these two shots! i have been taking cardinal picks from my desk and its hard to get them so close together!! and that snow covered beak!!! Print them out!!
    • Jason
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JMott01
      Which group is a house crow in? It seemed like it was in songbirds, but that didn't make too much sense to me.
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        ecm017
        Yes, it may seem surprising but crows are in fact Passeriformes, or songbirds.
    • Beatriz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BOlivaresG
      Activity 1: My favorite birds from the Wall of Birds are the Wood Duck, Blue-footed Booby and Shoebill.   Activity 2: In my backyard I often found Sparrows, Hummingbirds and White-winged Doves, sometimes Blackbirds that I’m not able to identify yet. I live in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. IMG_7191 IMG_8046 Activity 3: Hummingbirds, they are my favorite because of their pretty shades of green and the way they fly around.
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Clover9378
      Activity 3:  I live in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, and one of my favourite backyard visitors is the pileated woodpecker.   I've learned this guy is a male -- you can tell by his red moustache. Activity 2:   I've been taking long walks along an urban lake and have been working on identifying all the different water birds.   My favourite there was a Canada Goose, not because it was a Canada Goose but because it did "summersaults" in the water.  It would suddenly pitch its head forward into the water and flip completely upside down, then did some crazy kicks to complete the roll and bring its head back up, swam a bit, and then did it all over again.IMGP1403
    • Bruce
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bperry42
      Black-crowned Night-Heron I've often encountered a Black-crowned Night Heron through binoculars on the far side of a pond.  But this time, one just sidled up to me in an outdoor restaurant in Mission Bay, San Diego, CA.
    • Emma
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      em_is_birdin
      Three birds that frequent my garden feeders here in Colorado are: House Finches- which are a type of finch, they will spend a long time sitting on the feeder sorting through seeds and other bits. Dark eyed juncos- which are a type of sparrow, they go on the ground under the feeder while the other birds feed clearing up the fallen rejected seeds and nuts. Chickadee- I'm not sure what type a chickadee is... but it seems to fit the behaviour of a flycatcher as it darts back and forth from feeder to branch, but it feeds on nuts and seeds rather than insects from what I can see soooo......?
    • barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bford205
      • 0B000915-7C03-4212-B6E3-4D158B75B847On cold winter days I find myself looking through my photos from last summer. I had a blast watching this American Goldfinch feeding her young. I can’t wait till spring!! Another highlight was the family of 5 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Hope to see them all soon!!F62D2060-AB0F-47AC-9FCC-9714F8E69C61
      • Theresa
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        annoney
        I believe that is a male Goldfinch. The Female is not so bright yellow. In winter he will look olive drab. Here along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi I saw these birds every year and could not identify them. Seems all my field guides only showed goldfinches in their bright yellow breeding colors. Theresa
    • Loyal
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      gomlife1
      7235DA8F-FF09-432D-BB2D-D067F880C4E1This beautiful bird sits in the trees in our backyard every evening.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dbrackey
      Activity 2: The feeders in my Kansas City area patio attract several varieties that I see regularly.  Doves often come in flocks of 4 to 10.  The cute Carolina Wrens (songbirds) in singles or sometimes twos -- look the same, not sure of male/female.  And for woodpeckers, the Downy, Northern Flicker, and the Red Breasted.  I even got one photo through the kitchen blinds showing both a Flicker and Red Breasted on the same suet feeder -- that was cool.20201230_134848
    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      birdmomma12
      On our bird walk this morning, my 4yo and I spotted two blue jays, a few european starlings, and a ton of house sparrows. My daughter love spotting the birds with me and often sees ones I miss. I'm currently using Merlin Bird ID and sometimes do some more online research if I'm not quite sure it fits what the app finds.  I am looking into a book guide to supplement and have on hand.
      • Joyce
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        jrussell8788
        I have always used the Petersen guide, but I would also like to check out the Sibley as I get more into identifying different birds. It is wonderful that you are exploring birds with your daughter. My two adult daughters and I are doing this course "together". They are in CO and I am in NH.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      LakeViewBirdLady
      IMG_3278Birds bring me so much joy and there are so many just outside my window. I would like to improve my bird identification. This raptor is an immature Bald Eagle I think. I use the Merlin app and my bird book. It is the "transitional" birds due to the changes with age and season that really challenge me
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kelly.shutoff
      IMG_4452 Here's my first scarlet tanager I spotted last summer in Newbury, MA. He was on the lowest tree branch and stayed nice and still for photos! Being bright red in New England made identification faster (I have mostly been using the Audubon app).
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        LakeViewBirdLady
        Beautiful, I enjoy the beak detail in this picture.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Buggy504
      IMG_20200525_124508983_3 This is a red-golden pheasant in a local park in New Orleans. I was using the Audubon app for identification, but it wasn't in there. The reason being that this bird is not endemic to Louisiana! He was most likely abandoned or escaped from a coop. He's been in the park for years though and has become a bit of a legend!
      • Kelly
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        kelly.shutoff
        He looks like he was on the move!
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rhoguet1948
      I am looking forward to completing this course and another that my daughter bought for me for Christmas. Living in TN, I am very fortunate to be able to see from my kitchen window many different songbirds at my feeders; geese, ducks and cranes in my neighbors lake and a Coopers Hawk that roams the area. Now I need to buy a guide to take with me for my walks in the woods.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lepsian
      Used Merlin app to identify Hairy Woodpecker and dark eyed Junco on my feeder
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      WARCO4H
      Activity 1 - Favorite bird from the wall of birds is a Great Grey Owl.  I was fortunate to see one of these with my father, who is a much more accomplished birder than I, when I was in my teens.  Just the massive size of this bird is incredible.  The second striking feature are its eyes.  Unlike many owls, they are quite adapted to hunting in the daytime.  Despite the one we saw being hundred yards away, when seen through even basic binoculars it felt like it was staring into your soul.  Runner up has to be the Kakapo, or flightless parrot of New Zealand.  Their incredible camouflage blends in so well to the moss covered grounds of the rainforest like locations where they live. Activity 2 - The first bird, which will also be my photo bird is the Black-capped chickadee, one of the very common feeder/backyard birds in our area.  For a bird smaller even than a sparrow they have the bravery of a lion.  The often will scold the owner of the feeder should they let the feeder become empty, waiting directly nearby as you fill it.  They remind me of a smaller version of a banty rooster.  They are in the family Songbids.  Another common feeder bird here is the Hairy Woodpecker, which is in the woodpecker family.  The third is the Eastern wild turkey, which is the chicken like bird group.IMG_20210105_132107916 (1)
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      carroteenio
      20200605_121713unfortunately through my screen but i was very pleasantly surprised by this pileated woodpecker at my suet feeder
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      carroteenio
      Activity 2: i regularly see white and red breasted nuthatches, mourning doves & various woodpeckers and many many more types Activity 3: I just love chickadees!
    • Gabriela
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      gablimpkin
      Activity 1 : The secretary bird will always catch my eye after its introduction to me in the movie, Kung Fu Panda. It's an elegant, powerful, and beautiful bird. This bird can make snakes it lunch with its fatal kicks. That's one of the main reasons it catched my eye. Activity 2: 3 different groups of birds. I was able to identify a mocking bird ( usually present in my front yard), a red-bellied woodpecker ( always a beautiful sight), and a dark moth raptor (!! I saw a fast-flying bird swoop into a tree in a round-about and sneaked up on it; I noticed it had a sharp hooked beak and got excited). These are my three species. They have given me a lot of joy and I hope I keep discovering more neighborhood friends. Activity 3:  Recalling back to Activity 2, the dark morph raptor has come into my life with so much mystery and "carnivore-y" that I want to be able to spot it again. Its sharp beak and proud posture created such an image in my mind. I took a picture of this mystery but it was on my low pixel android phone. Wish me luck on my journey to identify this bird!
    • Roman
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Phatman
      IMG_A618E432F161-1 This is the Clark's Nutcracker.  He loves and brutalizes our suet, dumping all of our seed from feeders onto the ground.  I guess they are ground feeders or are they just too big to stably feed from the feeders?  We do know they like the seeds from pinecones. Our online field guide says they like to make cache's of seed and can become accustomed to humans.  They are certainly comfortable around our feeders and dominate the scene along with the blue & gray jays and woodpeckers.  The Nutcracker will call others to come to feed! The little  birds wait for the nutcracker to fly off before they come back to feed. We live in the Colorado Rockies.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lisacheri9004
      This morning I looked out my front door just in time to see one of my favorites, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker.20210108_100010
      • Joyce
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        jrussell8788
        I have one visiting in my yard this year for the first time. I usually have downy, hairy and the occasional pileated so I was thrilled to have another type!
    • Jan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jchabala
      I have tried to identify birds with the Merlin app, but the app has not worked for me. In my experience the app cycles through the same few birds, or suggests birds that are very out of place, such as wading birds when I am looking at birds in a field. I'm taking this course so that I can more intelligently use the Merlin app and printed bird guides. Like others here I became focused on birding while walking during this pandemic. I noticed subtle colors and varieties on birds that I hadn't seen before. I live in northern California.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sparrowrn3
      I enjoy watching birds in my backyard. I started feeding them and noticed that not every bird is a sparrow! One feeder lead to another and now I have a squirrel proof pole system with multiple feeders to attract a variety of birds. At this time I am seeing gold finches, house finches, chickadees, northern cardinals, titmouse, white breasted nuthatches, Carolina wrens, sparrows, downy woodpeckers, and red bellied woodpeckers. My most recent new sighting was a flock of Pine siskins that we saw for about a week. Occasionally we have hawks visit - I believe Cooper Hawks. I was lucky enough to visit Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park (spring of 2019) and attended a birding event. I was amazed with the experience.  I loved seeing warblers and the ocean birds - especially the Puffins. Now that we are not traveling; I hope doing these activities will help me increase my bird knowledge and give me a distraction from the crazy times we are experiencing.
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lily_Garcia
      Activity 1: A few of my favorite birds from the Wall of Birds are the Yellow-Billed Magpie, Shoebill, and Great Gray Owl. The reason I like each of these birds is due to their unique physical attributes. Activity 2: A few birds that I observed outside which I was able to narrow down to one group are: Mourning Doves belonging to the pigeons and doves, Black Phoebes belonging to the songbird subcategory of flycatchers, and Red-tailed Hawks belonging to the raptors. Activity 3: One of my favorite birds in my neighborhood is the Northern Mockingbird. It is a medium-sized grey songbird with white on its wings, thin black legs, light-colored yellowish eyes, and a very impressive long tail! The reason it is one my favorite local birds is due to an experience I had with this particular species when I first moved into my current home. It had been late last winter and I had just laid down in bed after a tiring day of shuffling boxes. As I started to close my eyes, a loud intriguing noise struck my ears. Was that a car alarm I heard? No, that’s not it. As the song continued, I realized it was taking on different tunes. At one moment it sounded like a typical songbird, another a harsh almost mechanical sound. However, what surprised me most was the noise kept on going and going. I was very confused but fascinated at the same time. Whatever was making these sounds sure had stamina. My curiosity in the end got the better of me and coaxed me out of bed to go rummaging for a local bird guide I had safely tucked away in a thankfully clearly labeled box. With the help of my trusty guide, I discovered this singing prodigy was no other than the Northern Mockingbird and that during nesting season they can sing throughout the night! With the satisfaction of successfully identifying this lovelorn avian, I went back to bed and let its quirky song put me to sleep like a lullaby. Now whenever I hear a Northern Mockingbird it makes me reminisce about that night.
    • Natasha
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      natashablackadar
      My husband and I were gifted this course for Christmas, along with a bird feeder for our yard in RI. I have always loved cardinals and was really excited when we had a cardinal visit our feeder right away. We are noticing so many great birds in our yard and neighborhood now! IMG_4252
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lisabirding
      I have been interested in birding for some time but had not been as intentional with it until last year--with the help of some helpful resources and gifts from my partner, sister, and colleague. I love seeing peregrine falcons and condors / vultures in CA (which I did not see really in Boston), and hummingbirds.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      agobien
      Hello. I'm working through this course, and this is my first post. So we will see how it goes. I live in Mount Airy, MD -- near Baltimore. Went out in the backyard yesterday (31-Dec) evening and the first birds I saw were a Junco, then a Chickadee, and a Carolina Wren that came out of a hydrangea and sang to me. Those are all in the Songbird group, I think. There was a Downy Woodpecker that was eating our suet -- that's group 2. And then there is a small pond along our walk that has Mergansers on it in the winter. I'll count that as group 3. My favorite bird in my neighborhood is the Indigo Bunting. I attached a picture that I took a couple summers ago at Audrey Carroll Sanctuary near my house.  At this time of year, I also really enjoy the Nuthatches. I like the staccato song they sing while they climb down the tree trunks. Thanks for reading! I'm really enjoying the class, and have learned quite a bit! IndigoBunting1
    • Rolf
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Buceros19
      Hello, Seems like there will be a lot of new birders now that we are home and taking time to see what is around us! I too got this course as a gift, although I have been a sort of bird watcher for a while. Looking forward to sharing experiences along the way!
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      pichincha
      Like others, I got this course as a gift since I have been birding during the pandemic as a new fun hobby since I discovered the Audubon app in late spring. I recently came to Florida from my home in Philadelphia and I am having such fun watching birds on the beach. This is a photo of my favorites: Royal Terns. I like how their wintertime black heads look like Groucho Marx eyebrows. In the photo you can also see a ruddy turnstone, which took me forever to identify. It is hard learning to bird while social distancing since it is less easy to talk with experienced birders. Even so, I am proud to have identified more than 70 birds! I wish I had a better camera to get some closeup shots. Some of you have some amazing photo skills!76782D29-6626-42BF-8DAD-EF40351785D4
    • anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      holtonkaine
      I got this for Christmas along with other birding gifts, having become a nascent birdwatcher during the pandemic. My (adult) children are humoring my obsession quite gracefully.  So at my backyard suet feeder in Central Virginia I have one bird that visits occasionally that I am having trouble identifying- my best guess is least flycatcher but not sure he should be here this time of year.  Smaller than a sparrow, white eye-ring, two white bars on wings, and from back his black wings with white bard touch to make distinct V below grey back.  Advice appreciated!
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        c.r.andrews
        OIP (2)Does your bird look anything like this? If it does you probably have a 'Ruby Crowned Kinglet'
      • anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        holtonkaine

        @Cecilia Thanks for suggestion!  I think my little fellow is not quite that little - seemed bigger than my chickadees - but not sure.  He is an itinerant visitor but I’m hoping he comes back soon and I will concentrate on size if he does.

    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Bethey68
      I recently moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York State and can't believe the birds in my backyard. We have seen  Cardinals, Blue Jays, Heron, Mallard ducks and a woodpecker that I haven't been able to identify yet, I think  it could be either a Downy or Acorn woodpecker. This class is a wonderful gift from my daughter and I am exciting about identifying the different groups of birds in my area and hope to join a bird watching group soon.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Nikki511
      We mostly have songbirds in my area (there aren't a lot of waterfowl or shorebirds in the area).  I helped out on the Christmas bird count in 2019 and I am particularly fond of the Say's phoebe as that was the first bird I managed to identify by myself. I've also always liked the Great Blue Herons, although I haven't seen them here.
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      satborch
      Activity 2 I saw this white juvenile snow goose eating along side some Canadian Geese in the Nisqually Estuary Trail in Billy Frank Jr. Wildlife Refuge  near Olympia,WA. 20201017_164846
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jsrman2
      I’ve recently moved to a lake outside of Memphis TN. I live on a small lake and have enjoyed discovering all of wildlife that living in the area. I have particularly enjoyed the Great Blue Herons and the Green Herons. 3B1A49EB-DC0D-4A41-A461-E2676BA720A62B82BDE2-CD10-47B4-8306-F57F1221AA0BD2FF20DE-0E00-43E3-8503-AB1624FD6615
      • anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        holtonkaine
        Gorgeous pics!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Nanjhoff
      20201126_095551My daughter gave me this course for Christmas.  How do I choose just one favorite bird lol?  I love the Northern Flickers that visit my suet feeders (the bird on the right in the photo).  I have a male and female and built a nest box for them that they already seem to have claimed even though it is December.  I packed  it full of aspen shavings animal bedding and they "carved" out the cavity just like you see in YouTube videos.  I also like the Ladder-backed Woodpecker (left in the photo), 2 females and 2 males have been in my yard at the same time.  I participate in FeederWatch and have done 2 counts so far.  This has been a great hobby to begin during the pandemic.
    • Dylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Agleam6122Clay7378Bongo
      We went on a nature walk in the back bay and saw ducks, shorebirds, songbirds, and a raptor.
    • Dylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Agleam6122Clay7378Bongo
      I liked the loon from the wall of birds best because of the audio of its song.
    • Dylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Agleam6122Clay7378Bongo
      We enjoy the hummingbirds that feed and nest in our front yard. P5260073-964
    • Collette
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      leesmom
      Hi- I got this for Christmas. I am 11. I lost my newpaper carrier job in May and started making bird treats for my family and neighbors. I like learning about birds in my backyard. I live in a city. I like the pictures here from places hat do not look like where I live. I am learning about birds so I can help my customers. I have a lot of customers now. My yard has a lot of birds now. I hung a finch sack and the finches now found it and eat at it. Here is a picture. I used Merlin and think I have juvinile american finches. But it is hard to tell because the app tells me the finches change color in the winter. I also have a woodpecker in my yard. I think it is a hairy woodpecker. I have a lot of sparrows and wonder if they are all house sparrows or differnt kinds of sparrows. From Elliottfinch
      • anne
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        holtonkaine
        Elliott I love your birds and your bird treats! Very creative, thanks for sharing!
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Warble_Will
      Absolutely loving this course!  I'm lucky enough to live near a place called Pajaro Dunes (pajaro = bird) near Watsonville, CA.  I'm just beginning to identify all of the birds there, of which there are many.  It's a freshwater river mouth that meats the Pacific Ocean.  There are many Brown Pelicans here, but there are also fresh water White Pelicans (which are huge!).20201009_12273720201009_122759
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      walterpump
      I am just starting this introductory birding course & liking it.  I want to share in this section Activity 2:  My Field Guide, which I really like, is "Birds of Ontario" by Andy Bezener.  My wife and I are fortunate to live in the Bay of Quinte area where we get to see lots of birds.  Along the Belleville Waterfront Trail where we walk there are lots of Geese, many even winter over here.  Also in the last few years Swans have come to live here.  Using my field guide I believe they are Mute Swans due to their orange bills (thanks field guide).  I am including a pic of a Swan in this post.  Lastly lots of ducks are to be seen all year round.  Mallards are common, although other species are also seen.  I intend to try to identify as many waterfowl species as I can.  Cheers.Swan
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        LauraP19
        The Belleville Waterfront Trail is lovely! I just discovered it this summer (I live in Ottawa).
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ldmcgee
      Hello! I live in NW Wyoming. At this time of year we see black-capped chickadees a lot as well as ravens and magpies. We also have trumpeter swans and bald eagles who over-winter here.
    • Misty
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      arkansas007
      I think my favorite is the Common Grackle, when I first saw him in my backyard and snapped this photo, he was one of the first bird photos that I got to turn out not completely blurry!  Hahaha, because of that he's got a special place in my heart!  I starting birding in March due to quarantine, which is weird because all my adult life I have been afraid of birds.  I had a phobia and would literally cross the street if a pigeon was in front of me (sound silly now). My family finds it hilarious that now I'm crazy about birding. In fact this course is a present from one of my best friends!  As a new birder every "first" time I see (id) a new-to-me bird, that's my favorite until the next one! IMG_67455
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Nanjhoff
        Your comments made me smile :)
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lov2writ
      We love our Rose Breasted Grosbeaks. They return every year and raise new families on our land. My husband jokes thar we should call our place “Grosbeak Farm.”A024EE6D-AFAE-45BD-910A-8279E7D0A7C8
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      archtribe!me
      <p style="text-align: left;">Activity 2:  one bird described for each of three groups</p>   <p style="text-align: right;">Woodpeckers—Northern Flicker.  I used Merlin and “All About Birds” to obtain information about this species.  Our lesson lists the following characteristics for the woodpecker group:</p> <p style="text-align: left;">“Climb along trunks and whack at wood; distinctive group.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Cling to tree trunks and sides of branches Hammer on wood and peck holes Small to medium-sized Medium-sized, pointed bill Short neck Moderate to short tail Very short legs”</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Unlike most of its fellow woodpeckers, this is a moderately large bird, being in size between a robin and a crow. It is brown with black markings; the eastern variant has yellow on its wings and tail, whereas the western has red.  Its bill is medium-sized and slightly curved.  It has a white rump that may be seen in flight.  These birds hammer on the ground where they search for insects (beetles and ants), but will live in holes in trees at least 6’ above the ground surface, where they build their nests.  They like to capture flying insects with their tongues.  They also eat berries and seeds.  They are found in ecotonal areas, where they can access sparse tree cover in open areas, as well as access forested areas.</p>   <p style="text-align: right;">Wading Birds—Roseate Spoonbill.  I used Merlin, “All About Birds” and the Audubon Society website to obtain information about this species.  Again, our lesson provides the following list of characteristics for the Wading Birds group:</p> “Large, long-legged birds often wading in water; includes herons, egrets, ibis, storks, and cranes. Wade in water, sometimes fields Large to very large Very long neck Long bill, may be curved Very long legs Short tail” The Roseate Spoonbill is a large bird with a pink body and long pink legs, a white head, red eyes, and a very distinctive bill that is flat, like a spoon, and used for capturing prey in shallow water.  These birds wade in shallow (5”) fresh or salt water areas and use their bills to sift muddy water for fish, aquatic invertebrates like crustaceans, and other small aquatic life. Their color comes from carotenoids found in the food they eat.  These birds are social and are often found in mixed flocks with other similar birds, like Ibises, Herons, Cranes, and Storks.  In the United States, they are found in states along the Gulf Coast and on Florida’s southern Atlantic Coast. They occur along the coasts of Mexico, and throughout South America.   The distinctive bill shapes are somewhat famous in North American archaeology, as they show up as decorative elements on pottery found in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri between 200 BCE to 400 CE.  These are areas far outside of the geographic distribution of these birds.  Such art-work helped support the concept of a far flung interaction amongst prehistoric peoples throughout Eastern North America.  People traded copper from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; catlinite, or Pipe Stone, from Minnesota; conch shells from the Gulf Coast; spike freshwater mussels from Eastern Georgia, used for personal adornment, such as necklaces; and had knowledge of fauna and flora from other parts of the continent, like the Spoon Bill.  Pottery in Illinois was made from local materials using decorative motifs of birds from another part of the continent.  How did ancient Illinoisans know what these birds looked like?  We have examples of skeletal remains of these birds found buried with humans from the time.   <p style="text-align: right;">Parrots—Scarlet Macaw.  I used information from the Rainforest Alliance to obtain information on this species.  Our class provides the following information:</p> “Parrots have a heavily curved, short, strong bill; distinctive group. Large head Short neck Short, strong bill with upper mandible curving over the lower one Short legs Many with brilliant colors on parts of body; mainly green” Scarlet Macaws are large birds and represent the largest of the parrots in the world; they can be up to 33” long from tail tip to the tip of the beak. Their faces are almost featherless and white.  The dominant color is red on wings, tails, and body.  The wings also have yellow and blue feathers. The large curved beak helps the bird eat the hard nuts found in the rainforests of Mexico and throughout South America. It is not uncommon to find hundreds of these birds clinging to clay cliffs along a river, as the clay helps neutralize poisons they ingest when eating certain toxic fruits that would kill other animals.  They live in large gregarious groups in tall deciduous trees near rivers.  They like to nest in holes found in dead trees and they mate for life.  Adults love to preen one another, as well as their offspring, which helps form strong social bonds.  These magnificent birds are sometimes stolen from their nests as juveniles to be sold in the United States for as much as $4,000. Activity2-pict
    • ADRIENNE
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      ADRIENNENURSE
      Eastern Bluebird I just signed up for the course as well and find it extremely interesting.  I guess I always liked watching and listening to birds, but I never took the time to really learn much about them.  Since this course I venture out in the backyard and around the local waterways and I see lots of amazing flying neighbors!! The  Eastern Bluebird above is probably one of my favorites because they come and visit with me on the porch, sit on the back of my lawn chairs, and well, just make themselves right at home.  I also think they're cute as well :-) I hope to do more bird watching in my area when Covid is under control, but in the meantime my backyard is showing me amazing things!!!!  Y'all have fun.............................................
      • Jacqueline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        archtribe!me
        What a beautiful bird.  They aren't afraid of you, they come to your porch when you're there?  How special.
      • ADRIENNE
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        ADRIENNENURSE

        @Jacqueline If I'm really quiet  they will come by and I can stand in the doorway or watch from the window .

      • Josh
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        jbennett1995
        Great photo! Love the Eastern Bluebird. There's a few places I go birding where I see and hear them regularly... always makes my day
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        lov2writ
        We love our bluebirds! We have a pair that raise two families every year in one of our nest boxes. We monitor these boxes for Cornell’s NestWatch project. They ask us to take photos when we check the boxes if we can do so without disturbing the birds. Here are some of our nestlings from this past summer (:D2ECC753-9858-4A1F-9C97-9C950FBACF9F
      • Kristen
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Krubacka

        @Kim We have recently moved to an area where we've seen many bluebirds! We hope to put up some houses in the spring. Any tips? I am hopeful that we will attract some families! They are so beautiful to watch. They love our birdbaths and we really enjoy seeing them! Thank you!

    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dwallard
      I have just signed up for the course.  I used to be into bird watching but I guess I let life and career get in the way.  I have forgotten more than I remember.  It seems some feral cats have invaded my neighbor and the birds seem to have disappeared a couple of weeks ago.  I ordered a live trap, and I am going to try to catch them and take them to the humane society.  The squirrels also vanished at the same time, and normally the yard is full of them.
    • Suzi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      smauclair
      Activity 3, my favorite neighborhood bird is the Phoebe... literally my neighbor as it nests in the eaves of the barn as well as my fixed back door awning. Seeing (and hearing) them return each year means I’m in for the ultimate treat of watching their fascinating and adorable behaviors, listening to their songs, and observing another season of creation as they raise a family. It’s a giddy feeling when I know they’re back!
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      petparent
      I just signed up for this class last week as something fun for my friend and I to do together. We have become birding buddies this year. We are in Chicago, so we don't have a ton of diversity in our urban neighborhoods, but we've started to venture out to some of the forest preserves. In our own backyards, we both really love the Downy Woodpecker. We see them here a lot. I only used my phone camera, so the photo is not so great. downy woodpecker
      • Josh
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        jbennett1995
        Nice! I live in a suburb where the Downy Woodpecker is frequently seen and heard. They're a joy to watch, the way they maneuver in the trees and forage so quickly is amazing!
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      aeroberts
      Like many people I’ve gotten into birding since being home all the time during Covid, and starting to notice the natural world in my backyard. I have hung up bird feeders and am identifying birds I’ve never seen before because I never stopped and really looked at them. One of my favorites is the White-Breasted Nuthatch because it’s so lively and dances around on the tree trunks like a little sprite. I have a wonderful Hairy Woodpecker who has discovered my suet feeder, as well as some Ladder Backed Woodpeckers and a female Williamson’s Sapsucker who seems to live on one particular tree in my yard. The Sandhill Cranes picture is from a recent visit to Bosque Del Apache, which is basically bird heaven here in beautiful New Mexico. These birds have given me so much joy in these difficult times.658A0AB1-0749-4E12-9BA6-5A114581E395B14E0F27-5D4F-45BF-B9FA-C45B425532785ADD53F2-C66E-4FBC-8B67-A3D23F7FB58D
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GTAlum
      I saw these beauties while watching the sunrise off Pompano Beach in South Florida. Unfortunately, the Merlin Bird ID app did not help me identify them right away.  So I dug into other references, finding hits in All About Birds, Audubon, and Birds of Southwest Florida. They are Black Skimmers. It was incredible watching them soaring back and forth across the beach, the entire flock moving as one, finally settling a few yards from where I was standing. Black Skimmers - 2020-11-28 The pigeon landed in the foreground just as I was taking the picture.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mmaylesworth
      I recently put a bird feeder in a tree next to our patio and this has become my primary bird watching experience as we are rather homebound during the pandemic.  Over the last week, I've been able to identify three perching bird species: (1) Black-capped chickadee, (2) black-eyed junco, and (3) spotted towhee.  We also have a hummingbird feeder and have a steady line-up of Anna's.  When we first put up the hummingbird feeder, I wasn't able to distinguish the family, they just looked like a tiny metallic green bird.  It was when one turned his head toward the sunshine that I first saw the flash of crimson head and throat.  I identified the chickadees using an old National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds.  I was already familiar with the juncos, but the spotted towhee is new to me, I hadn't seen it before we installed the seed feeder.  While cleaning my patio this afternoon and getting ready for winter, I spent about two hours sweeping, moving flower pots, and cleaning all the while the chickadees didn't seem to mind, they continued to feed.  At one point, I stood still just a couple of feet from the tree and just observed the feeding activity.  They took from the feeder and flew off to another branch to work at their food.  They are the most delightful birds, very active and surprisingly tolerant of other birds.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      RachelGlaeser
      I was finally able to identify my favorite bird today! I've read about the ruby-crowned kinglet and how they can survive the bitterly-cold winters even though they are so small. I think they are more common in western Oregon now that it is late fall and today I saw one outside my window in my front yard. It reminded me of a wren at first, then I saw the black and white lines on the wings and white eye ring. The bird hopped around on a brush pile then, suddenly, it flashed the red crown feathers! It was near another kinglet who also flashed back - two males. What a treat! It was my first time recognizing this truly great little bird in the wild. I wish I had taken a photo, but I was too excited!
      • Alicia
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        petparent
        I had never even heard of the ruby-crowned kinglet before, but then spotted this unusual looking bird in a bush one day several months ago when I was walking a dog (I own a pet care business). After looking it up on some apps I found out what it was. I've never seen one again. So cute. I just signed up for this class with my friend this week. We have become bird watching buddies during the pandemic. ruby crowned kinglet
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Pegand
      This Great Horned owl stays all day hidden in the depths of the tree behind our house, then takes off each night just about sunset.  He puts on quite a show for us and our neighbors because he scoots out onto a branch about a half hour before flight and just hangs around.  Take off is amazing, such huge wings! 12A23022-8799-4750-9A14-52A0B92ED81C
      • Alison
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        aeroberts
        That’s awesome! What luck to have him as a visitor.
      • ADRIENNE
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        ADRIENNENURSE

        @Alison Great Horns are beautiful  Owls. You can bet something is peaking his attention !! Nice pic.

    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      fenssa
      The first bird I was able to identify from my feeder last year, using my new guide book, was the Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco, I loved watching it flick food out of the feeder then jumping down to the ground to eat it, thankfully I am seeing them again around my apartment, sadly I had to take down the feeder this summer as I was also attracting a large family of rats underneath  my feeder and my landlord was not happy:( Every time I see a Junco, now, I smile and think of the start of my becoming a birder:)
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      susanfox2
      I chose the Belted Kingfisher. I met a few kingfishers this summer-fall while kayaking on the Hudson River. They come across as quite the characters: chatty and bossy, but so fun to watch. At first, I had mistaken them for blue jays since it seemed--from a distance--in flight they have similar markings on their wings.  In researching them for this activity, I discovered that what I thought was a male is actually a female. This is one of the few species where the female is more brightly colored than the male. She has a rust band or belt, whereas the male does not. They burrow into fairly deep holes. I also looked up the red-breasted nuthatch since I have two who have been spending a lot of time at our feeder since October. They are often around chickadees and titmice, and I wasn't sure if that was just our two, or a coincidence. But apparently this is common behavior. I really love watching them hop up and down the tree, then dive in for a quick grab at the feeder. My source of information: Cornell Lab, All About Birds.
      • Suzy
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        SuzyBean
        I love Kingfishers! I'm wondering into which of the general categories mentioned in the previous lesson do they fit? I thought probably "Other"? Incidentally, "kingfisher" is one of the nature-based words that was removed from the Oxford Children's Dictionary in favor of words like "broadband". This prompted naturalist Robert McFarlane to write the wonderful book The Lost Words. Perhaps instead of removing the words from the dictionary, birding and other nature studies could be (re)introduced to children!
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      archtribe!me
      Tufted Titmouse I don't have a very good picture that anyone could use for identification.  But, since the pandemic and our lock-down in March (I live in Central Illinois), I had not bought bird seed for my multiple bird feeders until October. Our pergola, from which all feeders had been hung, has been taken down due to rot and the danger that posed. I bought a shepherd's hook and hung a tube feeder from that and a suet feeder from a tree. Then I waited, and waited, and finally a Tufted Titmouse darted into the yard during the second week of November. The bird landed in a Red Bud tree. It then flew to the tube feeder to eat, then it went back to the tree. It chirped several times, then a second Tufted Titmouse joined the first one. They collected food at the feeder, then flew to the tree. This species grabs food, then goes to a more protected location, like a nearby tree. There the bird uses its feet to process seeds, according to the Cornell course "Feeder Birds, Identification and Behavior." Also, in the winter, this species provides safety to other birds found in flocks with mixed species composition that include chickadees, woodpeckers, and others (Contreras, T.A. And K. E. Sieving, 2011. Leadership of Winter Mixed-Species Flocks by Tufted Titmice. International Journal of Zoology, pg1-11. DOI: 10.1155/2011/670548). Tufted Titmice are vocal in the group and help provide information to others about predators. As a newly minted amateur birder, I find this species to be a very cute bird, full of personality, pleasant to watch, and fairly bold. I am pleased to learn so much about it. I like it because it was the first species to re-inhabit my back-yard feeders.
      • Elizabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        ekiker
        The tufted titmouse is one of my favorites too.  The other day, just after a rain, a tufted titmouse was carefully turning over wet maple leaves on my back patio and eating up whatever he found underneath.  It was a good strategy for him because whatever he was finding under those wet leaves, he was five for five in terms of success! Betsy (in Virginia)
    • BRENT
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Brent Boynton
      Activity 2. I recently purchased a telephoto lens.  Now I can take a photo and use the iNaturalist app Seek to ID the bird from the photo(s) on my desktop screen._T6A4452
      • Jacqueline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        archtribe!me
        What a wonderfully detailed picture.
      • Alison
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        aeroberts
        I just ordered a telephoto lens for bird pictures too! I love birds of prey, and you got a good shot of him.
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      I found the Three Wattled Bellbird on the Wall of Birds. I had a chance to see him last year and to hear his strange singing in my country, Costa Rica. These days I can see many birds in my backyard, some species I had not seen before, like Cowbirds. Vaquero adulto y juvenil 1
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MontanaPineyro
      I have been marveling at the variety of visible birds from my front porch, here in Taos, New Mexico. I see multiple types of woodpeckers, all the varieties of Dark-Eyed Juncos, Magpies, Crows, Calcons, Harriers, and Finches. Did I mention Blue Jays, Stellar's Jays,Western and Mountain Bluebirds, as well as Nuthatches, Titmouses, and, as of yet, unidentified flycatchers. I started this course to help me learn how to quickly identify them, as I am fascinated by them. We also had a sweet, little Caliope Hummingbird that came every day for weeks. Those little gems are greatly missed. When I moved here in August, we had all these amazing birds (many different from those mentioned above). One day, I came out and everything was quiet. It lasted for days. We barely saw any birds. I thought the nearby fires might have had something to do with it. We had a cold snap, in Sept, as well, and many birds were found dead that week. But over the course of the next two weeks, I became aware of new songs. Before I knew it, our birds had gone south, and an entire new group of birds had appeared. I'm 45, and had never witnessed the migration in that way before. Amazing!
      • Jacqueline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        archtribe!me
        Montana I am so sad to read of the death of birds in your area after a cold snap or because of fires, or because both of these events over-stressed your beautiful visitors.  I am hoping to help my migrants and year-round residents to keep well-fed and warm this winter in Illinois.  They suffer so when our temps dip into the minus zero temperatures; they just get hypothermia and fall out of the trees because they don't have enough fat on board to warm their bodies.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Sue House
      I have purchased small bird resting boxes for winter.  Where is the best place to hang them?  They are made of grass on the outside but look like cardboard on the inside.  Should I put something in them?
    • Joe
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Orbnauticus
      Right now  my favorite bird that I see around my neighborhood is the Downy Woodpecker. They're a lot of fun to watch when they come up to my feeder and I really like their coloring.Downy Woodpecker (2)
      • Alison
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        aeroberts
        He’s adorable! It looks like he’s looking right at the metal bird decoration.
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      conchita
      I had an amazing experience in Costa Rica with a potoo. They have a song that sounds like Pauuulll. I recorded it and at night I saw with my night lights a potoo in a tree close to my house. I reproduced his song using a speaker and he came flying on top of my head, was one of the best moments of my life. He kept coming I believe he was curious about me or wanted to attack me. I will try to insert here the recording I did. I couldn’t insert the recording
      • Lynne
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        LynneMR
        You just blew my mind. I'd never heard of a Potoo before and now I'm bummed I didn't see any when I was in the Guanacaste region last year! They are amazing and your story is fantastic!
      • Alison
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        aeroberts
        That’s really magical to have such a close encounter!
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      patmat
      IMG_20201011_111446~2In trying to identify this "duck", I learned about a new bird family the Coots, Gallinules, and Rails.  This is an American Coot I saw at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas 10/11/20. I plan to spend more time watching the diverse bird population in this area. There is also a wonderful flock of Monk Parakeets in that area!
      • Montana
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        MontanaPineyro
        I used to live in Austin, and always loved when they came for the winter. I also searched for the mystery duck, only to learn, it wasn't a duck. They're lovely to watch!
      • Jacqueline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        archtribe!me
        We had a bunch of Coots get trapped in ice along the Illinois River one winter (sudden drop in temperature that I think caught them off-guard).  The paleontologists at the Illinois State Museum were fairly excited about recording the predation on these poor birds--they formed a birdie buffet for the local predators.  The information about predation informed the scientists about what they were actually seeing in from the remains excavated from prehistoric paleontological sites--why you would only find the bottom half of the birds, but no spines, wings, necks, or tails.  We've seen this at bogs and marshes where Mastodon or Mammoths got caught in mud and couldn't get away from predators--the parts in the mud survived in-tact to be excavated, the rest of the body, not so much--sometimes scattered around in random ways.   I love that you also have Monk Parakeets in your area!  Very cool.
    • Kristin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kdiwaniya
      Visiting the Chesapeake Bay. Great place to birdwatch! Today we saw two bald eagles and plenty of great blue herons. It’s also migration season: so may Canadian geese & mallards! Around the yard I’ve identified mockingbirds and I believe a grey catbird. Lots of smaller very chatty birds perching at the top of tall trees which tend to fly in groups, but haven’t been able to identify them. KD 91F52714-F70B-460D-AADF-93D2D6F7FC86
      • ADRIENNE
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        ADRIENNENURSE
        The Great Blue Heron, I love these guys!! They walk around the edge so stately 😊 You got a nice shot.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Rebecca_Houseman
      I enjoy the diversity of the birds in the Pacific NW including the Bald Eagle, the winter visitor Townsend Warbler and the calls of the Barred Owl in the forest by my house.5139D3AE-075A-441C-B521-A537B3B8BC3A_1_201_a
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Sue House
        I live in eastern NC.  I see what I think is an eagle because it has a yellow beak.  But they do not have white on their heads.  Are young eagles all brown?  I have a Barred Owls too.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Hartung
      Just wanted to share three birds that I find unforgettable: the common loon, the pileated woodpecker and the osprey. I have vivid memories of them surprising me--demanding to be noticed, so to speak. Now I go out of my way to see them again to receive their message from the wild side. Honorable mention to every hummingbird I'ver ever seen and the elusive cedar waxwing.
    • Gracen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      gefbirds
      I love the Northern Cardinal. It stands out among the rest of nature, and that's what I love best about it.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      KatMThCn
      In the last 2 days, I have had 3 immature rose breasted grosbeaks visit my feeder. When I saw the first one, I thought it looked like a grosbeak but the coloring was all wrong. I looked through manuals and Merlin and found out they were immature birds! That was fun.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      e3perry
      Hello, I live in the Upstate South Carolina area. By using the Merlin app, I identified a barred owl who wakes me up late at night!
    • Melanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Enid Melanie
      DSC_0647We are lucky to have amazing bird life here in Cape Town. My favourites are the Sunbirds and Mousebirds that frequent my garden, although the latter like to wreack havok in my garden, especially with the granadilla. They are such characters! :) I found them on the wall represented by the Sugarbird and Red-Faced Mousebird in Southern Africa. Yesterday I was super lucky to capture a Double Collared Sunbird with my camera finally - and in front of Table Mountain as well!
      • Darlene
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Dmantion
        spectacular. Thanks for sharing the picture.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jogli-
      Each morning my son and I walk about 1.5 miles around where we live. It is very common for us to see Blue Jays and my favorite the Northern Cardinal. I love to see them and listen to their songs.
      • Josh
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        jbennett1995
        The Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays are also very common in my neighborhood. Both beautiful birds. The Jays are especially interesting to watch as they're very intelligent and their behaviors show it. The bright red male Cardinals are hard to keep to look away from, despite being so common because they're just lovely. However, the females also have a nice contrast in color between their orange bill and brownish feathers that is very nice.
    • Georgina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GLaidlaw
      My favourite bird from the Wall of Birds is the Pintail Wydah. I spotted one from my yard here in Ghana and took a not-bad photo; he was a male with the distinctive tail. I listened to the call on the Wall of Birds and it's quite pretty. But what I didn't realise is that these are Indigobirds (I am also a fan of the Wilson's Indigobird, which I've seen around a bit) and they are parasites! Who knew?! Not me. Very intriguing! I have no field guide to Ghanaian birds so the more I can find out about the ones I spot, the better. In terms of different types of birds, I've spotted plenty of raptors, particularly kestrels, but the other day I saw a little African Scops Owl and last night I saw what appears to be a Lizard Buzzard. I saw my first parrot the other day: a Senegal Parrot. I've been in Ghana a year and I come from regional Australia, where there are parrots everywhere, so it was nice to see this one, and I saw another last night. The third kind of bird I've seen, and one of my favourites, is a Turaco: the Grey Plantain Eater. They remind me of cockatoos in Australia with their little crests and highly social personalities — they're very easy to anthropomorphise! My favourite bird that I've seen in my neighbourhood (and my yard) is the splendid sunbird. I've included a photo of the male on a rainy day, and his brilliant colours are a bit subdued, but these are beautiful birds, very small, and he and his mate (pictured below him) come around the house to see if they can find small bugs on our fence wall and around outdoor lights. Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 2.25.10 pmScreen Shot 2020-09-20 at 2.25.27 pm
      • Melanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Enid Melanie
        Hi Georgina, I also love sunbirds (see the photo I posted above) and also the Whydahs - they are amazing with their extra long tails! The first time I saw one, I was sitting in my parked car and the bird kept coming close and making such a show - it must have been flirting with its reflection in the car window. Adorable!
    • Devin
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Devin66
      Activity 1: I like the Osprey. Once while I was fishing for trout in a high altitude lake in Central Utah I watched an Osprey as it circled overhead and then plunged (more like belly flopped) into the water to catch its own fish. It failed a few times, but then it succeeded in grabbing a fish in its talons. That was pretty cool to watch. Activity 2: I went for a walk along a trail near my house and spotted some Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, and Mourning Doves. The plumage of some of the Mallards was different. Rather than having a green head with blue wing bars, some had dark heads with white chests and black bodies, including black wing bars. Activity 3: One of my favorite birds is the Black-chinned hummingbird. One day while I was in my back yard, a Black-chinned hummingbird was performing some aerial stunts. It kept flying back and forth right over my head as it did barrel rolls. Must have been some sort of courting display.
    • Ren
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      RenRossini
      I live in the desert Southwest and have seen a number of adult Cooper's hawk from the Raptor category.  Onc particularly likes to spend time in our large Mesquite tree but it is striking to watch it fly across the yard with its long, striped tail.  It makes a kind of dorky squealing sound which was unexpected.  We also get solitary Roadrunners crossing the yard which I think might fall into the "Other" category.  Just once we watched one glide from the top of a high rock which was quite a sight.  Normally they cautiously traverse the open spaces with their tail and neck making a V-shape until they feel threatened and rotate their body almost parallel with the ground and speed away. Yesterday I was excited to see two Green Tailed Towhees from the Songbird/Sparrow category scratching under some Mesquite trees.  They were so beautiful with rufous caps and bright green along their wings and tail and a very clearly marked white patch on their throats.  I think they are uncommon in the area because the Merlin Bird ID app would not let me ID them.   So far I think the Green Tailed Towhees are my favorite bird that I've seen but I also enjoy the variety of hummingbird's the visit the feeder outside the window. IMG_3258 (1)
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ErinKosisky
      The Wandering Albatross on the Wall of Birds is the first bird that catches my eye; how could it not!? I love that the birds songs are also included. Listening to the Wandering Albatross is incredible. The duck and diver groups captivate me. I first got into birding after spotting a Loon on a pond near my home. I dove into a great, big research tunnel after seeing him. Incredible! There are so many other ducks near me that I cannot wait to be able to identify. After my first encounter with the Loon, it definitely has to be my favourite. After all, he lead me here. :) -Erin / Pennsylvania
    • christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cflanagan
      Activity 1 : shoebill , tawny frogmouth , kakapo Activity 2 : songbirds group one I have purple finch waterfowl : Pekin ducks in back yard raptors : red tail hawks activity 3 : some owl I hear at night not sure what kind yet
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      jessbird22660
      My favorites from the Wall of Birds are the Blue-Footed Booby and the Wandering Albatross.  I just love the silly sounding name of the Blue-Footed Booby and their demeanor.  I read a book called the Eye of the Albatross years ago and have been fascinated by albatross eve since then.  They are elegant birds.   Outside, at my feeders, I have identified a White-breasted Nuthatch which is from the Tree Creeper family; a Mourning Dove which is from the Dove/Pigeon family; and a Chipping Sparrow which is from the sparrow family. Also, I have shared a picture of the classic northern cardinal that is always a frequent flyer at my feeders.  20160612_141237
    • Hattaya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      hattha
      DSC07925 I living in Lake Monticello, a private gated community, is a census-designated place in Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States. By coincidence,  One day I go to golfing at Keswick, I found a Blue Grosbeak looking for food in the grass. And I have the camera in my hand, allows me to take pictures of him. And of course he is in my interest and hopefully wishes to see him again.
    • Hattaya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      hattha
      Ruby-throated hummingbird is my favorite bird for a reason: 1. They are the smallest migrating bird. They don’t migrate in flocks like other species, and they typically travel alone for up to 500 miles at a time. 2. The name, hummingbird, comes from the humming noise their wings make as they beat so fast. 3. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards. DSC09733
    • Hattaya
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      hattha
      DSC04498                   Since March 2020, I became interested and wanted to get to know the birds surrounding my house. I was inspired by a lover of Red-headed Woodpeckers, they came to make a nest on the tree in front of my house DSC00854 I saw them fly to feeder and birdbath that I prepare for them in my back yard. And flew back to the nest for a long time until July 5, 2020 so I had the opportunity to see them juvenlie.           DSC01862 I watched their juvenlie grow into adulthood. And expect him to leave me soon.
    • barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bford205
      I have spent a great deal of time this summer learning more about my backyard birds - this is one of my favorite pictures.  The look on the little one's face is just precious.  Having the American Goldfinch visit this year has been such a joy.  (in addition to the Blue Jay, Cardinal, House Finch, Sparrow, Mourning Dove, Chickadee and many more - including a red-tailed hawk, which made the others scatter!)  _DSC2361 (2)
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Nanjhoff
        What a fantastic photo!
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Teresacmaz
      bird Hi, these are my favorite birds around home. They have really bright orange and yellow colors and they like to be around yellowish flowers that we have at home.
    • Alkistis
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      AKaratzis
      Hello! I am from NYC Brooklyn to be specific, and I just recently discovered birding. I have been going out almost every day and I was able to see and identify birds for the first time. In prospect park I saw a yellow warbler, a black-and- white warbler, lots of robins and european starlings. Today I also saw a hummingbird, a brown-thrasher and a green heron. I have also identified 3 different kinds of woodpeckers it just one area! Red- bellied, downy and northern flicker. I am looking forward to identify more birds as I get more knowledgeable.
    • Indira
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IndiTheBirdiee
      IMG_4418IMG_4443IMG_4424 This is keanu he is a White-breasted nuthatch(Sitta Carolinensis) other wise known as a tree creeper. One day I was walking the dogs and a blue flash of feathers caught my eye, so I leashed my dogs to a tree and went over to investigate. What I found was a young bird struggling to set flight. So I picked him up, held him close, got the dogs and went home. The first thing I did was call my neighbor because she has looked after many small animals in need. She gave me a big box some birdseed and more things for the bird to survive. That night I took him out and let him explore my bed then, he fell asleep while I watched some YouTube videos. The next morning I took him out and he started climbing on me like I was a tree. After school my neighbor brought me to a sanctuary for all kinds of birds, but when we got there the a lady took him away without letting me say goodbye. Just today I found out that Nuthatches climb trees up and down and cant fall off trees easily. Every now and then I think of Keanu with a teary eye and think how his life must have been or still is today. This is my story on Keanu he didn't act normal like wild birds but he was special to me and will always hold a place in my heart. Thanks for listening to my story!  :)
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Sue House
        Love your story.  I love white-breasted nuthatch!
    • Ken
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kennyklein
      Hi I'm a long time bird lover but in recent years find myself more and more interested in bird watching.  Mobile apps are mostly to blame and cornell has two that are fabulous.  I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania but spend a lot of the summer in OCNJ.  I love hawks, eagles and ospreys and consider myself fortunate to see them often.  When I was a child it was unheard of to see an Osprey locally or certainly a bald eagle.  In recent years I've seen bald eagles in my neighborhood in the Philly suburbs and Osprey are everywhere at the Jersey shore.  I would like to think conservation efforts take credit for that or maybe banning of DDT. My favorite bird over the years has been the Goldfinch.  We had a nesting pair at my first house that obliterated our sunflowers but it was worth it.  Last year the Carolina Chickadee may have replaced the goldfinch due to what I felt was an amazing experience.  I used a mobile app to identify one and then played the recorded song on the app.  Must have been a mating call because a male flew to the branch 3 or 4 feet from me.  He flew away and I called him right back with the soundbite.  We played at this for a few minutes until I finally released the little romeo. We have large oaks and poplars in our suburban yard and I'm privileged to see and hear woodpeckers, wren, pewee, grey catbird, cooper's hawk, redtail hawk, chickadee, sparrows and the occasional goldfinch or owl (mostly hear them).  I've even had a hummingbird in my back yard.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      aani8dtoo
      Hello! Happy to join in with everybody here. I've had to relocate from my urban home in NYC to a much more rural area in NJ. I am amazed at how many birds I see and hear out here! Taking this course has certainly enriched my exploration of my new environment, in a sonic sense in particular (I find bird sounds very inspiring). From the Wall Of Birds I've chosen the Common Loon. Not native around these parts but their calls are one of my favorites- for me it's an ancient sound. They are clumsy on land but so powerful and graceful in their element, water. I find that relatable. I didn't know that they can also remain underwater for up to 15 minutes! As for the locals, I've been enjoying the Pileated Woodpecker very much. They are elusive, I usually catch a glimpse of them flying if anything but I hear their call and drum patterns often. I wish I had a photo to share. I've also been really into the Turkey Vulture. I see them everywhere and find them fascinating. Not the prettiest bird but I like that they are a bit eerie and they are not scared of anything! I came across a gathering one morning and was absolutely awed and intimidated! I wish I had been a bit braver for a better shot but below you can get an idea of the size of the group I tiptoed past.. IMG_9044IMG_9041
      • Melanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Enid Melanie
        Wow, are those really vultures? They don't seem to fit into this idyllic environment at all. Astonishing!
    • aagney
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SmEw1266
      IMG_20200903_165007 I'm Aagney from Karnataka, India. I've always loved birding both as a hobby and as a science. From the wall of birds i would pick the red whiskered bulbul( Pycnonotus jocosus ). In my neighborhood not a day goes by when I don't see this bird. I've closely watched it's rather clever antics and I always feel mesmerized by it. To this date I've seen about 53 species of birds in my neighborhood and about 9 of them visit my make-shift birdbath in my backyard. These include greattits, red whiskered and red vented bulbuls, white eyes, tailor birds, magpie robins and ashy prinias. IMG-20200731-WA0012
    • Paulo
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      paulo.silvestro
      Good morning! I'm glad to be here! Activity 1 - I really like the King Vulture, I saw it sometimes and it is a very beautiful bird. The vulture family attracts me a lot, as the indigenous people of my country say: life comes from death. But there is another bird that I love, the Long-billed Woodcreeper, I saw it once and was fascinated! Activity 2 - From my windonw, right now, I can see parrots, songbirds and vultures. Activity 3 - Almost every day a little bird comes to my windown, it is a songbird and I forgot his name. And every time he knocks on my windown and seems to say: "Hi guy! Forget this computer, let's go out now!". My little new friend... he doesn't know the corona virus.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pajonas
      A "shout out" to the Atlantic Puffin.  The coloring of a penguin and the bill like a parrot.  Excellent swimmers and fast flyers. Perhaps not so coordinated when on land but it does not stay on land much except when it is time to breed.  The Atlantic Puffin numbers have been decreasing and it is currently listed as Vulnerable.  The inspiring "Project Puffin" story about bringing breeding colonies back to Maine reflects the dedication and persistence of individuals to help restore this unique bird to the US.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      marianlibrarian4
      Lots to learn, but enjoying the time to learn it. I have feeders in my yard that seem to be "standing room only" most days. The second activity, finding three birds from three different groups sounded hard until I looked out there. I saw a hummingbird, a lesser finch and several doves. I never thought of them in these different groups. So interesting.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tnl39587
      I used to go birding all the time, then kids and work, etc.  I actually worked on a Northern Spotted Owl survey many years ago.  Since this pandemic I've been trying to find ways to get outside.  Birding is the perfect excuse, so I'm kinda starting over again with my girlfriend and some other friends.  Found a great new place to hang out in Omaha (a beautifully preserved wetland).  Wood Ducks, Mallards, and a Great Blue Heron today.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      markfeb14
      I think I saw a Western Screech Owl in my backyard at dusk. I flew near me and the sound of it's flight startled me a little. I live near the foothills south of Salt Lake City.
    • Deepak
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      merlinbird2020
      20200706_16193420200706_16195820200706_175203 These are picture of western reef Heron that I clicked during the process of saving this young bird. Yes. It was struck in the well as it could not fly. With help of my hands I helped it reach my home first and then its home, the lake near my house that you see in the above pictures. For the first time I noticed this bird and with the help of Merlin bird app i found its name. Thanks to the Merlin. I am fond of three other birds : two I spotted in my neighborhood and One online : Owl, Small sparrow( Neighborhood)  and Flamingo  (Online). For some reasons I find the face of the owl interesting and at times scary too.  I would like to explore more about it. I am sad that there was a bird called Ornimegalonyx and it is no more now. It is an owl too.  I wish to do my part to coexist with exiting birds. Sparrow are cute when they fly and they build their home in our house. I always observe them when I get chance.  Flamingo is a bird I was introduced through a documentary. But I went on to learn that journey to Indian locations such as Mumbai and Chennai. Amazing! their birth and migration stories are.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      janetalarico
      On the Wall of Birds I chose the Montezuma Quail.  I enjoyed hearing their song.  I now know it belongs to the chicken like birds.  I had fun comparing the Montezuma quail to the obervations descibed in our lesson. It was hard to just pick one bird.  There are so many interesting birds to choose from.  Really enjoyed the first lesson.  I just purchased a new pair of binoculers and I am very happy with them.  They are 8x32 and are light weight.  I have observed turkey vulture in the raptor group, morning dove in the pigeons and doves group, and the northern cardinal in the songbird group.  These three birds I have know a long time but with my binoculars I am able to see so much detail.  I have been looking at the peaks, trying to understand size and shape, observing tail length,etc.  What fun. Hard to choose a favorite bird but I am very fond of hummingbirds.  I am an avid gardener and I am always happy when I see one hovering around my tube shaped red flowers.  I have seen the ruby throated hummingbird in my backyard.  I love being outside in nature and bird watching just adds a whole new way to see our wonderful environment.  Thanks¡
    • Tony
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      belltower20
      I have enjoyed bird watching for years. This covid spring and summer my two boys (ages 12 & 9), along with my wife have now really gotten into bird watching. We have been camping in Smoky Mountain National Park, visited multiple bird reserves, refuges and parks along with a trip to the NC coast to see some migratory birds as well. What a joy for me to see my family take to it. My oldest son is quite the researcher, now seemingly having memorized a couple field guides (he can tell me what page various birds are on and he is unbelievable in remembering details of size and marking etc.) My younger son is the artist, taking pictures and then drawing the birds...its also mesmerizing to me. Having studied under an ornithologist for a semester in the Rockies during my college days to now many years later having my family get into birding is a thrill for me. While at Smoky Mtn National Park we encountered a family of Pileated woodpeckers near the ranger station and we followed them around a bit enjoying the show. Just yesterday, at our home, we had a surprise visit from a couple Yellow billed Cuckoos....to date, since March, we have identified a little over 50 species in our yard (piedmont of NC, USA). To date, since March, we have identified almost 160 species from the mountains to the coast and all in between.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      epagelhogan
      I've been bird watching for awhile, and went on a nice long bird watch walk with other birds today. I'm pretty sure I saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, and another birder agrees. But a third birder thought maybe just a mockingbird. What would you mark down?
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jaenike
      Activity 3: My favorite neighborhood bird is a Cooper's Hawk that I see pretty often. I live in the city of Rochester and I think the bird feeders people put out help feed this hawk. One day this past winter when out walking my dog, I saw the hawk pursuing a House Sparrow. The sparrow attempted to escape by landing in  someone's front yard. Nope. That didn't work, as the hawk darted over, grabbed the sparrow, flew across the street to alight in a tree, and started to consume its breakfast.
      • Elizabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        epagelhogan
        I love watching raptors hunt! I just had a Cooper's hawk hanging out in a smoke bush near my feeders yesterday. I think it was a hoping for a snack from the buffet...haha
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        arizonarocks

        @Elizabeth Hi Elizabeth. I love raptors too! I have multiple feeders and bird baths in my backyard and I am hoping it will attract raptors. My husband and I attended a raptor show and ended up building a Kestrel nest box and putting it up in a tree, but no one has used it. We are in a small town in northern AZ. Perhaps they prefer more remote areas! I did get to see a large hawk getting a drink at the bird bath, but it was only there for an instant, I couldn't ID it. Maybe I'll try the Merlin app that I installed, it is awesome! Susan

    • Gayle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      flybyfinch
      I've really been enjoying the intro to bird watching class. All the information is so helpful. So far, I've been able to identify several birds that have been coming to my feeders for quite some time now. It's nice to be able to look out the window and see who's really there, not just see "birds" in general.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dedman
      <span style="-webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">I live in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and I </span>get a lot of American Goldifinches on my feeder along with sparrows and house finches.  Occasionally we will see a cardinal and there are a pair of mourning doves that will eat the seeds the other birds spill on the ground. This white bird appears to be a sparrow of some sort but it is all white. Is it possible that it is an albino sparrow? 2FF7E8F9-7109-4140-BDE0-E409EEC839A26945C9FE-5B3A-44D3-B866-AD872E15B351
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Coullah
      Hi all, Very much enjoying this little intro course to birds.  I've been relatively successful in IDing the species around me and have found the BIRDNet tool really helpful. The other day, I came across this feather (see image) by my bird feeder.  The 'owner' was not observed and haven't seen any other like it since.  Any ideas??  I live in the Hamilton region of Southern Ontario.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!  feather
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        ecm017
        That's a tail feather from a yellow-shafted northern flicker (Colaptes auratus). Very cool!
    • Ian
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      inifoussi
      I live in San Diego and there are a few Anna’s Hummingbirds, I believe, (thanks Merlin App) that come by my front porch every day to peep the flower scene. I typically only see one at a time, but for a short while in -maybe- late May or early June there were upwards of six at a time! It was at that point I really began to enjoy their movements, sounds (namely the ‘buzzing’ of their wings), and those colors! A flash of green in the sunshine is really magnificent and is almost always cause for a pause. I haven’t completely figured out how to stay with their movements while using binoculars, but I am eager to start catching them up close.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cainsworth2271
      I live in the Great Basin High Desert area.  While it is best to get out and take a walk up in the hills, or along the river, my backyard serves as my bird watching area during these unpredictable times.  I'm trying to plant flowers that attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Birds are attracted to the protective trees.  While it is not a large yard, I can easily find birds from three groups, (question 2.).   Mourning Doves flew in to explore.  Two Hummingbirds came to explore the Silvia and Penstemon.  However, I think some large Carpenter Bees rob them of some of the nectar. Rounding out the list are the songbirds Robins and my fave Scrub Jays and their youngsters. They are here all year and provide much entertainment.
    • Karin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      karinfein
      I explored the Wall of Birds and immediately found one of my backyard favorites, the northern cardinal. Over 45 years ago I noticed a flock of male cardinals around a crabapple tree in my backyard as I watched from my kitchen window. Next day I placed hung a bird feeder from a branch of that tree and filled it with sunflower seeds. The cardinals found it and became regular visitors. I saw as many as 40 at a time in the late afternoon. That event made me become a birdwatcher. Over the years I have known many cardinal couples who have come to my feeders. I have noticed that if the female is around there is usually a male guarding her and discouraging other males from approaching. Several years ago I witnessed a sad event in my yard. In the late afternoon a female cardinal hit a picture window (despite the reflectors that hang from the inside of that window). Sadly she was dead instantly. He partner came looking for her and stayed with her, chirping and hopping around her body until the there was almost no light left. My husband and I were so sad to see his distress. It may seem silly but next morning we buried her in one of our flower beds.
      • Rob
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        RMoore54
        Forty cardinals!  Where abouts do you live?  As a kid, it was a huge thing to see even one up here in Canada, but we were told that with a warming climate they were coming further north.  I love those birds too.  But they are still fairly rare here.
    • Felix
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      felix.bergel
      One of the birds I picked in the Wall of Birds was the Oilbird. Where I come from,Venezuela, they are called Guácharo and are an important part of our nature culture (there is even a Guácharo monument!)  The Guácharo Cave, considered the largest in Venezuela, is located in the Guácharo National Park. It was explored by Alexander von Humboldt in 1799. I am attaching a picture of the cave's entrance and of the monument. CaveMonument   I now live in Lima, Peru, another great place to watch birds, however this is my first ever experience in bird watching. I took a stroll in a park near where I live in Lima and saw three birds that I managed to identify (I think) with the help of the Melin App: a group of Saffron Finches, two Long-Tailed Mockingbird, and a Vermilion Flycatcher. The Vermilion Flycatcher and the Blue-grey Tanager are my favorite birds. Although, I haven't seen Blue-grey Tanagers lately.
    • Renee
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nicnee_oh
      (1) Growing up in TN, my parents always fed the birds. Hands down I had to vote for the number one Cardinal as that bird is the first one I remember as a child and is still a number one beauty decades later. (2) A move to OH, and a home that backs up to a land trust area, we enjoy various groups of birds from songbirds, raptors, owls, woodpeckers, and doves...lots of doves. This year we were blessed with a barred owl family, Carolina wrens, a red tailed hawk family for the 4th year and most varieties of woodpeckers. (3) A bird that deserves a shout out is the Purple Martin. This is my 5th year as a PUMA colony landlord at our township garden. Who can’t love a bird that flies back and forth to South America each year to lay eggs, hatch their young and fly back? They are tough, personable, have a lovely chirp/chatter and don’t mind people hanging out with them. This year the colony has fledged 104 to send back to South America and some of them will return to our colony next year...we hope.
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      NightwingMoonwatcher
      Paradise Tanager1 Paradise Tanager I find that the Paradise Tanager is my favorite, being colorful, beautiful, and, I LOVE TANAGERS!!! My second favorite is the Galapagos Penguin, beacause: 1: It's endangered 2: It's beautiful (like all birds are, if you look at them in the right way) 3: It is the only penguin that lives above AND near the Equater Galápagos Penguin1 Galapagos Penguin NightwingMoonwatcher
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      creeseheiler
      I spend the summers right near the beach of Lake Michigan. This summer I really appreciated gulls at the beach. Most people find them annoying and chase them away, but I began to watch them. They are entertaining in the way they watch the beach looking for spilled crackers or cookies. I noticed that they read people trying to get a sense of who might share a snack and who will chase them away. I also love great blue herons and ruby-throated hummingbirds. They are so different and by watching them feed, I really get to know them. There are the slow, strategic movements of the heron and the quick fluttering of the hummingbirds. Because I feed the hummingbirds on my deck, I feel like I have a special relationship with them. They often hover right in front of my face and I wonder if they are thanking me for the nectar or asking me to refill the feeder.
    • Edelweiss
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Edelweiss0507
      Activity 1: I like the Osprey best because on the Wall of Birds it lives at the same place as I do, but also because there is a Osprey nest where I live and it it's so cool to watch the Ospreys fly around the nest and carry fish and other stuff to the young ones. Activity 2: On one of my walks through the park by my house, I saw Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals and Northern Mockingbirds, group: Songbirds. By a pond I saw Muscovy Ducks with a lot of ducklings and a Anhinga, grouped as Waterfowl. There was also a Great Blue Heron, some White Ibis, some Wood Storks and a Limpkin, group: Wading birds. Activity 3: It is really hard to pick a favorite, for there are about 10000 bird species in the whole world and I am supposed to narrow it down to one species?! I really like the Nanday Parrots with their loud calls and so cute relationships. Great Blue Herons are also really cool, as well as Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. But, if I have to pick a absolute favorite, it would be the Northern Mockingbird, because I always watch them in my yard, sometimes feeding young ones or fighting. And every time I come back to my house after a hike, two Northern Mockingbirds sit on the power lines, at the same spot every day. DSCN2492DSCN3167DSCN3520
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 53
      suzukiawd13
      DSCF0428DSCF0324 These are some of the birds in the neighborhoods, I have walked in. The Canada Goose, with one foot, was hopping and surviving. Foraging. Poor Thing.   And the SeaGulls are at the beach, drinking the water, and 'in a mingle.' I never knew they drank water like that, it looks interesting.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Tanagerlover
      Activity 1. The Wall of Birds is gorgeous! I fell in love with the Lilac-Breasted Roller found in East Africa. Lilac is my favorite color so that had something do with my choice. What I also love is the male Roller during breeding season will do aerobatic dives and rolls. It brought to mind the numerous Blue Angel airshows I have attended in which the pilots with their planes were doing what the Rollers do. Activity 2. This year I monitored a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks from The Raptors group for a couple of biological scientists doing a survey. I followed the hawks from nest building to the eventual hatching and fledging of 2 baby hawks. It was amazing! There is a Wildlife Refuge near me and there I recently observed a Downey Woodpecker, hard at work and from the Waterfowl Group, a beautiful Cinnamon Teal Duck. Activity 3. My favorite bird is the Western Tanager. It migrates through my neighborhood. I first noticed them due to the loud chatter coming from the tree tops near me. I think quarantine and the quietness around me made me more aware this year. The males are absolutely gorgeous with a red head, yellow body and black wing bars. They stay mainly in tree tops and when they are around there is a flutter of  movement in the tree tops and flashes of yellow. I first thought that someone's pet bird escaped until I learned more about them. Such a beautiful bird!
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ArdeaHerodias
      One day when I was walking in a field beside a creek, a place I could let my dogs off the leash when we were out for a walk, I saw, at close range, a great blue heron (ardea herodias) rise up suddenly out of the creek bed. I didn't immediately know what it was--I'd seen them only from a distance before. I actually had the feeling of my heart rising in my chest. Since that day 15-20 years ago I've felt connected to these wonderful wading birds. I've seen them on the seashore, as in St. George Island, FL (below). 15 Heron 4 This is a favorite photo of the great blue heron. I actually photographed several members of a group standing close to some people surf fishing. Herons are usually solitary fishers, but will take what human fishers by the water don't use. A close relative of this heron is the great egret (ardea alba), a beautiful white wading bird. I live within a 2-hour drive of a place called Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee, which is teeming with birds, from terns to bald eagles. Below, an egret. Egret_Reelfoot In recent decades, Reelfoot has become known for eagle-watching. A few bald eagles were wintering at the lake in the 60s and 70s. Now, there's an abundance of nesting pairs. Ospreys, too. Plenty of fish for both raptors and waders. I live near Memphis, on the edge of the urban area, in a neighborhood with a lot of mature native trees. Plenty of deer, and a lot of birds I hear in my back yard, where the trees are dense around an intermittent creek that drains the area. It's hard to see them this time of year. But cardinals are abundant and their plumage make them easy to spot. I've been surprised 3-4 times in the 15 years I've lived here by hearing the calls of barred/hoot owls outside. I've immediately gone to sit on the back porch and listen to the back-and-for calls of one nearby and one distant owl. In fact there's a lot of bird music right here, and one of my goals is to acquire a much greater ability to identify birds by their songs and calls. Jays, Red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, sparrows, wrens, vireos, eastern bluebirds (often seen in pairs) are a few. There's a small lake in a park nearby where I ride around a half-mile track a few times in the course of a longer bicycle ride. I often see my beloved great blue herons, always solitary. And green herons make appearances there too, along with bluebirds. All of them are sources of delight to me.  There must be at least a hundred species I have no idea of, so I have the joy of learning some of them to look forward to.
      • Elizabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        lizgol
        Those are some amazing and gorgeous pictures you posted! The herons and egrets are some of my favorites too.  It sounds like you must live not too far from where I am, in Florida.  We are blessed with an abundance of shore birds and water birds here.  Thank you for sharing your pictures.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      patofvta
      Activity 1.  I really enjoyed the Wall of Birds, but there are so many birds I decided to start with South America and just check out every bird. So far I especially like the marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird because of color, the special tail, I would love to see them present when mating.  I was impressed with the Three-Wattled Bellbird, never seen or heard of such a bird.  I enjoyed the Long-tailed Manakin and would like to see them doing there leapfrogging flight.  Activity 2.  I went to the beach and I saw Brown Pelicans, Heermann’s Gulls, Western Gulls, Great-tailed Grackles, Rock Doves, and Tree Swallows.  Activity 3.  I have too many favorites and it changes depending on my encounter with the bird or birds.  I have a fountain out in my front yard, and I often sit out trying to sketch the birds as they visit the fountain.  I have House and Chipping Sparrows, House Finches, and once in a while a pair of American Goldfinch as well some Anna’s Hummingbirds.
    • diamond
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      diamonddoom
      Activity 1: Nope. I cannot choose a favorite, I love every single one. I think I went through half and gave them all hearts. Activity 2: We spotted a group of house finches and loads of Anna's hummingbirds. There was also a bird that looked like a cross between the house finch and a parrot. It was pretty far away and hard to get the details on, but its coloring was a kind of brown with a touch of green and had it had a parrot-like head and beak. We're SO CURIOUS about these two guys. We also see red-tailed hawks hunting every so often, which is pretty neat. Activity 3: It's hard to pick a favorite, but the hummingbirds give us the best look because we can watch them feed and interact with each other. They're so aggressive, they even fight with each other and the hornets. Sometimes they even fly up to face us and seem to be threatening us to go back inside. They observe my small dog (without attacking). They following him and look down at him as he wanders around the yard. It's wild!
    • Yulia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Koreshok
      Activity 1: Oilbird (lives in caves and uses echolocation), Red-Faced Mousebird (multiple females lay eggs in one nest), African Jacuna (females battle for nesting grounds, males incubate eggs and raise chicks), Wandering Albatross (spend most of their life in the sea, have salt glands). Activity 2: Songbirds (Shiny Cowbird/Mirlo Común) Raptors (American Kestrel/Cernícalo) Waterfowl (Cinnamon Teal/Pato Colorado) Activity 3: My favorite is a Croaking Ground Dove/Tortolita Quiguagua. My friends call it a frog-bird. Some of the funny croaking sounds it makes are Wow! Weird. It’s bigger than a sparrow, but smaller than a pigeon. It’s grayish-brownish in color with a bright yellow beak at its base. It freezes when feels threatened, which allowed me to touch them on many occasions. On the other hand, if you stand still, it will walk around you not even noticing your presence. IMG_2232
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      I really came to appreciate the motto "keep common birds, common" , especially while under house quarantine. I fell in love with a pair of mourning doves that called our pine tree home... each morning the first thing that came to mind was not coffee, but how are the birds, what are they doing, did the one egg hatch...I really got to appreciate the ordinary birds in my yard/neighborhood, something I definitely took for granted. Though not a colorful bird, grayish/brown- it has a distinct long tail and a call that I found soothing. Parents shared nesting / feeding duties- I was really surprised that during high winds the flimsy nest withstood the stress... I can't thank you all enough, for all these inexpensive courses and sharing your expertise (I attended a fabulous lecture at the lab on crows by Kevin...).  I wrote poems about the birds I saw while home during those 4 months...and I never wrote poetry before...I have been drawing them also. I am now a more relaxed version, of me....Thank you!! mourning doves nesting in yard 2020
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Before seeing the Shoebill on the Wall of Birds, I saw a stuffed-shoebill at the Lab or Ornithology, I thought is was fake...such an interesting looking bill perfect for a carnivore...it depends on the papyrus swamps in Eastern Africa (do not migrate) and are considered a vulnerable species -with estimates of approximately 3,000- 5,300 adults left in the world. Numbers are declining due to habitat loss, clearing for pasture, and agricultural burning. In Uganda, some are hunted because they are considered a bad omen. The wingspan can be up to 8 feet in length-  once classified in the stork family, it looks prehistoric- check it out...  
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 53
      suzukiawd13
      THE PELICAN and THE WOOD DUCK, are my favorites.   THE PELICAN, because it has a mixture of strength and playfulness, in its' looks and style.   THE WOOD DUCK, because it is unique and cool looking. It has a 'one of a kind,' profile and assortment of colors.  
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mork_the_birder
      I love the Stellar's Jay! They have nested in our yard for the last few years, and I've learned that they are much quieter when they are nesting (their squawk can be annoying). I love watching the hatchlings leave the nest and walk about the area while learning to fly. IMG_8223
      • Luke
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Lukins
        I noticed this with the Blue Jays here in Pennsylvania. We have always had noisy, raucous groups of them until last year when a pair nested here. They were completely quiet all summer .
    • Marja-Leena
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LeenaI
      I am following three birds we see around our home.  The Ring-necked Pheasant,  what I now know to be a Rufous Hummingbird and what appear to be a family of Song Sparrow living in a birdhouse.  I have yet to capture their pictures.
    • Claudia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      cqtull
      1. I've visited Ithaca many times to see relatives. We always find our way to Sapsucker Woods and the Wall of Birds. My grandchildren were enthralled and they would love the interactive Wall on this site. I think the Asiatic Fairy Bluebird is lovely. Penguins are so amazing as are the walking birds such as emu. 2. I love red bellied woodpeckers with their red heads and noisy clucking around. I was trying to spot a mocking bird and discovered it was a brown thresher imitating a cardinal, twice. I loved to watch nuthatches at my previous resident. They fly so quickly and do Darth Vader imitations when being territorial. 3. Now my favorite neighborhood bird, though only as it passes through, are the swallowtail kites. They are such dramatically colored birds, white and black, and sail through the air using their swallowtails as rudders.
    • Marja-Leena
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LeenaI
      I just spotted two Ring-necked Pheasants on our fence but was too late with the camera!  They were displaying and looked to be young males, from what I can tell, as the novice I am.   They seemed to be practicing displays?  Very excited to see them again and find out what they are up to.  Great course so far!
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 53
      suzukiawd13
      ducks n' pipersHERON DUCK The three types of birds, are : Duck/Waterfowl. White Heron/Waterbird-Wading Bird. And the Shorebirds/Pipers. The pictures were taken today, 8/6/20. I have noticed some birds are very flighty, and some are not. The Heron flew away after the pictures, but the ducks did not. -b.k. All these birds connected to the water, but differently.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      tortorello
      92AFD8C5-3ADD-4143-B079-90D362BDE4AE_4_5005_c
    • Luke
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Lukins
      Activity 1: I chose the Brown Creeper from the family of tree creepers. It’s shown in western North America on the wall but we have them here in Pennsylvania as well. I was surprised to learn how large the Brown Creepers range is and that it is a year-round resident here. I only first saw one last year and was able to get a photo. I think they are cool because they are masters of camouflage.AAE06447-FE65-413E-B9BF-E0E7B6E7C012
      • Luke
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Lukins
        Activity 2:  For activity 2 I chose the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, the House Wren, and the Red-eyed Vireo. There are many hummingbirds here now for the flowers, and we have a Wren family in a nest box but the coolest thing I saw was two vireos feeding a chick that had left the nest. I had to compare bird calls to figure out what kind of vireos they were. Activity 3:  I chose the Song Sparrow. There is one I see almost every day. It perches close to me whenever I’m in the garden. I look forward to being able to identify more kinds of sparrows soon. This is another photo from last year.4BE14BE2-AAF1-4656-869C-CE650FBBB421
      • Misty
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        arkansas007
        I have a huge tree that is 2 feet from my back door and the deck is built around it. I love it when the Brown Creeper comes to visit! He is so tiny! I know most birds are naturally camouflaged, but I think it is spectacular how he matches this tree so well! The funniest thing is I've lived here for 8 years and he's likely been on that tree thousands of times and I've never seen him until I started birding!  I'm new to birding (since March during quarantine) and they exactly match the trees here in Arkansas as well! 127276712_10157921840627842_3968020450994978446_o127455475_10157921840562842_8339861534703940442_o
      • Misty
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        arkansas007
        I have a huge tree that is 2 feet from my back door and the deck is built around it. I love it when the Brown Creeper comes to visit! He is so tiny! I know most birds are naturally camouflaged, but I think it is spectacular how he matches this tree so well! The funniest thing is I've lived here for 8 years and he's likely been on that tree thousands of times and I've never seen him until I started birding!  I'm new to birding (since March during quarantine) and they exactly match the trees here in Arkansas as well! 127276712_10157921840627842_3968020450994978446_o127455475_10157921840562842_8339861534703940442_o
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sspeidel
      Activity 1....Our favorites were the Carolina wren (because we have them in our backyard) and we also choose the common loon (for its bizarre and haunting song, also because the description read like a strange romance novel)....   Activity 2...So we have White breasted Nuthatches which I believe fall into the songbird group in the tree creeper category. We have red-tailed hawks which are in the raptor group. We have downy, hairy and red chested wood peckers which fall into the wood pecker group.   Activity 3...My favorite bird is the blue jay, although after recent hawk attacks they have kept a distance. My fathers favorite bird right now is the gray catbird, because of its memorable personality.  
    • Lydia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lpultorak33
      Activity 1: My favorite bird from the Wall of Birds was the Shoebill. I just think they are so fascinating. Their beaks are huge and they have a hook at the end of them. Activity 2: The Eastern Phoebe is a flycatcher. I love watching them sit on a branch, fly out to catch a but, and fly back to their original location! The Great Egret is a wading bird. I saw one the other day as it was trying to catch a fish. It was so close. The Red-shouldered Hawk is a raptor. I think I have been seeing and hearing this type of bird. It has a loud call that sounds like PEW-PEW-PEW! Activity 3: Some of my favorite birds in my neighborhood are ones that I see in my backyard. I really like the Gray Catbird, Goldfinch, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The Catbird is medium sized and gray with a long tail and black beak. There is one that comes to my house often that is missing its tail! The Goldfinch is a bright yellow bird with black wings. The females are more of an olive green. Lately, there have been Hummingbirds showing up to my Hummingbird feeder. The only ones I have seen are girls because they do not have red on their throat. They have white bellies, green back, and long, black beak.
    • Courtney
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cwreckord
      My current favorite birds would be the Barred Owl and the Loon. The Barred Owl because they are so neat! We saw a pair when walking in the woods the other night. They were just amazing and certainly scoping us out to see if we would make good food! The Loon is another one I love because of the call. It is so haunting and lonesome sounding. I have only seen Loons in secluded lakes and so that might be why I think that. As for three birds from three different groups, I am having the most trouble with the water birds so I will choose from those groups to help myself learn the distinctions between the three. 1. Cormorant.  I think that would fit into the Seabird Group. I see them sometimes holding their wings out to dry them. 2. Wilson's Snipe. Shore bird. I have heard their call and it is really unique. 3. Great Blue Heron. Wading bird group. They are so elegant.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BPzniBirding
      Activity 3: It is impossible for me to choose a favorite. But the bird I will select for this purpose is the catbird. The reason is because it is like my little buddy — 9 times out of 10, the first bird to show up in the morning and the last to leave in the evening. It is not shy, and likes to be seen *and* heard. Sometimes there are two together and they act like squabbling siblings or spouses, vying for the same spot on the suet feeder and chasing each other around. Cheeky catbird! AA0E028A-5E64-4FB4-BDF0-61548F6143B7
    • elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ebailey22
      My first bird learning experience. I was watching and listening for birds when I walked this morning. Only one bird was close enough to see. I realized that I need to school myself to look at beaks, tails, and shapes an not rely on color. I think the bird I saw was a robin, but it didn’t look like robins I have seen from my apartment. Hope my observation skills improve.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BPzniBirding
      My selections from three groups are: 3) Hummingbird (hummingbirds) - I did not know we had hummingbirds in my neighborhood and I was stunned one more to have one come through our garden to nosh on the hosta blossoms. I was unprepared and did not get a good photo. A few days later, it came through again and I was ready on the second pass. I hav been a birder since May 21 (2020) and this is my favorite photo that I’ve taken so far! 20726A29-FCFF-483F-9363-F65DB80147DD
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BPzniBirding
      My selections from three groups are: 2) Downy woodpecker (woodpeckers) - I have only seen the female but I would love to see the male with his bright red patch. She feeds at our regular feeder regularly and I have also seen her in a tree. Her black and white coloring is quite dramatic. She has only been to the suet feeder a few times that I’ve seen but that’s where I was able to catch a picture of her. Still working on getting a better photo, but she comes and goes pretty quickly!A35470DA-FEEA-49EC-98D4-060BABF35AA0
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BPzniBirding
      My selections from three groups are: 1) House wren (songbirds) - we had a male house wren build a nest in our birdhouse but it was not selected by the female to be used. (I am new to birding as of May 21 when we moved to our new bird-blessed home and I learned that the male builds about 3 dummy half nests, then the female selects the one she wants to use and finishes the nest herself. Here is the male working on the nest. E41D8A52-412F-41C3-966C-1A28750867CA
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BPzniBirding
      I voted for the northern cardinal on the Wall of Birds. There is something so dramatic about the cardinal’s vibrant solid red color — simple and bold — that I just love. I call the one who visits our yard regularly Mr. C (often accompanied by Mrs. C). There is a regal air to the cardinal and when he perches up high, as in this photo of him at the top of our tallest fir tree, he looks like the king of all he surveys. Yet close up, when he forages underneath the feeder, there is something just a bit comical in the way he moves his head and appears 78533F94-B6FE-4CE7-8E69-A22B9DE176ECto be perpetually puzzled. That combination of qualities, along with his stunning coloring, endears him to me, and that’s why he gets my vote.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Sooz0705
      BluebirdsHere are two of my favorite backyard visitors. The handsome hawk stopped by last year for about 30 minutes and gave me a great opportunity for pictures.  And I love the picture of daddy bluebird feeding the babies. Looking forward to learning more about the birds that visit my yard and that I see on my trips.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lazyauthor
      I'm super new at this, and live in Northern Colorado (NoCo, to us locals). ;-) I spotted two downy woodpeckers on my daughter's playhouse this morning -- one male, one female. Of course they'd flown away by the time I grabbed my camera! While walking my dog, we startled two hawks out of a yard. Both were the same size. Both had been on the ground, which made me think maybe they were eating something? We have tons of red-tailed hawks around here, but I don't generally see them on the ground. I didn't spot the red tail as these two flew away, but both seemed to have striped patterns on the under-side of their wings, so I wonder if they were juveniles? Or maybe a different kind of hawk? Wish I knew. Went back with my camera but again, they were gone by the time I returned. (Of course!) Pretty sure I heard an owl this morning, but couldn't spot it. We've had this big guy in the neighbor's tree a few times, so not sure if he's the culprit. Not sure which bird would be my favorite. I love the hawks because they're everywhere and I love seeing them hanging out on the lightpoles. But I love the owls because they're NOT everywhere (or at least, not visible!). And I love the chickadee's little song.   27542288_Unknown
    • Yao
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Yao ChaCha Foli
      Activity oneyellow-billed-oxpecker Lesson one was my first introductory education in the world of birds. I am astonished by the unique characteristic of birds. My interest in knowing and understanding birds has increased after this lesson. It is difficult to pick a favorite bird knowing, similarities are not the same. Every bird is unique individually. My favorite on the wall of birds is the Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Oxpeckers play a vital role in controlling the tick population on large animals and tick-related diseases. Oxpeckers also serve as an alert trigger to huge mammals been the first to sight or hear a predator and will make a loud sound.
    • Mia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      maicoats
      For Activity 2: This morning I saw 2 Anna's Hummingbirds (hummingbird group) in my backyard. Right now I can hear American Crows (songbird group) in the front yard. I want to know what they are saying. And yesterday my friend and I rode our bikes to a wetland to see the Great Egrets (wading birds group). They were so beautiful.
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      melismarie
      My experience today, related to the lesson, is the usual chorus of crows in the morning, a circling red tail hawk way above (a youngster maybe?) and humming birds buzzing my head as I made a few drip system repairs. My favorite neighborhood bird, though saw none today, is the California quail. So pretty, comfortably chubby, and always in family groups at this time of year.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      peggysteffens
      I had heard of the bird the Elegant Trogan and on a recent visit to Madera Canyon I knew I had a good chance to see one. On my first morning, a wonderful woman named Liz offered to show me where she had seen one earlier in the morning and we strolled off with our masks and 6 foot distancing down to the picnic area. She pointed up in a tree and I was excited to get my first view, but my pictures really didn’t show much but a brown blog. That same afternoon one flew outside my cabin window and I got a pretty good picture and was very excited. But the next morning, I got up early to go down to the picnic area because it was Monday and I figured no one would be at the picnic area. When I arrived, there was a lovely family of five enjoying the morning,  but even with their laughter and joy I could hear the trogan call that sounds like a barking dog. And I found it and again got a pretty good picture, but my waiting paid off as once the family left on their hike and it was quiet, I got to watch him eat a worm on the ground.  This was so exciting that I was like a little kid on Christmas morning as I had not only gotten to see an Elegant Trogan but got to observe him in nature eating breakfast.  The early bird gets the worm and got me  hooked me into becoming a birder.IMG_0450
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dstenzel
      Activity #1:  After reading the book, "The Wall of Birds", my husband and sister travelled to Ithaca for an overnight stay just to see this spectacular painting.  It was just as incredible as I imagined after reading the book.  A great memory! Activity #2:  Find birds from three different groups:  During these crazy days, after working remotely all day, I enjoy sitting out on the porch to read or just watch the birds in my yard.  There are sparrows, cardinals and mourning doves, but I most enjoyed the catbird that would come and sit on the bush near the porch.  I think that catbird falls into the 'Songbird' group (but not absolutely certain).  On one of my morning walks, I was startled by a large raptor that flew across my path (I probably startled him)...I think it was a red-tailed hawk.  On another morning, heading out the front door, there was a wild turkey in my front yard.  Very cool! Activity #3:  Pick a favorite bird that you see in your neighborhood:  On my morning walks, I encounter a lot of Robins...and I found it interesting that they do not seem to 'like' to fly, but instead, seem to prefer to walk, even run when I would get too close.  While this is a common bird, I find them interesting and funny.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LizLanMcIntyre
      While studying this course, I was sitting outside in my backyard in Mississippi. I saw at least 15 different species of birds just in the last hour or two. I would say my favorite from today was the Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker. I saw two doing some kind of dance in the trees, and it was just fascinating! I don't have a good camera yet to take pictures, but it's next on my list of birding buys.
      • Mia
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        maicoats
        I grew up in S. Mississippi! I live in Oregon now. When I visit my mom in Mississippi I always enjoy the variety of birds at her feeder, especially the Northern Cardinals and the Blue Jays. Sounds like you have a great backyard for birdwatching. Enjoy it!
    • Arlene
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Queen of Cups
      Activity 1: While there were many contenders for my favorite bird from the Wall, I chose the resplendent quetzal because of the beautiful verdant color of its feathers, the streaming tail of this species's males, and this bird’s prominence in Mesoamerican iconography. The last time I traveled to Costa Rica, I visited Los Quetzales National Park and was incredibly happy to see several of these birds as they feasted on wild avocados found in the cloud forest. D73A250F-DA7B-4FDC-ACC5-C43DFC1DD8031E4C9D5E-92A6-4188-A9A4-116619131209 Activity 2: For my first bird, I selected the Greater Bird of Paradise in the Paradisaeidae family. Birds from this region of the world are wondrous and strange, and this one in particular is multi-hued and spectacular! I would love to travel to that part of the world to see them in person. Second, I will mention the roseate spoonbill, a wading bird that is in the Threskiornithidae family. With their lovely pink coloring and uniquely shaped bills, they are quite a sight to behold. Thirdly, while they are quite common and many others have mentioned them, I enjoy watching the antics of ruby-throated hummingbirds as they hover at my feeder and then zoom away. Hummingbird is the common word used to refer to birds in the Trochilidae family. E53AA65F-66EB-4E4F-83E1-188885212D7C   Activity 3: For this activity, I am choosing the gray catbird. Its unique cry, akin to that of a cat, is likely how it derives its name. They are small gray birds with a black mohawk that I often see on the ground or in the shrubs around my house. I knew they were Passeriformes, but I had to look up their family, the Mimidae, which also includes thrashers and mockingbirds. I enjoy watching them move about in my gardens.
    • Rylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Super bird
      that is a copper-smith Barbet i have only seen him a couple times i named him smithy!!!
    • Rylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Super bird
      IMG_1407
    • Elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      earmstrong8
      I do a lot of photography, and most of it seems to be out in nature, and of birds! I started this course in part so that I could properly identify some of the beautiful birds I see in our back yard and also at our summer cabin. The cabin is on a lake, so that means lots of shore birds.  Great Blue Herons are always my favourite, and our lake has many, but this year I started seeing another, smaller, heron-shaped bird. Using an online identification app I was able to pin it as a Green Heron--something I had never seen before. A few days later, we had a visitor on our dock, and it turned out to be a juvenile Green Heron. Very exciting!Great Blue HeronJuvenile Green Heron
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      markraby
      Activity 1: Macaws as #1, with toucans coming in as a close second. Activity 2: Seabirds - wilson storm petrel - I would have thought the seagull would have been the most common seabird. Arctic - the rock ptarmigan -I didn’t realize it was the only species that all populations inhabit the tundra. Songbirds - American crow - spoiler alert to section 2 - I didn’t know they fly different than the raven. Activity 3: my favourite bird in my neighbourhood is the Bohemian waxwing. I believe I saw a flock of these birds eating berries on my way home from school as a kid, but they may have been cedar waxwings. They seemed to look more like bohemians, but if they were bohemians they would have been visitors to this area of eastern Ontario. 286F1CE7-56FE-48EF-8267-5CB632BA4816
    • Lori
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lb_birdnerd
      owls one looking down 2 I have spent an enjoyable afternoon starting my bird academy course.  I now have the first assignment to complete.  As I perused the Wall of Birds my favourite was obvious.  I enjoyed a poem as a child about a puffin.  It was a favourite for me then and still is now.  On to activity two. I am in my backyard barbecuing dinner, does the chicken I am cooking count towards a bird sighting??  I must say that we are blessed with the variety of birds that visit our backyard...usually. Currently just a ruby throated hummingbird is at the feeder.  It is chirping what I believe to be a thank you.  Today being Thursday is the day I clean and refill the sugary elixir they love.  The only other birds are the grackles.  I find it funny that one seems to like the niger seeds more than the sunflower seeds.  I must admit, I used to loath the grackles coming to my feeders because they would clear them out quickly.  However, I spent some time watching them last week and found them quite attentive to their young.  Also, I was fascinated at how they would puff up before making their squawk. They looked like a warlord or gangster from a 1940's movie.  I can hear bluejays but they have not shown up at the feeder.  Do they know something I don't?  Is the rain finally coming??  A mourning dove has arrived with a welcomed cool wind. We recently purchased a wooded lot where we plan to build our next home.  That's what led me to taking this course.  It is only an hour north of where we live, but with so many birds I have never seen in person.  We identified an American woodcock in early March.  There was a pair of ducks (type unsure)mafia king we saw twice take off from the woods.  My current favourite (activity 3) is a pair of Barred owls, residents on the property.
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      AZGal01
      I had to post one more of my favorites! We have a cactus that is home every year to a family of great horned owls. I never knew that they are such fans of cactus as nests. It is a real treat to watch the process unfold every spring. What a hoot! E5C57BC2-30B6-48AE-9914-F38154694315
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Sue House
        TOO CUTE!  What a HOOT!
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      AZGal01
      • I have always been a big fan of the Roadrunner. We caught this guy eating bugs off the grills of all the cars parked at Joshua Tree State park. While we have many here in AZ this is the best photo I have ever taken. He walked right up to us. I never knew that they drop their body temps at night and expose their dark back feathers to the morning sun to warm back up. 56F96308-21B9-4B1C-9084-009ACE5C1E6D
    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ashley25
      Activity 1: So many interesting birds to read about, a few I looked into are Whiskered Treeswift and Western Yellow Wagtail. Activity 2: Three birds that I commonly find in my neighbourhood are Mourning Doves (Doves and Pigeon group), American Goldfinch (songbird group) and Downy woodpecker (woodpecker group). Activity 3: I picked the Northern Cardinal. I love its vibrant red colour especially when winter rolls around. 1DD57330-3396-4AE4-B76F-43CD065722E8
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      wsummers76
      Activity 1 - I picked familiar birds — loon for it’s elusive eerie call, great blue heron for it’s long legged look and sometimes startling call and osprey for its diving fishing prowess. activity 2- purple Martin Songbird, mallard swimming bird, osprey raptor activity 3 — hummingbird. Even though very aggressive their small size and fabulous beating wings are charmers. I added a rainbow pic from same spot I saw hummingbird. IMG_3021IMG_3028
    • Bill
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      wdlovern
      activity 1.  The wall of birds is a great place to explore and learn.
    • THE BIRD SISTERS
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      baldeagle85
      👍
    • THE BIRD SISTERS
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      baldeagle85
      15959572938414070894798219003608
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kellymichelle80
      Activity 1 My favourite birds from the bird wall are the Montezuma Quail and the Splendid Fairy Wren. I have always loved California Quail, which we have locally (coastal BC) but I think the Montezuma Quail is so beautiful and adorable too. I’d love to see one in person. The males have rounded bodies, rounded heads and patterned feathers. The females are also round bodied but they’re brown with a ghosted pattern of what the male has. I would also love to see a Splendid Fairy Wren in person (they are native to Australia, specifically SW or inland) — I find it so interesting that the males are nearly entirely blue when breeding then are partially blue the remainder of the time. The females are brown. They’re very tiny and cute with beautiful clear calls. I follow the hashtag #birdsofaustralia on Instagram and am learning Australian birds that way. Activity 2 Three different birds that I learned about: the Arctic Tern, the critically endangered Kakapo, and the Barn Owl. The Arctic Tern amazes me that it can travel our entire earth from its Arctic breeding grounds all the way to Antarctica. It is also a striking bird, all white with the distinctive Tern black crown and orange beak. The endangered Kakapo is a very special flightless bird that resembles something from a children’s book, with its expressive eyes, round body weighing up to 4kg (making it the heaviest parrot), and bright green feathers. The Kakapo can’t fly but it does climb and it can also glide using its wings. I hope its numbers can be reestablished as it is less than 300 in the entire world. The Barn Owl is closer to home, and I have seen many myself; however, I learned that this round headed, “heart” faced white coloured bird with brown wings can hunt in pitch black darkness and locate prey via sound. I found that really fascinating. Onto activity 3... one local favourite of mine is the Downy Woodpecker. WeD9D932B7-4401-4509-BB75-968833BF5F79visit them at the local marsh during the warmer weather, then when it’s cold they stop by for suet in the winter. Weve had Robins build nests in our holly at least twice now (I think three times, but have only seen two sets of chicks personally). Here’s the chicks from this year. 749EECEE-5AB4-4AA0-8478-815138D525C5
      • THE BIRD SISTERS
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        baldeagle85
        • So cool. Robins nest in our trees every spring!🦩🦉🦢🦆🦅🕊🐦
    • Kenton
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Kmakings133
      Mourning Dove
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jantsal
      Blue jay at ShaverIMG_0804 hawk   IMG_2108 Hawk in tree The top picture is at Shaver Lake, CA. I believe it is a Steller Jay. And the next two pictures are in my backyard and front yard in Fresno, CA. I believe it is a Red tailed Hawk, as they are fairly common in our area. My favorite bird on The Wall was The Superb Lyrebird. I was first attracted to its beautiful long tail, but when I read of its musical prowess, it became my favorite. My daughter runs a music school at my home, and I am definitely a lover of music!
    • Juli
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juli1321
      One of my favorite birds that I voted for on the Wall of Birds is the Montezuma oropendola. I was lucky enough to see a male displaying when I took a trip to Belize. He was so comical that I fell in love with this bird. I really enjoy hearing their unique calls as well.  Looking at the picture on the wall made me remember and smile. :) One of my favorite birds is the Eastern Bluebird. I remember seeing them and reading about them in Ranger Rick magazine when I was a little girl. The magazine was discussing the bluebird trails and how the birds were declining because of loss of habitat and nesting locations. I was intrigued and dreamed of seeing one. I did not see my first Eastern Bluebird until I was 18 years old. It was on a fence next to a pasture with horses on the outskirts of town. When I was shopping for my first house (the one I live in now and have lived in for 24 years) I thought the house was okay but when an Eastern Bluebird landed on the powerline in the front yard I knew this was the house for me. I have a bluebird house and have had many batches of babies over the years. I have seen their population increase pretty dramatically in my area and I still love seeing them every day! Here is a picture of the male from the pair that nest in my bluebird house. They do come to the feeders and eat nuts, as well as mealworms. hawk 012 One group of birds that I really enjoy is raptors. I am very lucky to have quite a few that I can see if I just watch the skies in my backyard. Today I saw several Mississippi Kites, Red-tailed Hawks,  Red-shouldered Hawks, and Turkey Vultures. Hummingbirds are another group of birds I really love! I currently have many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds coming to my feeders and my flowers throughout the day. Woodpeckers are the third group that I will discuss today. I have always found woodpeckers very interesting. I have Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Downy Woodpeckers in my yard on a regular basis right now. The Pileated Woodpeckers never come to the feeders but the other two come regularly. I really enjoy seeing them. I feel like they have a lot of personality.
      • Kelly
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        kellymichelle80
        Beautiful bluebird
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      980A0404_snipand For Activity 2 in this Chapter, I live near the Northeast Coastline and here we have so many wonderful birds to observe and admire.  As it is July, we have a big population of Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets right now !  I have enjoyed the Snowy Egrets the best of this group !  I think this more compact sized heron, with its bright yellow feet and their faster paced wing beat attract my attention more than the other herons.  I am working on my photographic skills and these bigger, sometime slower, graceful birds will stay still longer and allow better study and images through the lens ! It is fun to watch how carefully all of the herons stalk and then "strike" with their extended neck and sharp bills to spear their prey !  It is fun trying to guess exactly when they will strike by observing their foraging routines !
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      980A0404_snip
    • JackBird21
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      TBMachine
      I loved "The Wall of Birds" and as I clicked on several different species I learned some neat things about them.  The American Oyster Catcher doesn't migrate too far; it finds oysters and other food and can pry them open or smash them open on rocks !  That's pretty cool ! Because of its colorful looks, the Artic Puffin has always been a bird that I have found interesting.  However, it was fun to learn that while it does fly or walk very well, it is a fantastic underwater swimmer and this enables it catch it's food ! Neat !
    • Birda4Nature
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BirdaHN
      For Activity 2 in this Chapter. Found lots of birds, but am not the best at taking photos. This will be something to work on. I believe these are Coopers Hawks. They are only here (Southern California) during the summer months, and drive our local Red Tailed Hawks crazy. Coopers Hawks - 2 I think this was a Turkey Vulture, first time seeing one of these up close. Got several videos, was circling looking for lunch. Turkey Vulture 2   We see lots of these small sized Lesser Goldfinch every day, usually in groups of 4 to 10,  for 'pool parties'. Lesser Goldfinch - in flight
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      terrypun
      DSC_0018IMG_2846 2 The first time I used the Merlin bird ID app, I used this photo which I took last week in Southern New Jersey.  I had believed, originally, that it was a Tree Swallow, but the app directed me to the Eastern Kingbird.  Accurate knowledge is a better bless.
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DianaAnderson18
      I am Diana from Colorado.  For activity 3 my favorite birds are from the Finch family.  We had a house finch have two broods this summer in the nests she built in the wreath by our front door.  The first one held 5 eggs and the second 4 eggs.  She would lay one egg a day.  She laid the first egg on May 1 and by about June 3 all of the babies had left the nest.  Then within two weeks she started again.  Those babies just left the nest last week so I am waiting to see if she will build another nest.  I read that they can have up to 3 broods a year.  IMG_8697IMG_8688
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Cehorse
      716E271D-0029-45E0-8A42-72FBEA0E21B3 Hello, my name is Cindy from Central Florida. I am enjoying the course and learning from all of you! Activity 3: Above is my favorite bird the Roseate Spoonbill. I rarely see this beautiful bird wading in my Florida backyard, but after a recent lake draw down they have been making an appearance. The Spoonbill moves it's head back and forth with it's beak surveying the bottom of the shallow lake. Activity 2: This evening I spotted a majestic Great Blue Heron fishing on the lake shore. Two gray common Sandhill Cranes walked across the backyard eating snails that washed up from the shore. The third bird was a beautiful red northern cardinal swooping down from fence to fence finding seeds on the ground.
    • Aiden
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      afwinsor
      For Activity 1, my three favorite families are:
      • Barn Owls (Tytonidae)
      • Owls (Strigidae)
      • Waxwings (Bombycillidae)
      I have never actually seen any birds in the barn owl or waxwing families, but would love to someday. For Activity 2, three species that I have seen recently and their groups are:
      • Killdeer - shorebirds
      • Song sparrow - songbirds; sparrows
      • Some sort of unidentified warbler - warblers
      For Activity 3, a favorite bird in my area is the song sparrow. They are a mostly brown and grey bird grey plumage on its head. While one might argue that this coloration is boring, I find it grounding and earthy. I also like that these birds are reasonably easy to approach and get relatively close to.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      johnjr42
      04:27:2020 DSC_1839
    • vanessa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      paperclipp
      Activity 3: In my neighbourhood, Toronto, Canada, so far my favourite bird is the Gray Catbird. They really don’t mind hanging around for me to get my act together for a picture haha I also find them very pretty, I love the soft gray  Also, I’ve learned their song somewhat mimics other birds in the area, I’ve been tricked a few times. 76B8D827-C8C7-479C-AF55-ED78BA5A8D17
    • Jamies
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Jamies007
      For the first activity, I like the calls of New World Warbler and Olive Warbler. Their calls are very clear and just like someone playing short and sweet ringtones on my phone. I have not seen these birds before. The closest one I have spotted was the Yellow Warbler call at a path/trail near the bushes at Fort Edmonton Park. For the second activity, swimming birds include Ruddy Duck, Mallard, and American Coot. They are all found in the lake by St. Albert Lois Hole Centennial Park. I love the American Coot the most as it has colourful feet, red eyes and black body. Ruddy Duck has light blue beak. Songbirds include sparrows, warblers and red -wing blackbird. I am most amazed about the size of a sparrow as it has all the required organs to survive. Seabirds include ring-billed gulls and Franklin gulls. For the third activity, I do not have the images of birds in my computer yet. My favourite bird would be the Redhead. I saw the duck in one instance at the lake by William Hawralek Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I live close to that park. The dominant bird was Canada Goose. In terms of Redhead, red is one of my favourite colour. Its head, beak and body look beautiful. I did not mention its fish hunting ability. When ducks hear noise or see people, they dodged their heads right into the water and said goodbye.
      • Jamies
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        Jamies007
        *Sorry dodge and say
      • Jamies
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        Jamies007

        @Jamies Ah! Forgot to do spellcheck. Hawrelak, dodge and say. :). Admin please remove 7/19/20 5:51 pm post thanks!

    • Thomas
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tnovotny
      We live in Point Loma, San Diego and have a wooded area around our house.  We have a family of cooper's hawks in back of our yard, swooping and screeching throughout the day.  Two are adults and the other two are fluffier looking, probably juveniles, and they seem to be involved in training?  Is that how it works? Will these guys stick around?  We have hummingbird feeders, and have many Anna's and a rufous visiting, plus this yellow warbler who likes to sample the nectar we provide.  Finally, we had a very cute, industrious hummer build a beautiful next in our lime tree, only to disappear one day without laying any eggs.  We were very disappointed not have chicks to see!IMG_6089IMG_6085Screenshot 2020-07-17 at 4.52.45 PM
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MelRoa
      I live in San Diego, but was recently on Oregon coaststellar jay. I love how this class has taught me to pay more attention to my surroundings while in nature. My daughter pointed to this bird, which I learned is a Stellar's Jay, I believe. I'm really new to bird watching, but in my backyard and neighborhood I think I've seen House Finches, Western Kingbirds, Mourning Doves, and Red-Tailed Hawks.
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      Hello, My name is May. I joined the course in July 2020. It looks very interesting. I don't have any experience in the world of Birds. The only thing I have is my passion for these lovely creatures. There are many birds that I like.  Yet, my favorite bird is the Hummingbird. I like Hummingbirds because of the lovely colors and swift movement while trying to take a drop or two from flowers or a sip of water from the bird feeder. As for the wall of Birds, I like the drawing of the Bermuda Petrel. Amazing creature that has nice wings. I included some drawings about the Bermuda Petrel . I'm not a bird watcher, but I managed to capture the photo that I'm sharing of a bird I spotted from my window. Its not clear though. The bird has dark color. Lovely sound. May be towards the end of this course I will learn more about birds and be able start journaling about them. The images below are my first attempt.   1     23
      • Ashley
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        ashley25
        Really great drawings May!!
    • carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      banderbirder
      8A5570E1-7B05-46DA-8C34-CD350D94B9CFThis baby bird ran up to greet me a couple months ago. Every time i look at that face, those fuzzy head feathers, it makes my heart sing.7499459C-9AD5-45BC-A429-F3B899EB2BAE The iridescence of this European Starling knocks me out.
      • Ellington
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Ellington
        I might be wrong but I believe the bottom picture is actually a common grackle, not a starling.
    • Ryan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      rcantor
      I like this Steller's Jay that visits my back porch. DSC_0093
    • Kara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kshurmantine
      willetIn my Nantucket neighborhood, there is a salt marsh where dozens of willets live. I love shorebirds and waders, and I especially love the willet, with its protective spirit and its beautiful white wings in flight.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      a1pagel
      For activity #2, the three bird groups I’ve seen in my Phoenix backyard are Woodpecker-Gilded Flicker, Parrot-Lovebird and Chicken-like-Gamble Quail! Beautiful!
    • Benjamin Ferraro
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      EFerraro
      I love all birds in the flycatcher family. They are all so acrobatic and graceful. I live in central Illinois and am thirteen years old. During spring migration this year, I spotted a vermilion flycatcher in my back yard. I was writing an essay on songbird behavior so I didn't have my camera with me. Here is one of my favorites that I photographed. This is an eastern-wood pewee. I actually managed to locate its nest and get a close look at the babies. I sat motionless, camouflaged for about thirty minutes until a female flew up. I got this picture a few days later. I am a pretty advanced birdwatcher. But since I'm self taught, I never learned some of the basic stuff. This course is very helpful to me. I am enjoying it a lot.IMG_7989
    • Vincent
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      vinchenzo54
      I have enjoyed watching and listening to the barn swallows in my neighborhood. They swoop through trees and above houses, only offering a momentary glimpse of their beauty.   Barn Swallow
    • E halg.
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      elvispreslydent
      NorthernCardinal-AlixdEntremont-480x360https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.allaboutbirds.org%2Fguide%2FNorthern_Cardinal%2Foverview&psig=AOvVaw0FX6xa10VMs8C7HSInJRCX&ust=1594919367761000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCMC7hOjfz-oCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      denisefb
      IMG_2242I am guessing this little fellow is a house sparrow. He is not a favorite but I do admire the tenacity. I live on the western. slope of Colorado and miss cardinals. Our neighborhood has mourning doves, finches, hummingbirds, golden eagles, and surprisingly, killdeer.
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jtonkinson
      Here is a Beautiful Northern Cardinal. He was really in a Posing mood this day,   he sat still for quite some time, allowing me to capture a few wonderful shots before he took off. DSC_3645_crop
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jtonkinson
      This is a Wonderfully colorful bird found in the Sky Islands (Including Madera Canyon, AZ).   It is called the Elegant Trogon. I love the Greens, Red's and White contrasts, as well as it's interesting call, which sounds like a dog barking.   People come from long distances for a chance to see and photograph this bird.DSC_3198
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jtonkinson
      I moved to Green Valley AZ one year ago from Minnesota.   I love the Variety and Beauty of the Birds and Hummingbirds here.    Here are a Black-headed Grosbeak and a Broad-Billed Hummingbird. DSCN8054
    • Eric
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      shark_7
      Activity #3 This is a male of Antillean Euphonia (Puerto Rican race) in my house in Puerto Rico. It is one of my favorite backyard birds because has a melodic song and their colors are awesome.   IMG_3798-1
      • Kelly
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        kellymichelle80
        Wow beautiful
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      RuthT1918
      IMG_8105 Activity #3 Favorite backyard Ground bird is Gamble's Quail. Male will find the highest point around to make his calls, top of houses, trees, chimneys; they walk really fast and is great to see the little ones with mom, dad running around the neighborhood.
    • amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      achildebrant
      female kingfisher Belted kingfishers are my favorite birds that live around here. I don't see many of them but every once and awhile, when I crawl out of my house for the day, I hear this chattering sound and that's when I know there's a kingfisher at the pond. I love to see them fly, but I have never seen one fish. I would like to see them more but I'm too lazy to get out so I enjoy them when I can.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mcwmom
      I completed the first lesson today and am so excited to further my bird interest and watching skills!  My backyard is full of birds despite it not being wooded, and being surrounded by neighbors.  I have a feeder just outside my back bay window, and so far this spring/summer I have seen 33 different species of birds!  A couple are just summer visitors to our area, so they've been exciting to spot.  There have been a variety of groups represented in the yard and at the feeder.  We had a Red-Shouldered Hawk  (Raptor) decide to enjoy its lunch in the middle of the yard, and a beautiful Common Grackle (Black Birds) stopped at the feeder.  He had a beautiful, shiny dark blue head that just makes you appreciate what nature can produce.  And rounding out the three groups is a Common Yellow-Throat Warbler (Warbler).  A common year-round favorite in my yard and neighborhood is the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.  I love it simply because the only place they are found in the wild in the United States is in St. Louis, MO and its suburbs.  There is a great history to that reason.  They are skittish little birds so combined with my photography skills that makes for blurry pictures.  They closely resemble the male house sparrow but can be slightly shorter and narrower.  Their heads are a darker brown than that on their bodies and wings- which are streaked with black and flecks of white feathers. Their bellies are a tan color. They have a black mask that flows into a black bib, and white on the sides of the head with a black mark on each side.  Hopefully I'll eventually be able to get a decent photo to share!
    • Dory
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DoryZinkand
      Red shouldered hawk 04Goldfinch male 03Hummer male 02 I'm including photos from three different groups from my backyard. From the raptors, we have a red-shouldered hawk, whom we have named Pierre, since we often see him (her?) with frogs legs hanging out of his mouth. From the songbirds (finches and buntings), we have a male goldfinch. From the hummingbirds, we have a male ruby-throated hummingbird, the only hummingbird found in my region. I live in Maryland, USA.  
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      gelbersmith
      IMG_0905 We are so lucky to be housesitting our friend's home on Camano Island, north of Seattle.  The first photo is  Anna's hummingbird, which if kept fed, now spend all year in coastal areas in Washington State. My husband and I have been mesmerized watching the bald eagles feeding at high tide and soaring in the evening updrafts. The second photo has 7 eagles or (5 mature, 2 immature) I believe.  We also have ospreys and at a distance have a hard time telling the osprey from the immature eagle.  The eagles were feasting on small fish being washing into shallow water on the beach at high tide.  Lazy fishermen!  I took this photo from the very steep steps that lead to the beach.  Can't get very close at all to these big guys!IMG_0937
      • Dory
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        DoryZinkand
        Hummingbirds are amazing to watch!
    • Randy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rgcook612
      BAA91909-D527-4F98-A69D-7EDDFF2B2FB6_1_201_a011DBF4F-F92B-49A2-A6EC-722354AD5725_1_201_aD7624FA4-AA54-4F37-8D5B-6A003B10C6D0_1_201_aMy favorite of the bird groups is the raptors.  I live on a large reservoir in the southeastern U.S.  Although I was aware that ospreys were known to nest on a shallow area of the lake near my home, until recently, I had never been able to observe one.  On a whim, I ventured out on an early morning in June to see if I might spot one.  Not only did I spot a pair nesting on a hazard marker in the middle of the lake, I was able to get close enough to get some splendid photos. What a thrill!
      • Terry
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        gelbersmith
        Wonderful photos!
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      gelbersmith
      We are so lucky to be housesitting our friend's home on Camano Island, north of Seattle.  My husband have been mesmerized watching the bald eagles feeding at high tide and soaring in the evening updrafts.   First photo has 7 eagles or (5 mature, 2 immature) I believe.  We also have ospreys and at a distance have a hard time telling the osprey from the immature eagle.  The eagles were feasting on small fish being washing into shallow water on the beach at high tide.  Lazy fishermen!IMG_0937
      • Terry
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        gelbersmith
        Sorry for the duplication, cannot determine how to delete my accidental post.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Tracy_H
      I'm not great at getting pictures, but cardinals are my absolute favorite birds.  I lived in Western Nebraska and Colorado for most of my life and there aren't any cardinals there!  When I visited my native state of Michigan as an adult, I heard the cardinal song and was immediately struck.  Since moving here, they have been my inspiration and my comfort.  Their appearance brightens the long, snowy winters and honestly seeing them has helped pull me through what's probably Seasonal Affective Disorder!  Their physical beauty and distinctive call is their winning combo. I'm seeing lots of mallards with ducklings this time of year, which is also a joy.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a Merganser with at least 20 little ones in tow. Hoping the herons show up soon. And, I'm making it a point to see a snowy owl this winter.
    • Alena
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ahessler
      Activity 1 is incredible, I enjoyed the ancestors of modern birds as well as seeing the variety of birds on the world map. My interest in birding started with a call that I’ve never heard before and then later a siting of an owl. I spent 3 months trying to ID the owl searching owls calls on internet and reading everything about different owls. Turns out it was a northern hawk owl that is extremely uncommon in WI. Activity 2 I loved being able to take the knowledge from the lesson and apply it to my backyard visitors. Mostly songbirds and hummingbirds, but once in a while a surprise rolls in like a flock of wood ducks that were just as scared of me as I was of them 😄 Activity 3 I can’t post a picture but my favorite bird is a house wren. They sing so pretty and are quite entertaining to watch. The fact that male picks several spots for a nest and a lady makes a final choice is cute, what a gentleman.
    • Almond
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      almond.eastland
      My favorite birds are hummingbirds because I love tiny things. Three birds I've learned about because I think I've seen them around are the Long-billed Thrasher (songbird group), Mourning Dove (pigeons & doves group), and Cattle Egret (wading birds). A favorite bird that I've seen in my neighborhood is the Northern Cardinal. I love its bright color.
    • Nathaniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nhouston
      coopers-hawk A Cooper's Hawk I captured through my kitchen window yesterday afternoon.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bobojim
      IMG_3632 I managed to get a decent shot of this common tern while walking on one the piers in Hudson River Park, NYC. I like that it's smaller and sleeker than most of the seabirds I see, and nattily dressed too, with that black cap and red bill.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mwatarnawski
      AF5A11F7-4317-471E-9853-84774FC51296This is a comb-crested Jacana I saw at Enoggera Reservoir, Brisbane Australia.. This photo gives me a feeling it is An elegant and sophisticated bird, ready to go out to a dinner dance function, carrying its deportment aloofly.  It can appear to be able to walk on water
    • Lillian
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      elsiebee64
      MagpieGalahs
      • Lillian
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        elsiebee64
        It's so hard for me to nominate just one favourite bird, I love so many of them!  Pictured above are some of the regular visitors to my backyard.  A lone magpie sitting on the fence.  And a flock of galahs enjoying some seed on the ground.  Also pictured are 2 rainbow lorikeets and a crested pigeon.
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      rlaurance
      I loved looking at the wall of birds! It is beautifully painted and extremely informative. I especially like the pencil drawings of the extinct species. I have chosen Cedar Waxing, Goldfinch, and Red bellied woodpecker as my three birds. I espied a pair of Cedar Waxwings while out on a walk earlier this spring, I have many goldfinches in my neighborhood and especially my yard as I have lots of black eyed Susans and echinacea, and they like the seeds from these flowers. And there are Red bellied woodpeckers living in the neighborhood, and they have visited my trees looking for food. Cedar Waxwings belong to the waxwing group, Goldfinches to the finch family, and Fred bellied woodpeckers are a large woodpecker. The Red bellied woodpecker was perhaps my favorite to see- they are large with rather long, pointed bills that they use to get insects from dead or infested trees. The waxwings were sort of a nice surprise- they were in a dead tree overlooking the Huron River. And the goldfinches are here every year due to the fact that I make sure to plant things with seeds that they like. I will have to take photos to upload at another time.
    • Ken
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kendonnelly
      Junco We have a lot of Dark-eyed Juncos on our property, and they are amazingly easy to call (with the aid of an app).
    • Ken
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kendonnelly
      AmericanGoldfinch I really like yellow birds for some reason. I guess it is just that they are so striking and it was only recently that I started seeing them in the wild. We often get American Goldfinches at our birdfeeder.
    • Ken
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kendonnelly
      Hairy Woodpecker This Hairy Woodpecker nested in the large maple tree in my backyard this year. He is one of several different species of woodpeckers on my property, and he has been around for many years. He has the unfortunate habit of landing in the eavestrough above my bedroom window and drumming at daybreak.
    • Nora
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Spots12
      two pichshers i do not know what they are because they were flying and far away IMG_7956 copyIMG_7955 copy can someone tell me what they are? my favorit bird i see is the ospere but i love all birds.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      cherobinlee
      I always love watching the crows in our neighborhood, and see them trying to scare away the cats.  I talk to them, and seem to be interested in listening.
    • Jianxuan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      newkiwi20
      08521429-8094-401B-9720-CA1CD907D117 I live in Long Island and I saw this (house?) finch in my neighborhood. I saw this type of  bird only once so I assume it is uncommon where I live. I like this particular bird because I like small birds and the color of it just makes it so much prettier.
    • Brenda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NorasGranddaughter
      Activity 3:   coopers-hawkI saw the most unusual thing on Valentine's Day.  A hawk was in my bushes thrashing around.  I thought it was killing one of the chipmunks or squirrels or rabbits that roam my backyard.  At first I thought it had probably already done terminal damage and I couldn't stop it, but it kept on.  Finally I went outside and yelled and threw tennis balls at it - don't worry, I can't hit the side of a barn, but nothing would make it stop.  Then I saw that there were two of them.  I thought -- are they mating?   They carried on forever.  It was pretty rigorous. Then when the action stopped, I thought that one of them had killed the other one, but the upright one dragged the prostrate one out of the bushes by one foot.  The prostrate one got up and they both flew off together!  I think from what I could see with the thrashing and the bushes impeding my view was that they were Cooper's Hawks.
    • Brenda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NorasGranddaughter
      Activity 2:  The Wren is in the songbird group.   The Cardinal is in the songbird group. The Brown Thrasher is in the songbird group too.  The Common Loon is a swimming bird.  
    • Brenda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NorasGranddaughter
      I voted for the Carolina wren, Brown Thrasher, Common Loon - what a magical song, so mystical, and the Cardinal.  We have three of these in our backyard, but the loon calls to me across some ethereal, Camelot-like setting and beckons me to a enter the mist to a world of imagination.
      • Lynn
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        LynnKLockard
        I am a very beginner bird watcher. I was outside on the porch, listening to the bird sounds on the computer and as I got to the Carolina Wren, the call was very chatty, and before i realized it, a Carolina Wren had flown in and was sitting right beside me.  I was able to see every detail of  color and markings..I felt like I had seen heaven!  Made my day!
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Janetcaperobin
      20200711_122008 Activity 3 - One of my favourite birds The Cape Batis is a small, stout insect-eating passerine bird in the wattle-eye family. I like this bird because it is secretive, although allows one to get close enough to observe it.
    • Karate Mom
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Karate Mom
      Activity 1:  I picked the wood duck. On my first birding tour in California, this was one of the many birds I saw. It was beautiful. What is even more interesting about the wood duck is what our tour guide shared about the ducklings. They live high inside a tree and then, when ready, fall to the forest floor.  You can find many videos online of this happening. Very amazing. Activity 3:  I pick the northern cardinal. I see him all the time in my backyard (southern Ontario)  and his call is so distinct that I always look for him. The female is difficult to spot (of course) but she sometimes makes an appearance or I can hear her as well.
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BeetleBook
      Activity 3: I have chosen an Indigo Bunting. We have recently moved to the US from the UK, and I am still thrilled to see such brightly coloured birds in our neighbourhood (such bright colours are much less common in the British Isles). I have only seen the Indigo Bunting twice in a neighbour's magnolia tree, so never managed to nab a photo, but they are such a beautiful, brilliant blue. We are working to fill our garden with native plants and flowers, so hope to attract lots more birds in the coming months.
    • Antonio
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      antcas31
      • Activity 1.  I chose the Scissor tail fly catcher.  The males coloring is beautiful.  I am sometimes treated to their striking flight while on walks in my neighborhood.
      • Activity 2.  I’m not altogether sure what is being asked of me for this activity.
      • 457224C8-6968-4EF6-B6F4-C5A3AB9CA617Activity 3. I like this picture of a green heron that I took.  It was a lifer for me and I was in awe as soon as I saw it.
    • Liliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LiliBlanco
      In Activity 1, I chose the Bohemian Waxwing from the Wall of Birds.  It is such a beautiful bird: "elegant", colourful, easy to distinguish by its characteristic call.  I am used to see Cedar Waxwings where I live, in Eastern Ontario, so I was interested in comparing to the Western species.  I like how they move in groups, and the loud noise they produce when there is a large flock in a tree. Regarding Activity 2, I can say I finally got a better idea of how to distinguish warblers from finches... I know it should not be too difficult, but for some reason, unless it was clearly a goldfinch, I was always in doubt between the two. For Activity 3 I choose the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Living in Ottawa, Ontario, this is the only hummingbird I will be able to see during warm weather season, at least in my backyard.  For the first time this Spring I decided to hang two hummingbirds feeders from an old lilac, but did not have much hope if seeing it coming to feed from them.  To my big surprise, one little Ruby-throated hummer was visiting just 10 minutes after putting it up!  And has been returning continuously since.  I am not sure if it is the same or not.  At some point I saw two of them. I am always amazed at their flight, their speed, and how little they care if humans are close by.  My goal is to be able to distinguish individuals in the future, and even take good photographs.
    • Nadine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pennyburos
      Just moved to a new home and put out a couple feeders to be able to study birds in this area better.
    • Brian
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bfsolodar
      I am trying to ascertain the species of this bird.  I believe it is a common grackle, yet these are the best photographs I have of it.  They were taken on two different days so I'm not sure if they are the same bird.P7060461P7060463P6290408P6290376P6290408P7060461
      • Antonio
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        antcas31
        The top two look like a European starling.  The bottom pic looks like it may be a common grackle.  I am by no means an expert though.
      • Lillian
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        elsiebee64

        @Antonio I agree, the first 2 pics look like starlings

    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BTidball
      Activity 1:  First lesson activity gave me an opportunity to identify the Dark-eyed Junco who is lately singing in my yard.  I was able to confirm it was a Junco by the pink peak and listening to its song and comparing the song to the Cornell app.  I also learned the bird's bill color was a way to distinguish this bird from a Black Phoebe, also seen in my neighborhood.  The Junco had first attracted us because its song was very different than the Song Sparrows.  Interesting how many Song Birds.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Sandra V.
      HummingbirdActivity 3: I keep seeing hummingbirds in my neighborhood and especially close to my balcony because I feed them. I have been able to identify two species of hummingbirds, Berylline and broad-billed. Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds because of their colors, size, and agility.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Sandra V.
      HummingbirdActivity 3: I keep seeing hummingbirds in my neighborhood and especially close to my balcony because I feed them. I have been able to identify two species of hummingbirds, Berylline and broad-billed. Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds because of their colors, size, and agility.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DMarkus
      5355F834-E989-445C-A674-083DE1FDDD89
    • Meg
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      BigYear4ML
      Activity 3: There are many Pileated Woodpeckers in my neighborhood. I frequently see them in pairs, and hopefully, I can improve upon identifying the male vs. female. They are a favorite because I enjoy watching their activities, and the red crest is easy to spot. IMG_4078
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mkootsikas
      0B8483E0-57D0-48CD-84BF-2D0B8ABE9CB1Activity 3: The Baltimore Orioles came back this spring with a bit better f help from the grape jelly and orange halves we put out for them.
      • Meg
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        BigYear4ML
        Hi Mary! That's a great shot of Baltimore Orioles. I have lived in Maryland for 13 years, and I finally saw an Oriole about two years ago. I felt like, "Yay! I am now officially a Marylander!" Thank you for sharing!
    • Paige
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      유진1994
      20200424_155006-1Activity 3: Rose Breasted Grosbeak. This is the first year I have seen these beautiful birds in my yard. I love their bright & distinct colors. Behaviour seemed so relaxed and calm.
    • Peter
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      AlaskaRibbens
      Baby bird season in Alaska.  Downy with his daughter.  Also black cap chickadee, boreal chickadee and canada gray jay babies at the feeders.IMG_2078
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rgoure
      Swan's lifting from lake. I love our migration season when the flocks of swans and Canada geese arrive.  In the early morning I would hear a slapping noise when a group of swans would take off that sounded like their wings slapping on the water.  When I was able to get a better look and capture them on film, I realized that it was not their wings hitting the water, but their powerful feet propelling them forward on the water.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Susan Thompson
      I found the wall of birds really inspiring. I live in a bayside suburb of Melbourne and belong to the local birwatching club. We can't meet, but Tania who organises it, suggested this course. She sends out a bird of the week for us to identify. I'm heading out with my binnoculars to the beach right now.
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Toucanny
      Activity 1: My favorite bird in the Wall of Birds was the Marvelous Spatuletail because I love that it is so regal and so incredibly colorful and amazing! Activity 2: I opened my field guide to random pages, and the first bird was the Black Hawk-Eagle, which is in the Raptor group. I also opened my field guide to the page where the Limpkin is, which is in the Wader group, and to where the Slate-Colored Seedeater is, which is in the Finch and Bunting group. Activity 3: My favorite neighborhood bird is the hummingbird that quickly flitted past our backyard one day, and even though we have doves, flycatchers, sparrows and clay-colored thrushes, I feel like the hummingbird is so dainty and regal that it just surpasses all the other birds that we see here. We haven't identified this species of hummingbird yet, but from the quick glance I got before it flitted away, I saw dark green and maybe some white, although it could have had more colors that are only visible when the light shines on them. I didn't get the chance to take a photo of it, but last weekend, when we were outside of our neighborhood, I took a photo of a female Green-Crowned Brilliant, and I have to say that hummingbirds are just so extraordinary!DSCN1029
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      davferr
      hawk 2, summer 2020hawk, summer 2020We live in Indianapolis, IN. This hawk (unidentified, to us) landed on our back deck and then in the yard. The picture was taken through a screened window. We welcome any identification ideas...Cooper's hawk? We've also seen American Goldfinch, American Robin, House Sparrow, Cardinal, House Wrens, and Canadian Geese!
    • Rosemary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rosiegmorgan
      I identified a Lincoln's Sparrow in my backyard this week. I was excited to identify it and have this course in part to credit with inspiring me. I have heard this bird's song many times, but wasn't sure what it was until it, and its apparent mate, landed within 2 feet of me in our cedars. I went to the All About Birds site, as well as my Birds of North America book, and confirmed its identity with visual and sound. The more common birds in our neighborhood are Cardinals, black-capped chickadees, white-throated sparrows, starlings, pigeons, crows, and a pair of Cooper's Hawks. I live in central Ottawa, in Ontario, Canada.
      • KbBirdwatcher
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        KbBirdwatcher
        Awesome! I live in Toronto, Ontario and am just getting into birding. So far the most interesting bird I've seen is a Pileated Woodpecker.
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      MicheleTourné
      Activity #1: I found the Secretary bird interesting for a few reasons. First, I like the crest on it's head- it looks like a wild hairstyle. I also like the fact that it is a predator that uses its feet to attack mammals and reptiles. In addition, it is the only one in its family. Activity #2: The Black-necked Stilt is a bird I see often in ponds near my home, and I recently learned to identify it. I enjoy watching it walk in the shallow water with it's long, spindly red legs. I am impressed that the  non-nesting Black-necked stilts work together to fend off predators. I also like the snowy egret- especially it's black legs and yellow feet. Today I saw a Brown -headed Cowbird in my backyard. Once I figured out what type of bird it was, I read about its behavior and learned the females are "brood parasites". They lay eggs in other birds nests, and don't raise their own young. Brown-headed Cowbirds also eat eggs of smaller songbirds. I find the social lives of birds fascinating. Activity #3: My favorite birds in my yard are Anna's hummingbirds. There are at least three that frequent my feeder, and fly quite close to me. One is a male, one female and the other may be a juvenile or a smaller female.
    • Jayne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jaynechobot
      Activity #1:  I like the American Oystercatcher because I'm a sucker for endangered animals, and this one's habitat is being lost and destroyed.  I think I may have seen one of these when I was at the Gulf last week at North Redington Beach.  The second one that caught my eye was the Prothonotary Warbler because it's yellow (yay!) and it was named after the papal clerks of the Roman Catholic Church (of which I am a member).  It also forms pair bonds for at least a season; which I always think is cool when animals choose long-term mates.  The last one I really like is the Atlantic Puffin.  My grandson got me hooked on this bird, and I got to go to the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland, Maine on my trip there a couple of years ago.  They are doing tremendous work in getting the population numbers up again.
    • Kyle
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      milbrand77
      My favorite birds in the neighborhood right now are the ruby-throated hummingbird and the great blue heron.  They're favorites in our family because we waited a long time to see them.  It took a while for our feeder to attract the hummingbird and the heron wasn't always visible early in the spring at our local waterfowl preserve.  They're both unique and beautiful birds.
    • Kenzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      KenzieBurns
      Activity #2: I've seen lots of song birds so far on my bird watching journey! I've seen lots of American robins, and I chased (at a distance, no birds were harmed!) a song sparrow around the lake shore a few weeks ago. I've also seen some different types of waterfowl; Canada geese and mallards, mostly, but I'm pretty sure I saw a family of common Mergansers the other day, which was cool. I love their spikey hair! I've also seen some woodpeckers and other tree-clinging birds. The other day, I walked out of my house to see three downy woodpeckers exploring a grove of trees between mine and my neighbor's houses! Very cool, can't wait to see more, I'd love to see a hummingbird soon!
    • Kenzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      KenzieBurns
      Activity #3: Maybe not my absolute favorite backyard bird, but here is a picture of a bald eagle guarding his/her nest. It's a HUGE nest, and I could see at least 2 juveniles moving around inside. The first time I saw a bald eagle was when I was 18 on a canoeing trip down the Susquehanna River in central PA, and I was so fascinated because I always thought they were super rare for some reason. This eagle and nest are located on Sand Island on the Great Sacandaga Lake in the southern Adirondacks (NY). I like to visit them often and watch as mom and dad bring in fish and small animals for the young ones to eat! 20200623_145133
    • Tori
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tagray2895
      Activity 3: I recently moved permanently to South Africa and have been loving getting to know the bird life around the area! My absolute favorite bird is the African Hoopoe, pictured below. It's the David Beckham-like hair that makes me love it!African Hoopoe copy 2
      • Kenzie
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        KenzieBurns
        Very cool! I love seeing birds from other continents (I'm in the U.S.), they're all so exotic and special for me! Thanks for sharing!
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      KathyLowther
      Activity 1- One of my favorite birds from the Wall of Birds is the quetzal. I love the long tail, cute, round head and vibrant colours. I have also never seen one, so would love to see one! I also love all owls, hummingbirds and warblers. I saw a tropic bird for the first time in Kauai while hiking, and was so excited I photographed and watched for hours. Activity 2- I love swifts, I did not know one part of their brain can be asleep while flying! I was thrilled to see a Black-headed grosbeak AND Western Tanagers here, which are only visitors here for a very short time..they are so beautiful. I am learning to identify bird songs, that I do not know, so I watch out for the birds, as I know they are not common ones, as I know the common calls in my area. Activity 3- My favorite bird in my area is a tough decision, I would have to say the hummingbird, we have Anna's and Rufous.. I love their ability to flit around effortlessly and go up in the air and down, while chatting to each other, and especially their glistening colours..they are so sweet..baby hummer my yard close june 2018
    • Missy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MissyCook
      Activity #3: My favorite local bird is a blue heron.  It is so tall and majestic hanging out at the edge of a small pond near my house in Indiana.  I’ve had a bird feeder and hummingbird feeders for years, but didn’t pay much attention to the variety of birds that were showing up until I started working from home during the COVID crisis.  We always have cardinals, but in March there were dozens hanging out in the snow in the yard, beautiful!  And then I saw a rose breasted grosbeak (identified with the Audubon app) and now I’m hooked and want to identify all of them :)
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      scottlysle
      American Goldfinch Male
    • Barb
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bstrine
      We live in western New York and love the NYS Bluebird!  We have several houses and usually get at least one brood of babies.  But we are having problems with English sparrows who try to take over the bird houses.  How can we get "rid" of the sparrows?  Or discourage them from bothering the bluebirds?  Just asking!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      shamilton1408
      I recently added three birdfeeders to my small yard in central NJ.  It has been fun to see new birds arrive to feast.  I find the starlings who fight for the suet cakes the most interesting to watch.  I have been lucky enough to see the fledglings arrive at the suet with their parents and/or other adults.  The adults can be quite aggressive toward the fledglings - I assume not their own young.  The blue jay who comes occasionally is also very aggressive. We've had three types of woodpecker and one flicker.  All birds that I had never seen growing up in the cities of NJ.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      SuzaLarr
      I enjoyed the Wall of Birds. I looked at birds that I am used to - cardinal, blue heron, and then ones that I have never heard of. I enjoyed hearing the calls as well.
    • dana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DanaLight
      59E46945-0B33-4921-85AE-03A6C605CC19Saw this amazing Coopers Hawk on my deck rail two mornings in a row.   So beautiful!   Atlanta GA,   Dana
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        shamilton1408
        Amazing photo!
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        sue0006
        Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    • Kenzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      KenzieBurns
      Activity 1: I learned in this activity that albatrosses are my favorite birds! I think it's so so cool that they can fly for YEARS at a time, and that they live to be so old (80 years!!). It got me thinking about lifespans of other types of birds, like the ones in my neighborhood and that I see commonly. I'll have to do some more research on bird lifespans, as it's interesting to me that they can live as long as humans and I've never really considered it before!
    • Nan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Nani110
      Another cool picture of the Barn Swallow.  These were taken with an iPhone so not as crisp and sharp as one would like but still amazing.  I've never seen (or noticed) a Barn Swallow before.  In fact, never heard of one so this was incredible to see.  (Marlborough, CT).IMG_2340
      • Kenzie
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        KenzieBurns
        So cool! I want to see a barn swallow, I really like their super exaggerated forked tails. Thanks for sharing!
    • Nan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Nani110
      This is a barn swallow feeding its young in my friend's barn.  We live in Connecticut and she has a horse barn and has barn swallows that return year over year.  She has well over a dozen active nests.IMG_2341
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        sue0006
        You captured some great photos of those barn swallows!
    • Dennis
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Vigil75
      Activity 3. The Bobolink is a bird I don't get a chance to see often. However when I do, I excited. I usually see them sitting on an overhead wire or flying quickly from field to field where they land and hide in the grasses. I was fortunate the other day though to have this guy accommodate me by sitting up on several blades. I really enjoy the cream colored nape on that black head followed by the white areas on the back and wings.Bobolink
      • Tamara
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        haydent
        Congratulations! We just saw our first Boblink recently, at Middle Creek Wildlife Area in Pennsylvania.  Our photos are not as good as yours as the birds stayed deep into the meadow, but we were very excited to spot them.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Liz Kranz
      hooded merg The Hooded Merganser is my favourite duck or the ten different kinds of ducks that drop by in their spring migration on the river that I live on. What a wonderful view I have of these colourful and lively little divers.
      • Nan
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Nani110
        Hi Liz, I've never seen this duck before.  Where do you live? Nan
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      laura.a.rockwell
      Activity 3- I am fortunate to live only 1.5 hours away from the Pacific coast.  Yesterday I was able to take a socially distanced trip to the beach and observe birds living on a large haystack.  I enjoyed watching the Common Murres, Pelagic Cormorants, and Tufted Puffins.  I have always been enthralled with Puffins, but have never actually seen one (every time I went to the shore I tried to spot a few).  I also observed a Bald Eagle snatch a baby Seagull from the top of the haystack.  I was unable to take any decent photos, but I can't wait to go back and watch again!
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      crystallr
      Lately in my neighborhood I've seen House Finches, House Sparrows, Eurasian Collared Doves, Crows and Quail. I love seeing Quail because my grandfather loved Quail and it brings back sweet memories.
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      Activity #1: I am fascinated by the Secretary bird. It's near blindness unless it's prey move makes me think of Jurassic Park and the fact that T-Rex may have had similar qualities. Could it be that the secretary bird is a downsized version of the former kind of dinosaurs? It's pretty cool to think of it that way. Activity #2: I've been birding recently with more experienced birders. Some birds that I have seen/learned abou