• Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 3: I love when I spot a ladderback woodpecker at my feeder (or... it could be a downy).  Recently saw a cooper hawk swoop through the yard - just because he can - and scare everyone else away.  And also love seeing gambel quail and roadrunners in my morning walks in the desert.  I live in New Mexico.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GibiThis is a wild turkey who used to come to our porch in southern  NJ.My daughter named it Gibi.  Happy Thanksgiving!
    • Bobby
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1: The bird that caught my attention and is also one of the birds that made me grow an appreciation for them is the Lilac-Breasted Roller found in East Africa. My wife and I recently went on a safari and while all of the animals were cool to see, I found myself very interested in the birds. I came back from Africa with a newfound appreciation and now I go to my local bird watching spots and have discovered so many that I never would have known are in the big city of Chicago! Activity 2: The 3 birds I learned about are the Peregrine falcon which can dive at speeds over 200mph! I also thought that the Albatross covering over 600 miles in 9 hours is astounding. Then there is the other albatross that can go 5 years without touching land. Birds are cool indeed. Today I went to a local forest preserve and on one tree alone I saw 3 different woodpeckers (Hairy, Downy, and Red-Bellied). Activity 3: I have to go with the Northern Cardinal. It is the state bird of Illinois and when you really take a moment to look at them, they're so beautiful
    • Crystal
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Activity 1:  While exploring the interactive wall of birds one that caught my eye was the ‘I’iwi on the Hawaiian Islands.  I love its bright red color and its unique beak. I hope they find a way to stop mosquito carried diseases from threatening them. Activity 2: Birds from 3 different groups are: -        Hummingbirds – I enjoy watching Anna’s hummingbirds when they come to my feeder. -        Pigeons and doves – I always love hearing a Mourning Dove. -        Sparrows – I enjoy when a bird I don’t see often like the White-Throated sparrow is in the yard. Activity 3: One of my many favorites is the White-crowned Sparrow. I love their black and white striped crown.white-crowned sparrow
    • Marjorie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1 - I have recently moved to NC., from Central America. I am enjoying this course so much as I start learning more about the birds in the area. But I could not help choose (and feel nostalgic) as one of my favorites the Turquoise-browed Motmot since it was a common bird for me to listen and see back home. Activity 2 - Through the Merlin app and my new bird feeder I have already been able to identify my daily visitors: House finch, Tufted Titmouse and Carolina Chichadee. I was happily surprised of how quickly they discovered the feeder! Activity 3 - One of my favorites is the Eastern Bluebird which I see gathered in groups in sunny grassy spots.
    • Nathan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Activity 1: I’ve really enjoyed looking through the Wall of Birds and learning about so many different species of birds I’ve never heard of before - it’s hard to pick favorites (especially with such beautiful illustrations!). The Whiskered Treeswift of Southeast Asia caught my eye with its striking colors and whiskers! Apparently treeswifts are closely related to the swifts mentioned in this lesson, but are distinguished by their crests and/or whiskers. Having seen videos of the Birds of Paradise online, I also read about the King-of-Saxony Bird-of-Paradise and its incredible “head streamers.” I am so amazed by the colors and unique characteristics of this family of birds!   Activity 2: One of my favorite birds is the Cedar Waxwing, which I have seen and heard a couple of times when traveling to the northwoods of Wisconsin. They aren’t in any of the groups we’ve learned about so far, but the Wall of Birds has them as their own family, named for the red tips on their feathers. A bird I see almost every day is the House Sparrow - they seem to be almost everywhere in suburban areas! They’re part of the Old World Sparrows family along with the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Hairy Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers are also great fun to watch. I read about them in my field guide. Although they are very similar looking, I learned that you can distinguish them by the size of their bills.   Activity 3: It’s been awhile since I’ve seen one, but I frequently hear the recognizable calls of Blue Jays around where I live (upper Midwest). They have quickly become one of my favorite birds to watch and photograph with their striking blue and black plumages. I had lots of fun watching several Blue Jays in the mornings when I was on vacation in Wisconsin. I'm quite happy with how this one turned out! 08082023_109
    • Gaen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am loving the prehistoric "dino-birds" on the Wall of Birds. Anyone who has ever kept chickens can easily imagine a bird-dinosaur-reptile connection.
    • Penelope
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      I enjoy the company of Black-capped Chickadees for a number of reasons. Intelligent and vocally expressive, they are fascinating up close, and after being around them for a while, its easy to tell what they are thinking. Black-capped Chickadee
      • Michael
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        What a beautiful photo!
      • How adorable! Wonderful close-up photo.
      • Penelope
        Participant
        Chirps: 38

        @Lynn Thank you so much! Chickadees are my best friends. 😊

      • Simeon
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        how did you get it into your hand? I have carved one in wood
      • Penelope
        Participant
        Chirps: 38

        @Simeon Handfeeding is one of my favorite activities--you should try it! I got the chickadee into my hand by offering it a sunflower seed (as shown).

    • Theresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1: My attention was caught by the wandering Albatross. That bird family has always caught my eye in nature films and docuseries. Something about their freedom of flight over the ocean for years at a time draws me in. Seeing one of these amazing birds has now been added to my bucket list. 2: I have always loved flamingos which I believe the be in the wading birds category. One bird I have seen in the wild is the amazing but tiny rufous. These birds belong to the distinct hummingbird group. There are actually so many of these in my parents town that they have created stickers that say "Don't be a rufous" (if you know you know). Then the last bird that I have seen and could categorize is the amazing Golden eagle. These birds are amazing with their majestically wide wingspan. I would put these birds in the raptors category. 3: One of my favorite birds that I have seen recently in the red tailed hawk. These birds are beautiful soaring above a cabin in the woods. They have a beautiful rusty red and brown color to them and when they sit on trees they are poised and ready. I could watch them soar through the sky looking for prey all day. I find that so far the raptors group has been one of my favorites.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1 penguins have always fascinated me. The male Emporer coddles the eggs for a couple of months! Activity 2 I live next to conservation land and have many songbird visitors. Love the Merlin app to ID who is singing in my trees. The wrens have a lovely song and often use my birdhouses to lay their eggs. So fun to hear the babies chatter then see them fledge. Loons from the water bird group were frequently seen on Kezar Lake in  Maine where we had a house. Love how they float then just bob down and dive under water. Owls would be my third bird group. The barred owls are many near my home and I hear them late afternoon or in the middle of the night “who cooks for you”. I hope to learn more sighting skills from this course.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I just joined this class, and am loving it.  Learning so much and so far to go!  In response to the discussion guidance: (1) The Northern Cardinal on the map caught my attention.  It is the State bird of Ohio, and the male is so spectacular against the winter snow.  There are a couple who live in my trees in the winter, and I've seen them several times this summer. (2) It's hard to say which bird is a favorite, but I'm so enjoying the hummingbird at the moment. A pair of them is feeding at my feeder, and while I try to change the sugar water at least once a week, they come to my window and look at me when they want fresh water.  At least that's what I imagine they are doing.  Of course, each time the "ask" me, I immediately get them fresh water. One of the other students has a great picture of the hummingbird at his feeder.  I'm inspired to try to get one of mine before they leave to head south. (3) Another bird that I love to watch in the winter is the Junco (Sparrow family).  There is a crowd of them who hang out here in the winter and spend a lot of time on the ground under my feeder. (I put food on the ground for the ground feeders.) I'm excited about this course, because I, with a group of friends, have spent time at Magee Marsh on Lake Erie in Ohio during migration season, and we're going to the Texas coast next Spring to look for migratory birds there. We're all novices! The pro birdwatchers are always so generous with their information and their sightings - a big thank you to all of them!!!
    • Mary Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Seen in my neighborhood near Boston. Great blue heron? Didn't get to hear him. Love the wall! IMG_2904
      • Cheryl
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        How amazing he/she looks prehistoric! I am trying to visualize what they would look like with their wings spread.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 1: Going on the wall for all North America I was drawn to the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Its apparently a common bird here but I have never seen one… yet! Its tail is what I’m so intrigued by. Activity 2: The backyard birds I get that got me started in all of this is the Great Fliers (I have a barn swallow nest on my porch), Sparrows (An army of house sparrows), and Black Birds (Great-Tailed Grackles) Activity 3: My current obsession is Hummingbirds. I have had a feeder out for about a month and some change and when sitting at my computer on Sunday saw my first one (crappy picture of excitement below) I want to see them again after learning from this course they can’t go sideways, I refuse to believe that. Hummingbird
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Activity 1: I revisited the bird wall to write this post, and discovered one I hadn't clicked before, one that I immediate was drawn to because it looks like a sleek, all black Cardinal. The Phainopepla! I love their little mohawk. Activity 2: Three birds that I can classify into different groups from what I've seen in the wild would be the Mourning Dove, Green Heron, and Ring Billed Gull. Mourning doves fall under pigeons and doves, Green Herons under wading birds, and Ring Billed Gull with seabirds. Activity 3: I've recently been fascinated by White-Breasted Nuthatches. I love their behavior of skittering along trees parallel to the trunk. Very adorable birds! White-Breasted-Nuthatch-Images Image pulled from google search. But I often see them making this exact pose!
      • Penelope
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        😍 Awesome photo!
      • Simeon
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Did you notice how the beak looks upside down, it looks on the underside of things a lot.
    • Roxanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      First of all, I want to say how much fun it is reading everyone's comments here!  Activity 1:  The Wall of Birds is so delightful.  I want to do a lot more exploring there!  For now I'll choose the Blue-Footed Booby because it's such a marvel and always makes me smile.  Those feet!  Activity 2:  A few of the favorite birds I've seen this year are the Snowy Egret (colorful feet again; this time yellow!); Green-Winged Teal (so colorful); and Red-Shouldered Hawk.   Activity 3:  It's late August, and the hummingbirds are about to leave for the winter.  I think we've already seen the last of this year's Black Chinned Hummingbirds, so this one (photo snapped a couple of days ago) must be a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  Although its throat isn't ruby-colored.  So is it a female?  Or is there another reason?  So much to learn!Snowy EgretGreen Winged TealP8260108
      • Diane
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Roxanne, we have quite a few ruby throated hummingbirds in our new central Florida home. The males have mostly left, but we have 3 juveniles who have delighted us with their antics and playful chasing around the yard.  A couple are males and I have been told that the black spot on their throat will eventually turn red.  Hopefully, my two pictures will load ok and you can see the similarity.  I am not sure whether these are the same, but suspect they are two different birds. One of the youngsters is developing his beautiful green coat and I expect they, too, will soon be leaving. Hope this helps. DSCN0075DSCN0116
      • Simeon
        Participant
        Chirps: 5

        @Diane the wings are a blur, when you draw them  you draw them as a scribble

    • Gregory
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Activity 1: The Carolina Wren is one of my favorites, because its song is distinctly memorable from earlier childhood even though I was not especially interested in birds at the time. Activity 2: I am fortunate to live close to a lake with some parks lining the shore, which attracts many different bird families (waterfowl, seabirds, shorebirds, warblers, sparrows, finches, wading birds...). Activity 3: Seeing a variety of birds is fun, but I will always appreciate the ubiquitous Canada Goose for being easy to find and letting you observe its behavior quite closely; this parent goose successfully chased off 11 other adult geese so that its 3 goslings could monopolize a food source.IMG_1462
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am currently visiting Colombia and so far my favorite bird is the Saffron Finch. They are small, bright yellow birds with bright heads. Adorable and have a cute little song. I have yet to capture a photo. They move quickly!
    • Anita
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      For activity 1, my favorite bird was the Tropicbird. Even though this is the Red-tailed, it reminds me of the "Longtail," the White-Tailed Tropicbird from my recent trip to Bermuda.  I was there as the young were fledging and it was magical to watch the groups of three flying around but never landing. For activity 2, I am surprised how many bird species I see given that I live in a fairly urban environment.  We have Ruby-throated hummingbirds (which are quickly becoming my favorite), wild turkeys, Red-tailed Hawks, and a myriad of seed eating birds. For activity 3, my favorites are the Ruby-throated hummingbird because they move unlike any other birds around my neighborhood, the Red-bellied Woodpecker who has nested in our backyard this year and we've affectionately named Spencer; and the Dark eyed Junco, which is just adorable in the winter.  We don't have a lot of species in the winter, and this one comes south from Canada and hangs out in the snow. Ruby-throated HummingbirdRed-bellied WoodpeckerDark eyed Junco
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 3: A true novice, I have begun trying to identify the birds that visit my yard armed with the Merlin app and a pair of binoculars. I was rewarded almost immediately by seeing what the tiny hummingbirds (think they are Allen or Rufous) were up to in the early morning. I don't have hummingbird feeders, but many fruit trees. I could see the hummingbirds zipping around and perched on top of the uppermost branches, but I was charmed to discover another behavior. They were not just sitting on my apple tree, but were bathing in the dew on the leaves, quickly rolling around several times before flying off. It was a delight to observe their behavior.
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Activity 3: My favorite bird in my neighborhood (with a pond) is the Belted Kingfisher, which also happens to be one of my top birds of all time, so that's pretty cool. They are actually quite rare to spot around my area, but I was lucky to be able to catch a few glimpses with my binoculars, mainly because one or two lives near the pond I think. I just love the contrasting color palette of its feathers, that gorgeous blue head and back (like a cape almost) paired with the radiant orange chest stripes that pops from the surrounding white feathers. Moreover, I have seen many photographs (including the one below) of them, and also videos of them diving to catch fish, so cool!!! Belted Kingfisher Photo from the All About Birds website.
    • Danielle
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Back in the spring right at the end of the great Migration, we were out on the lake in western NC. The sun was setting and I kept seeing this bird on the lake disappear for minutes at a time then emerge. I remember thinking, “that’s not a duck,” as it joined three others. Then it spread its wings and let out a haunting call right as I focused my binoculars. I still think of that evening often - a highlight of my birding recently. I love love love a Common Loon more than I ever expected to. IMG_0010
      • Wow! This photo really captures its beauty! I love it. Thanks for sharing!
      • Michael
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Terrific photo!! You caught him or her at just the perfect moment.
      • Nathan
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Great shot! Photos of a bird's full wingspan are so amazing!
    • chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      my favourate bird on the bird of walls definetly has to be King of Saxoony Bird of Paradise, This lil guy is so unique and foriegn from what im used to seeing out in western canada that it makes me excited at the prospect of exploring the world some more some day.  What other unique situation has created some unique little buddies. My favourate local bird has to be the American Gildfinch because I get to see families of them feeding on the seed my mom likes to throw out.  The small ones look the size of my thumb and will stay and eat seeds even as I walk up to them, so cute and fluffy.  They are a small yellow bird with a short-wide beak, a black or darker forehead depending on plumage and gender with black wings with a white bar or 2.
    • Adam
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I enjoy the wall of birds thoroughly! hard to pick a favorite!!..really like the red breasted nuthatch   Activity 2: A few weeks back I was able to identify a pygmy nuthatch, which was really cool as they are very small and cute! Anytime I go out birding I see wonderful examples of cormorants and Great blue herons.   Activity 3: my favorite bird and the one that has gotten me into birding is the American robin. I hear them most mornings in my neighborhood and love the sweet song,  Tonight I was at a local natural area, and it was delightful having the opportunity to watch a robin perform its song. I love watching robins hop around, and find them to be friendly and familiar, and wonderful!
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Activity 3: I have been enjoying the Wood Thrush this summer. I was first drawn to its cheery song! Then, I finally identified the bird that was singing this delightful song. The Wood Thrush's belly is spotted, and the spots look like little leaves.  Photo from The Cornell Lab All About Birds. Screenshot 2023-07-26 at 3.56.49 PM
      • Simeon
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        That bird acts kind of like a robin
    • Thane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      trw173trw174trw175Activity #2 I was able to use the Merlin app on my iPhone with my own photos to get an initial ID of a Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay. I then used the Sibley app on the phone to look at descriptions and details to confirm the Merlin ID (also using the Sibley app it looked like a juvenile of the species). I then was able to post my photos and initial ID to a local Facebook group and they kindly provided feedback and confirmed my ID as correct. Was a fun process and I feel confident in the identification of this bird. It was so nice to have those guides and resources with me out in the field at my fingertips. 😎