• Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      Activity 3: One of my favorite local birds is the Greenfinch - they have a lovely song, a bit like a wild canary. I tried making some watercolor drawings of the male Greenfinch, but they don't do justice to this beautiful little bird.Greenfinch 1Greenfinch 2Greenfinch 3
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        your painting is wonderful!
      • Frederique
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I really love your paintings!
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We disturbed a great egret while kayaking on a river near Montreal, Canada. IMG_0979IMG_1855
      • Tal
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        these are beautiful photos. I live in Israel, and at the moment we have thousands of them nibbling from the goods of the fields
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      Activity 3 - Three common birds from where I live (Brussels, Belgium) are the Wood Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet and Magpie. I don't know if the Wood Pigeon has an equivalent in the US, unless it's maybe the Band-tailed Pigeon, but I've never seen one. They're big chunky pigeons, like a small chicken, and they trundle around in the leaf litter in the fall searching for beech nuts. In the spring they eat buds and young leaves. There's a pair that nests in the ivy in our garden each year. The Rose-ringed Parakeets are all over Brussels. They come from a collection of parakeets that were deliberately released in Brussels when a local zoo went bankrupt. The authorities complain about them, but most people like them. They might take over some nesting holes that would otherwise be used by native birds, but they seem to mostly eat seeds from ornamental, non-native trees that other birds aren't interested in. The Magpies are everywhere in Brussels where there are some big trees to perch in. They don't get along at all with the local Carrion Crows - the crows chase them and they chase the crows.
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Activity 1: SECRETARY BIRD: It was interesting to learn that its name comes from its elaborate crest that recalls secretaries. It is far from sedentary; it is very active hunting by kicking its prey with its powerful legs and toes. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER: Beautiful yellow feathers. Fiercely defensive of their territories. Both sexes are aggressive in their interaction with the same sex. Pair bonds that usually last the season and continue through the winter. Activity 2: SONGBIRDS: Gray Catbird: Lives in open woodlands and eats insects. It copies the sounds of other species and some of its calls are similar to cats and frogs sounds. PIGEONS AND DOVES: Mourning Dove: Lives in open woodlands and eats seeds. It nests in trees and perches in telephone wires. RAPTORS: Red-shouldered Hawk: Lives in forests, eats mammals, and nests in trees. It returns to the same nesting territory year after year. Activity 3: My favorite bird is the Red-shouldered Hawk: it is common in the area where I live. I see them by themselves, in foggy winter days perched in trees, which makes a beautiful scene. They are very elegant and I love their delicate plumage in their breast like little brush strokes.Red-shoulder Hawk
    • Raphael
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      10EF5C4E-B1D8-4DFE-94DD-869E8469744D   I took this photo at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge outside of Philadelphia earlier this year -- something about herons intrigues me. Their "dinosaur-esque" look is incredible and terrifying at the same time. I'm also a fan of the common loon, which I've now learned is part of the waterfowl/duck group. I'm also rather intrigued by the painted bunting, which I recently learned about and would really like to see in person. I would guess that they are considered song birds; however, I'm not too sure which group they would be part of. It'll take some work to be able to be mindful for (and remember) all of the groups and sub-groups for classification purposes.
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      I loved listening to the song of the Brown Thrasher on the Wall of Birds - it brought back happy memories of when I was growing up and I heard the Brownies singing in the shrubs and woods by our house. Those were the days. May the dear Brownies keep on singing forever.
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I just saw my first owl in the wild yesterday.  I don't use my binoculars very often but I had them with me. I was sitting under a tree on a bench overlooking hillside grassland on edge of forested area.  A hummingbird was making a commotion in the tree so I looked up and saw a smallish bird high up in the tree sitting very still. I looked through my binoculars and the owl turned and looked at me with his penetrating yellow/ black eyes.  I used my guide when I got home to figure out it's a northern Pygmy- Owl.  Maybe I'll become a real birder yet! My favorite bird around the neighborhood are the blue birds.  We don't have many of them so it's treat when I see a pair.  Such a pretty bright blue.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Long standing favorite is probably the Black Capped Chickadee.  It is so friendly and brave and small.  I hear they warn others of trouble in the neighborhood and they are the first to return to feeders after trouble has past.  There is a place in a park near by where the chickadees are so used to visitors, you can feed them from your hand!  In reality, I love them all, especially the first time I see a new bird.  I'm training my husband to get excited as I do and he is great to have along now.  I don't always find them in the trees very well so having extra eyes is nice too.  I recently got the app: BirdNET to help me identify bird songs.  It is a favorite of mine now.  (I hear Merlin has something like it now.) I helps to know what you are looking for!
      • Raphael
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        The sound ID on the Merlin Bird ID app is so helpful! I'll just walk through the woods and keep it on, and it'll identify everything it hears. I'll end up hearing more birds than I was actually able to see, but it helps to start getting used to hearing a bird and knowing who the tweet belongs to. Granted, the app isn't 100%, but any help I can get for identification, I'll take!
    • Gretel
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      I saw a grey fantail for the first time in my courtyard at home in Victoria, Australia. This is one of my favourite birds as the fly so beautifully and often don't mind coming close to humans. I've also seen them in Tasmania and in New Zealand where they are known as NZ fantails. I would love to see a rufous fantail, hopefully I can add that to my life list this coming summer! Fantails are songbirds, also know as Passeriformes. I think fantails may also be classified as a flycatcher, but I'm not certain as I'm pretty new to classifying birds! What do others think?
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Activity 1:  Favorites on Bird Wall:  Atlantic Puffins because they are so cute & Przevalski's Rosefinch because of the beautiful plumage color. Activity 2: European Starling (saw in my neighborhood). Semipalmated Sandpiper & Great Egret (saw both in DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, NJ). Activity 3: House Sparrows because of their persistence in building a nest in the eaves of our house this year, and for successfully raising their young, even though they were quite noisy neighbors throughout the process! They are gone now but won't be forgotten.
    • Cyretha
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      WhatsApp Image 2021-09-10 at 15.11.00 (1)WhatsApp Image 2021-09-04 at 14.29.10WhatsApp Image 2021-09-08 at 16.05.32These are three images that I took recently.  The first one is the Great Crested Grebe (waterfowl).  The second is an image of storks  (wading birds) who are migrating.  The last one is a Great Spotted Woodpecker (woodpecker).
    • Lise
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      So looking forward to learning more about birds!  I've been a "bird feeder bird watcher" for many years, and have tried to identify all of the birds I see around our property, located in a riparian area in Oregon's Willamette Valley . . . but there is one that has really stumped me.  I've only seen them in the early morning--by 8:00 or 8:30 at the very latest, they're all gone.  I've never gotten a good look at them because I don't have binoculars (yet!) and they are too far away to see well; but what I have seen is:  about the size of a robin (maybe a bit smaller); with a pale (possibly yellow or chartreuse?) breast, mottled dark brown or black and white back/wings/tail.  Their most distinctive trait is their behavior:  they make short, diving/swooping flights over the river, apparently scooping up the hordes of small insects that hover in clouds over the water, and finish each flight by perching briefly on a tree limb or downed trunk, usually quite a bit higher than the river surface.  Quite a few will be feeding (?) like this at a time, but they don't hunt cooperatively:  it's every bird for him/herself!  After reading this lesson I wonder if it's some type of flycatcher?  I haven't been able to detect any song or characteristic call.  Any ideas?  I just downloaded Merlin, but I can't get close enough for a photo and ditto for bird calls.
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My husband has built a fabulous haven for birds with feeders and bird baths nestled in and around shrubs and flowers.  The birds love it, and there is nothing more relaxing for me than sitting on our deck and watching the birds come and go and observing their behavior.   I have gone from “that’s a pretty bird” to really wanting to know all about birds.  Everyday we get to see many types of birds,and every now and then we see one we haven’t seen before - that’s very exciting.  I have even come to appreciate the grackles and mourning doves, which were not exciting to me at first.  The more I learn about birds, the more I realize how much more there is to know!
    • Trina
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      A few months back there were seven white pelicans thermalling over my neighborhood street.  It took me a bet to figure out what they were, until they started banking and the sun caught their brilliant white with black wing tips.  I just gazed in awe at them for as long as I could see them. Saw a single turkey vulture thermalling over a nature center about two weeks ago. Today, it was a red tailed hawk doing likewise. What must it feel like?  Magnificent!!!
    • Alanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Activity 2: The bird groups that I have around me are the songbirds like the House Sparrows and American Robins where many times I would see sparrows come up to my feeders and the Robins exploring in the suburbs. I would see raptors in the sky while I am driving around such as the Red Tailed Hawk and also Turkey Vultures. Once in awhile I would see a Bald Eagle sitting up high in the tree. And the third bird group I see are the Doves, specifically Mourning Doves. Many times a pair of Mourning Doves would hangout and sit by my feeders from access seeds that fall onto the ground and the doves at dawn would be on top of my roof making their vocal sounds.
    • Emily
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      Activity 3: my favorite bird is a tough question. So many. The painted bunting for its colors, hummingbirds because they are so small and fast, spoonbills and avocets for their interesting bills, ospreys and hawks in general for their power and strength, forked tail kite for their signature tail. And thats just off the top of my head.
    • Emily
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      Activity 2: outside in my area i can find 1) shorebirds like the sanderling; 2) ducks like mallards, moscovy, and wood; 3) songbirds like cardinals and warblers; 4) wading birds like herons and egrets.
      • Dianne
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I live near the beach too and sanderlings are among my favorites! I was also surprised the first time I saw mallards in the ocean - I thought they were strictly freshwater ducks but I guess not as I’ve seen them several times at the shore.
    • Emily
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      activity 1: I really liked reading about the extinct elephant bird on the wall of birds. Its a real shame people caused its extinction like so many other animals. To see a bird that large would make the ostrich seem small. And who knows what we could be doing with a giant docile bird like that.
    • Sydra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I really love red-winged blackbirds.  I once saw one at the salt marsh struggling to fly back and forth between two trees for no apparent reason in very, very strong wind.  I thought, "He's such a New Yorker."
    • Alana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      One of my favorite all time birds is the Green Heron. I have seen them often on a trail in Wisconsin. They have such beautiful colors. DSC_0062
    • Eric
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Wood stork Our family was recently in SC/GA area and spotted a family of wood storks.  They're prehistoric and awesome to watch.  This one was sitting in a tree near a path we were traveling on.  Son and I were quite excited! :)
      • Raphael
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        What an incredible image you captured of that stork!! Would love to see a crane or a stork in person.
    • Danni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The cedar waxwing is one of my favorite birds. One, because it was the first bird that I ever identified.  And two, because I think it is just a stunningly beautiful bird.  d00c408a-112f-4547-9e7a-320fdf0e074b_1.aa22d1737474dd028f35324a39e10337
      • Diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I also love cedar wax wings! I have often seen them in large flocks during fall migration in NYC!
      • Gretel
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        Thanks for sharing! I don't think we get waxwings in the southern hemisphere, but I took note that they are part of the 'other songbirds' group.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I live in Massachusetts near the ocean and saw a Bald Eagle flying over the Merrimack River. It was much closer than I have ever been to a wild Bald Eagle, and it was truly amazing. One of my other favorites is the Brown Pelican. I was recently on vacation in South Carolina and learned that Pelicans skim the water in groups to herd fish closer to the shallow water. I thought that was a fun fact. My 11 year old son is taking this class with me, and he loved seeing the Little Blue Heron and Anhingas in South Carolina. The picture is an Anhinga.IMG_5405
      • Eric
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        We were just in that area!  It was awesome watching the brown pelicans suddenly diving into the water for fish.  Also, my son and I spotted our first Anhinga!  Very exciting for a couple of California birders!
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      85767FB1-B8CD-4B17-8B9C-2E0CD996A5D1Near where I teach, there is a field where these little burrowing owls live. One actually flew into my room one day! Recently they’ve attracted some attention as a parade of photographers with impressive gear took turns setting up their equipment to capture their images throughout the day. I love these little guys, it is remarkable to have these birds living among us and being able to observe them nearly every day.
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      • FFACBEAA-4641-4356-8AF8-152D7D7BFC01One of my favorite birds is the Blue Heron.  I often see them on the water hazards of my golf course.  This Heron was fishing in Swift Creek at Ritter Park.  My dog was quite interested in the large creature in the water!