• 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.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kaderkson
      0EB58213-0E7A-4226-B0D9-3B43CE2B4086
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        kaderkson
        I have always loved birds, and Vancouver Island has a wide variety of them. The great blue heron is found almost everywhere in Canada and are quite abundant on the island. My other favorites the american goldfinch,  the mountain bluebird and the cardinal. The later two not found on the island unfortunately.120CA7E7-5B55-43E7-BADC-62B4548EC13E
    • Leigh
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lknowles
      Hi!  I am very new to bird watching.  As a result of the pandemic, I found myself living full time at my farm, north of Toronto.  In the spring of 2020 we discovered a nest of ravens inside our barn way up at the peak.  After some research we learned a bit about them, and what they like and my daughter build a house for them and eventually it was attached to the outside of our barn in hopes they would return in 2021.  Well they did come back and had 3 adorable babies.  I watched them grow, spoke to them everyday and waited for them to drop from the nest.  It takes about 10 days before they learn to fly!  They are so smart and funny to watch.  They no longer use the house but visit every day…my fingers are crossed they nest again this spring!4FC80ACA-2B7B-4716-886D-81B1FC49089C
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LindaLutes
      WIN_20220123_14_34_25_Pro
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LindaLutes
      I have lots of songbirds including house and gold finches, white crowned sparrows, bluejays and cardinals at my feeders.   In addition there are woodpeckers, red bellied and downy and an occasional piliated.  We also have Canadian geese still around, red tailed hawks and Great Horned Owls in the area.
    • Kendra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kendrameyer
      black oyster catcher I found this little guy interesting. Its a black oyster catcher, not actually my favourite but an interesting shore bird. They were travelling in pairs with very striking/bright beaks and eyes. I found this guy on a beach in Vancouver Island. My favourite bird in the area would have to be the Great Blue Heron - they are just so large and majestic.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      edelste3
      As someone who recently joined the exciting world of bird watching, I find myself enamored with even the most common songbird.  Whenever I leave the house now (or look out my window!), it feels like an adventure and a scavenger hunt.  I really believe in the sentiment that birdwatching changes your entire perspective on nature and the world around you. Since I have the pictures to accompany, I'll answer activity 2 and share about a few birds I saw in Arizona last month.  I've lived in the Northeast the past 10 years, but I grew up in the Mojave desert in Nevada, and love how resilient the wildlife is in the desert, so I thoroughly enjoyed searching for birds in Phoenix. While hiking around Papago Park, I came across a lake that was filled with a variety of birds including American Coots (waterfowl), Great-tailed Grackles (songbird, blackbird), a Great Egret (wading bird), and my personal favorite, a Neotropic Cormorant (seabird). I only have a phone to take photos with so please forgive the lack of quality! IMG_1068 Above - Great-tailed Grackle IMG_1090 Above - Great Egret, Neotropic Cormorant, Canada Geese IMG_1070 Above - American Coot
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      hiswayhome
      01/16/2022 - I live in northeast Texas. #1 - Explore the Wall of Birds. I am always intrigued by the very large flightless birds that look like they should be clumsy, but are not.  Common Ostrich, Greater Rhea, and Southern Cassowary. The Superior Lyrebird was interesting with his fascinating long tail used for mating song and dance. #2 - Find birds from 3 different groups. I have participated in Project FeederWatch for 20 some years since our sons were homeschooling. I am counting birds now from November through May and I highly recommend your involvement. I only see birds from 2 of the groups - Songbirds like juncos, sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, etc.  Pigeons and Doves like the mourning dove and white winged dove. The doves will actually sit in my open tray feeder and are so big and heavy, that the feeder tilts.  Only one dove sits in it at a time and it is very humorous to see. #3 - Favorite bird in yard.  In mid December, I saw a Bewick's Wren. It is a small to medium sized brown bird with a long tail that is usually held up. Long slightly curved bill, white eyeline/eyebrow, dark stripes on tail. It is a very curious bird and bobs it head around looking everywhere. When I saw it, it was investigating a pile of wood that I keep for our stone firepit. It went in, so I do not know if it was looking for a place to make a nest or not. It would be the wrong time of year for nesting.
    • Kurt
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1kurtrose
      270050427_10223997522063731_4801646122160203729_n I love the blue birds. Especially when they scope out our birdhouse like they are at an open house tour. Credit this picture to Mary Prochnow, my neighbor.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      astrelka
      Activity 3:  I think my favorite neighborhood bird may be the nuthatch.  I see them going up and down trees in my yard.  Better yet, someone a few blocks away has a feeder next to the sidewalk that they frequent.  When I go for a walk I can stand on the sidewalk a short distance away and watch them take a seed, wedge it between the ridges on the bark of the tree that supports the feeder, and crack it open.  After I observed this behavior it dawned on me that that's how they got their name.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bethchapleau
      Lately I've welcomed goldfinches to my feeders! I've also had a lot of dark eyed juncos (slate) and mourning doves and have been lucky enough to have some downy woodpeckers and nuthatches (mostly red breasted but did see one white breasted the other day!). The juncos are one of my favourites, I love how they hop/shuffle to uncover seeds buried under the snow.
    • Trish
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      TrishForster
      We were on a driving trip this past August in southern Manitoba, Canada. We rounded a curve on a quiet secondary road and there in front of us, on a large lake was a flock of white Pelicans, about 20 in all. They were swimming around actively, fishing, accompanied by about 15-20 black cormorants. Before this, we had only ever seen grey pelicans, only in Mexico, and assumed their habitat did not include Canada. I read on the Wall of Birds, that they like to congregate on interior lakes in southern Canada, in the summer breeding season. This lake was aptly called Pelican Lake, not far from Baldur, Manitoba.
    • Jamie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      jamiemhansen
      On the wall of birds, I was intrigued by the Montezuma Oropendola, a bird I'd never heard of before and whose call was unique. In my backyard in Northern California I've most recently seen dark-eyed juncos, California Towhees, Anna's hummingbirds, and crows that love the redwoods behind the house. My favorite backyard bird is the Oak Titmouse, a little grey songbird that has really interesting behaviors and family structures. I couldn't get a picture of him, but he is small and light grey with a short sharp beak and a fun triangular tuft on the top of his head.
    • Skye
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Cassowary01
      Activity 1: My favourite birds were the crested satinbird and great tinamou due to their uniqueness and unexpected shapes. Activity 2: I see songbirds such as robins, wrens and crows extremely often, and I love feeding water birds like mallards, canada geese, greylag geese and the occasional mandarin duck in my local park. Most people I know have seen woodpeckers in the area, and I know that the great spotted, lesser spotted and green can all be found nearby, but sadly my only sighting has been one green woodpecker from a distance. Activity 3: I would say that my favourite bird in my neighbourhood is the european robin. They visit my garden all the time and I recently set up a nest box for them. I love how cute and round they look and how fearless and inquisitive they are. 34ECC1BD-AF29-4357-A9AE-A412ABF9F1E6
    • Hayden
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      haydenbirder2008
      Activity 1: my favorite bird from the bird wall was the toco toucan. Activity 2: I have mostly black- capped chickadees and tufted titmice for the songbirds. I have Downy woodpeckers and hairy woodpeckers in the woodpecker family, and I commonly see red tailed hawks.  Activity 3: My favorite birds to watch on my window feeders are Eastern Bluebirds. I had been trying to attract them, and now they are there every day.1F82BB1E-C91C-4323-9893-9C7B5C14E83A
    • Alexandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      aames0545
      Activity 1: My favorites birds were 1) Kakapo, 2) Long-tailed Manakin and 3) the Common Loon   Activity 2: We have a pretty active birdfeeder outside of our kitchen window. We regularly see the regular array of upstate NY songbirds (Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Juncos, Tufted Titmice (Titmouses?), lots of woodpeckers (Downy, Yellow-bellied Woodpeckers, even a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in the summer). There is a Grouse that lives in our woods. I've never seen him, but we can hear him "thump" when we walk through.   Activity 3: My favorite birds are Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. They come around in the summer and fall in group and this past year I saw their close relative the Evening Grosbeak for the first time! Red breasted grosbeak
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bigkatz5
      IMG_4163I'm just learning to attract a variety of species to my yard, and was lucky enough to catch this little Nuthatch stopping by for a drink.  It's cold here in Michigan as well, and the heated water is irresistible to them.  It's amazing to me how they will share the birdbath with many other birds, without being frightened away. I'm anxious to learn more about these amazing little creatures!
    • Harry
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      forsdick
      It's pretty cold here in Boston.  I suspect the most fruitful use of my time will have to wait until I install the bird feeder that I gave myself for Christmas.  :-). More later.
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      A.Herden
      Activity 1: Great Blue Heron - Carolina Wren - Prothonotary Warbler Activity 2: Red-tailed Hawk - Rosette Spoonbill - Northern Cardinal Activity 3: Black and White Warbler. These are so fun to watch! AMH11734
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MaineCoons
      Activity #1.  I hiked around a local lake that has an eagle's nest in which both were perched on the nest.  The female, which is about 25% larger spread her wings and both made distinct calls. This nest was about four wide by three feet and eagles continually build on to their nests adding one to two feet each year.
    • Patty
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      pattyjohnson
      PXL_20211209_233614448 I've been lucky lately with raptor sightings. I think the pic above is a red-shouldered hawk seen at a local college campus. It was lightly raining at the time and the bird was surprisingly bold, sitting on the lawn and gracefully swooping into a tree and then to a lamppost. Such beautiful color and form! I also got lucky with a bald-eagle sighting this week!
    • Kris
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kris.kalapala
      Activity 1: The sunbittern is my favorite bird of the ones I explored on the wall of birds. Activity 2: I went to a state park yesterday and observed 1) Songbird: A tufted titmouse (songbird). Also present and easily spotted were numerous northern cardinals, yellow rumped warblers, ruby crowned kinglets and blue gray gnatcatchers. 2) Waterbirds: Cormorants: An Anhinga perched quite close to the walking trail and not very concerned with the people passing close by. This is the closest I have ever been to one of these magneficent birds. Picture attached.  Several migratory ducks were present and attached is a picture that has Ring necked ducks (one male and two female) and a lesser scaup(male). The duck and scaup males look quite similar at first glance. 3) Raptors: It was a good day for raptors, as I approached the gate in my car, I observed an Osprey carrying a fish and flying alongside the road presumably looking for a suitable perch. Turkey vultures are common occurrence in this park but yesterday there were several hundred vultures soaring. A white tailed hawk was also seen soaring. Activity 3: Of the song birds in my neighborhood, I absolutely love the scarlet tanagers. These are temporary visitors arriving in spring briefly when the mulberry tree in the backyard is full of ripe berries. I was able to photograph some this year. One of the pictures is attached. 56ED72A1-3DA6-47C9-AA65-3EB7D51801915528EB4C-8E0A-4AB2-A51F-B18295D5F8E7B1214CA2-0D88-465C-9571-03B029FC445A
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ellbee_
      I just did activity 2 - took my dog on a walk to the dog park and kept my eyes peeled for different birds. I think I saw a dark eyed junco from the sparrow grouping, and I am also pretty sure that I saw a downy woodpecker from the woodpecker grouping. Lastly I saw some crows - I saw that they are under song birds, but I am not sure what the subgrouping would be! Are they in the "other" category? I know they are corvids, but I am not sure if that is one of these sub categories - I also wonder if a raven would be considered a song bird as well.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      janechese
      IMG_0641-3Not a great shot, but was thrilled to see this female Pileated Woodpecker last week when I met my friend in a city park. I always enjoy seeing these in this park and in the river valley of Edmonton. The female has a red top but starts further back from the bill. They have a grey line coming from the mouth whereas the male has a red line.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      janechese
      IMG_0227-2 I enjoy the high-pitched sounds of a Nuthatch, described as "a toy horn." I took this image through the window at a friend's when I was doing a bird count. I had one land in my hand once, SO light. It was following the example of fellow Black-capped Chickadees, used to being fed by people.
    • HoosierBirds
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      HoosierBirds
      Happy Holidays from the Midwest! One of my favorite fall/winter birds is the White-Breasted Nuthatch. I love to watch them hop up and down the trees feeding on suet. This winter I also saw a group/convoy (I don't actually know what a group of songbirds official name is) of male and female Eastern Bluebirds sticking their heads in and out of a birdhouse. It was very interesting, and at the same time entertaining. (Random Fun Fact: a group of owls is called a parliament.) I will try to snap a picture of some kind of bird soon. Happy Bird-Watching!
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      A_Gib_2004
      Activity 3: I live in Northeast Iowa. A frequent favorite bird I enjoy to watch is the Black-capped chickadee. I love seeing them grab 1 seed from the feeder at a time. A favorite bird I only see in the winter-time is the red-breasted nuthatch. I have one that has come back each winter for 2 years now. It is so tiny and unique-looking!
      • HoosierBirds
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        HoosierBirds
        That is super cool! I have always wanted to see a red-breasted nuthatch, and I hope they keep coming back to your feeder!
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      A_Gib_2004
      Activity 1: I was drawn to the I'iwi bird of Hawaii. I used to live there, long before I became a birder. After listening to the song, I recognized it! I can't wait to go back to Hawaii, this time looking at and enjoying the birds!
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LindaCombs
      Activity 3: I live in a wooded suburb of Richmond, Virginia. I fell in love with the flute-like song of the wood thrush and it took me a while before even finding out what kind of bird I was hearing. I got binoculars to try and find it. For months I tried in vain. Finally, I saw it hopping on the ground. Maybe one day I will see it when it is singing on a branch, but it is in my area only from about March to September. I learned that it will raise young from eggs left in its nest by parasitic birds such as the brown headed cowbird. Therefore it wastes time it could be producing its own broods. Anyway, the wood thrush was a spring board for me to get interested in birding in general. -Linda
    • Jeannette
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jenwars
      CARDNAL CROPPED Greetings from Illinois.  My favorite bird is the Northern Cardinal.  The male is red and the female is fawn with grayish-brown tones with reddish tints.  The Northern Cardinal is a year-round visitor to our backyard feeder.  This photo was taken from my window on a snowy day.
      • Jane
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        janechese
        I love this bird. I heard it often when visiting my family in Ontario but only saw a flash of red once. It was hard to spot in the thick foliage of the deciduous trees.
      • Trish
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        TrishForster

        @Jane The Northern Cardinal is beloved in Canada because we don't have that many colorful birds , and it stands out so cheerfully in winter. In 2021, the citizens of London, Ontario (2 hours from Detroit) voted the cardinal as  the city's Official Bird.

    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Cyanocoraxyncas11
      IMG_1083 Este hermoso carpintero estaba alimentándose en el árbol que esta enfrente de la casa, cuando este hermoso árbol se llena de frutos, tenemos la fortuna de poder observar muchas especies, pájaros carpinteros cheje, charas yucatecas, luis bienteveo, centzontle tropical, una tarde llegamos a contar ¡cinco carpinteros cheje! Las Aves son increíbles. La pared de las aves es maravillosa, en una de nuestras visitas al laboratorio tuvimos la fortuna de coincidir con la artista, que estaba pintando un hermoso momoto. Fue increíble poder observarla trabajando con tanto talento, paciencia y pasión. Es una gran herramienta para aprender y compartir.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Amysatch
      Activity 1: I loved the Wall of Birds!! I especially liked that there were pictures and descriptions listed. The extinct birds gave a window to the past as well as variations of birds we see today!   Activity 2: I have seen mostly songbirds, but saw a heron the other day and regularly see red-tailed hawks!   My favorite bird is a Cardinal!7D31EEE1-E79A-454B-8E94-07D7DFFB715F_1_105_c
    • Vivian
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Vi7377
      FAD2A2A4-9515-4F62-8CA2-74989DB1FA05DF9D0420-DAE5-484E-9250-1BF3D1BBE371Greetings from Florida!  I had a rare visit from a Roseate Spoonbill and attempted to catch a quick photo.  The Great Egret is a regular visitor, but a joy to watch just the same.
    • Angela
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Patricia_Angel
      Hello everybody ! greetings from Colombia, South America. A wonderful country for birding.  I am a beginner, this is my first course in birding.   Activity 1: Favorite birds in the wall of birds: 1. Pelicans (in this case, american white pelican) this one I like because it brings me memories of a place in Colombia where I like to sit and watch them, it gives me a sens of peace. Just like the Aldo Leopold description mentioned “…descending in majestic spirals to the welcoming wastes of a bygone age.” 2. Barn Owls, I think it is amazing how can they actually recreate their location by hearing 3. Great Spotted Kiwi. A very rare bird, with its characteristics it looks like if it wasnt a bird or like a combination of mammal and bird. I also liked the description about how the female digs the burrow and the "mongamous mate" lines it with material so she can lay her eggs. Activity 2: Find birds—either outside, online, or in your field guide—from three different groups that you learned about in this lesson. The birds outside that I commonly see are the songbirds, humming birds and pigeons. Activity 3: Pick a favorite bird that you see in your neighborhood Zonotrichia capensis, is the most common bird where I live. I love them because they are everywhere, and because in front of my window there is usually one of them, singing. This is a picture I took :) copeton  
    • Margo
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      MargoHa
      When I'm in my yard south of Seattle, I love the Pileated Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers that some to eat the suet in my feeders.  Sorry, no pictures.  I love the orange color of the flicker's tail feathers.  I had an adult Pileated Woodpecker one day with a juvenile.  I watched as the adult taught the juvenile how to eat out of the suet feeder!! In the summer months, I volunteer as a beach naturalist.  I'm working to learn and identify Seabirds, Wading Birds, and Shorebirds.  I also live near a heron sanctuary; so it probably won't surprise you that the Great Blue Heron is a favorite of mine.Saltwater Local Fisherman (2)
    • Valerie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      yumanbean
      Hi, Val from USA hot southwest desert. A longtime favorite bird of mine is the verdin. It's an attractive little guy with a big mouth. Although quite at home in the harsh desert year-round, it has been kind enough to adapt to human settlement. I enjoy watching them around my home flit up, down and over chasing bugs. Also, they build nests that are unique and ingenious, kind of a hollow bag of twigs and fines with a hole in the bottom. Check them out. verdin
      • Alexandra
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        aames0545
        I've never heard of this bird before- it is seriously cool and very colorful! Thanks for sharing! -Alex, NY
    • CHRISTINE
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cjg4211
      Tucson Backyard in the last 10 minutes: Heard and saw a Gila Woodpecker on the palm tree, watched a Black-chinned Hummingbird chase a neighbor Hummingbird trying drink from 'his' feeder; heard a Lesser Goldfinch call near the thistle feeder out front.
    • Ross
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      roscoebyrne
      Magpie 2Magpie 3Magpie 1 Activity one & three G'day I'm Ross from Melbourne Australia This bird is a Magpie . You can hear them caroling especially at dusk.  They have a fearsome reputation for swooping on unsuspecting people on bikes especially during the nesting season :-) They are my favorite bird in my urban area. They mark out their territory  and will raise two to three young. When the young are fledged they stay with the parents for quite some time - you can often see them begging for food rather than foraging themselves. As juveniles they remain in the parents territory for at least twelve months before they are chased out to find their own territory
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mamabotanica
      I"m doing this course with my 8 year old son, Peter.  We are in Pasadena, CA on the West Coast of the  United States. We choose Anna's hummingbird.  They buzz all around our backyard.  The buzzing, like bees, is pretty cool and that they can hover. Sorry - they are too fast for us to get a picture!
    • gail
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      gailw64838
      Activity 1- I love the scissor tail!  In Texas their arrival coincides with my hot summers and their high wire antics greet me when I am on my front porch with my morning coffee.
      • Valerie
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        yumanbean
        It was a favorite of mine when I lived in Texas Hill Country. It's one of the things I miss most. That and fireflies.
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        cmillford
        i live in Canyon Lake and my favorite is also scissor-tailed flycatcher! I'll never forget the first time a saw one by the dam when i moved here. I had to know what it was....so cool.
      • HoosierBirds
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        HoosierBirds

        @Cindy You may have already known this, but the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher is the state bird of Oklahoma. I have never seen one, but I would like to one day.

    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      suefee
      Activity 3:  a favorite bird of mine is the blue jay.  I think they are beautiful.  For many years I did not see them often, but in the last few years I see them more frequently.  Lately I have seen them a lot at a bird feeder we have in our backyard.  The blue jay is definitely the most aggressive of the birds that usually visit our feeders.  They easily push off the house sparrows, cardinals, and woodpeckers which are often at our feeder and suet. As I writing this I can hear a couple of blue jays.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      suefee
      activity 2:  I live in the the suburbs of Washington, DC in Maryland.  This morning I took a long walk that went through several different types of habitats.  As soon as I closed my front door I head crows and heard and saw blue jays.  Then I heard and saw a couple of red shouldered hawks.   So I saw two groups of birds before I had gotten past my front lawn.   I then walked into a wooded area along a stream.   I heard Carolina Wrens, more Red-Shouldered Hawks and blue jays, and heard and saw Cardinals.  While I saw several birds I was not able to identify, I then saw an American Redstart and a Scarlet Tanager.   Next I walked into a public garden that has ponds.   I saw more song birds:  blue jays, a Gray Catbird, a Tufted Titmouse and a Red-eyed Vireo.  I also saw a mourning dove and then a green heron.   On the way home I heard a red-bellied woodpecker and saw a northern mockingbird.  In total I saw four groups of birds this morning which is unusual.   Usually on my walks I see songbirds and mourning doves.
    • Melinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mindy24503
      Activity #1 - I was drawn to the American White Pelican on the Wall of Birds because of its sheer size.  I recently took a trip to the Dakotas and was surprised to see a Pelican on display in one of the National Park visitor centers and was able to learn that the Pelicans breed inland and pass through the Dakotas. Activity #2 - On my outdoor walk through a natural forest/creek area, we saw a large collection of vultures on the ground.  We were not close enough to see if there was a carcass there, but I imagine that there was.  Vultures would fit into the Raptor group.  On our trip to the Dakotas, we saw a Western Meadowlark which I believe fits into the Songbird category.  Another bird we saw in the Dakotas was (I think) a pied-billed grebe - which would be a swimming bird/water fowl.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      suefee
      Activity  1:  looking at and exploring the wall made me think about some trips I have taken in the past and why I have decided to take the course after the events of the last year.  I thought of a family trip that we took about 10 years ago to Panama.  My daughter and I went white water rafting and on our way to the river we saw a toucan flying just as the sun was coming up.  I do not know a lot about birds, but that was one that was hard to get the group wrong.  I also looked at birds that I often see near my home.   We live near a public garden where I often see great blue herons.   I have become more interested in birds since I started taking early morning walks - something I have done as exercise during the pandemic when I have been working from home and not going to the gym.   I have found the bird song comforting on my walks and began to wonder which bird I was hearing.  I had never heard of a Carolina Wren until about a month or two ago.  I often hear them on my walks and see them in our backyard.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      btumbleson
      Activity 2 I often see Red-winged blackbirds (blackbirds) when walking around marshes, ponds, and lakes in Southwest Ohio.  I also see Great Blue Herons (herons) wading and fishing in similar waterways.  They are patient when fishing and majestic in flight.  It is a rare delight to see a pileated woodpecker (woodpeckers) come to our backyard feeder to investigate.  They are striking in size and coloration.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      btumbleson
      Activity 1 I like the call of the common loon.  I hear and see them when I am traveling near lakes in New Hampshire and Maine.  I have seen them flying and swimming and observed their platform nest from a distance.  Their chicks don't always survive although the entire New London, NJ Pleasant Lake community tracks and roots for them each year.
    • Frederique
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      FredRWild
      DSC03539I am living in Zimbabwe. The first one, I think, is part of the flycatchers or great flyers. I think it is a dark-capped bulbul. DSC00057 The second one is a paradise flycatcher.   DSC00060And the last one is part of the grouse. It is a purple-crested Turaco
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        cmillford
        love your photos!
      • Frederique
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        FredRWild

        @Cindy Thank you very much!

    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      indigobunting2015
      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
        cmillford
        your painting is wonderful!
      • Frederique
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        FredRWild
        I really love your paintings!
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      belabri
      We disturbed a great egret while kayaking on a river near Montreal, Canada. IMG_0979IMG_1855
      • Tal
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Talhartuv
        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: 22
      indigobunting2015
      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: 4
      bejaranoandrea
      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
      buyomars
      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: 22
      indigobunting2015
      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
      SylviaBalding
      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
      strawberry girl
      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
        buyomars
        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
      gretelt
      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
      Pandion60
      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
      Cyretha
      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
      liseinthegrove
      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: 1
      kateshnc
      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
      LadyintheLakewood
      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: 12
      Alanna25
      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: 17
      esimpson2020
      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: 17
      esimpson2020
      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
        diannejbl
        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: 17
      esimpson2020
      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
      msmallery
      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
      alanaschneider2114
      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
      CAwatcher10
      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
        buyomars
        What an incredible image you captured of that stork!! Would love to see a crane or a stork in person.
    • Danni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      zippydl
      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
        DLennon31
        I also love cedar wax wings! I have often seen them in large flocks during fall migration in NYC!
      • Gretel
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        gretelt
        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
      lm2h629
      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
        CAwatcher10
        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
      lmccoy
      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
      jcpeel
      • 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!
    • Kristie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      major88
      Wandering albatross, Diomedea Exulans, and the Yellow-billed Magpie, Pica Nuttali, are two of my favorites within the Wall of Birds. I live in California’s Central Valley and have encountered several family members of the Yellow-billed Magpie. My favorite is the Jay, specifically the California Scrub Jay. What makes this bird my favorite is when I am in my backyard. While hearing and observing them each individual bird shows its own personality unlike other bird species.   blue jayImage. California Scrub Jay. National Audubon Society.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sueteach55
      IMG_2012 copy I live near a river and at the edge of walnut orchards so I get to see a lot of wild life. This is a shot of one ospreys that have a nest that I have been observing while on walks. I watched them last year every day while we were in lock down as well as when they returned this spring.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sheck88
      On my first bird walk I saw two birds from the Finches group, an American Goldfinch and a Northern Cardinal; a Red-winged Blackbird from the Blackbird group; several Barn Swallows and two Tree Swallows and a mating pair of Orchard Orioles. I am not sure at this point in the course what group the Swallows and Orioles are in but my best guess is Other? I think all of the birds mentioned above are my favorite at the moment because I am so delighted by being able to ID them. I can’t wait to return to the wetland where I observed them and watch more of their behavior.
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      topilot
      I have been enjoying my backyard bird feeder and one thing that I notice is the Male Northern Cardinal seems to feed the Female. I have heard that this is very common. It seems that the Male feeds the Female as a way to attract her.JX1A5692-Edit   JX1A5693-Edit-Edit
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        sheck88
        Hi Tom! These are really amazing photos. How cool is it to see in detail their short thick bills. I can see how they are skilled seed eaters! Thanks for sharing!
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      topilot
      I recently was on a field trip to Deland Florida and was able to capture many photographs of the Swallowed-Tailed Kite. It is one amazing bird that swoops down on the water to take a quick drink. We had they "kettle" above us in large groups and circle down to our location. It was an amazing experience to see them! _X1A0852-Edit-Edit
    • Gabby
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GDan10
      I like redwing blackbirds, common grackles, and cowbirds. During late spring and early summer I love to watch robin hatchlings grow up.
    • Joseph
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      skafjoseph
      This is a royal spoonbill I saw in a pond not far from my house - I live in New South Wales, Australia. I just love the shape of his bill and his yellow-red eyes!   A1D49B18-565D-4EE3-8BEF-FAFFF23B317B
      • Gretel
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        gretelt
        Amazing photo! I love watching these birds feeding in the water ways around Melbourne.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        suefee
        What a fantastic photo.  I am so glad you shared it.
    • Wanita
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      HRHWanita
      20210605_23011220210605_225931 I watched this little guy digging in my mulch looking for bugs.  I believe this this is a Northern Flicker.  He has a red spot under his chin/beak area.  He didn't make a sound (too bad because he has a nice call).
      • Diane
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        dianeh01
        Great photos, Wanita! It's a really unusual looking bird!
    • Philip
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      PTse2800
      I hear this bird singing every morning in front of my neighbor’s house.  Out of curiosity, I used the sound ID trying to identify what kind of bird it is.  The result was an White-crowned sparrow.  But I am sure if it is the bird.12DD58A4-36D4-45D4-B5E8-B915BA8C14FE
    • Lois
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      wagnerlj30
      Just started but have identified 15 birds so far. I live in an urban area and most are at the feeders in the front yard (I love my Downy Woodpecker).  There is a nature preserve near  me with a lake. Saw a Great Blue Herron and. Barred owl.
    • Dominique
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      DominiqueDW
      Activity 1: Living in Malaysia, I couldn't avoid voting for the Hornbill! Their behaviour during breeding is incredible (the female remains enclosed in a natural cavity while the male provides food for her and the chicks). The Rhinoceros hornbill actually figures on the coat of arms of the state of Sarawak (on which the upturned curved "casque" on the hornbill's bill is somewhat exagerated!). I wanted to share the image here, but wasn't confident re copyright status.
    • Lawrence
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Ljb1229
      I have recently become fascinated with birds. As a retiree, I now have the time to pursue varied interests, and birds are definitely one of them. My wife has always had bird and hummingbird feeders, but we recently installed an advanced pole system in our backyard. As our subdivision is heavily wooded, we are drawing quite the traffic! I really enjoy sitting in the backyard and watching the feeder with my Merlin Bird ID app always ready to snap a picture. Thus far, I have twelve birds on my list. My favorite is the Pileated Woodpecker. We also draw quite the traffic in Downy Woodpeckers. The picture that I have included is from the five acre lake in our subdivision. This is the second year in a row that a family of geese have taken up residence. They started out with five goslings and it looks like three are going to make it to adulthood. Geese Family April '21 3
    • Debabrata
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dbaner
      Just Amazing. I was in Cornell last week . Found this online course . Great and thankful
    • Ashlee
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      sciencebaby2004
      I just moved into a new house that is a little less urban than where I was living.  I had been noticing a female Baltimore Oriole and so I put up a feeder with jelly.  I now have a male that visits the feeder every day!  They are gorgeous.  I like the Wall of Birds to show my 7th and 8th grade science students.
    • Lynette
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Assie1
      • 6FBD04E6-23DD-4E5F-9420-B54DC455DFBB50391449-6EEC-4F5E-AA9A-219940588A07A27315F8-5C6D-4328-9FEB-BC266F718154 I live in a farm and we always have birds in the backyard or by the ponds.  We have feeders in the backyard  year round because my husband has been serious birder for a few years and I’m learning a little from him.  Unfortunately, my vision only catches the bright colored birds.  With the pandemic this year, I got interested in bird photography hence the photos.  The 1st photo is a Short-eared Owl that came to stay with us from November to March.  One day, I was determined to get a photo inching my way to where it was perched by the fence and it allowed to me to get as close as maybe 4 feet in front on it.  There were w of them and they usually came out to hunt around 4 PM.
      • The 2nd photo is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird.  They are mostly the ones that come our way.  I love the way they buzz when they come to the feeder, they have their drink, look around then go perched somewhere then they come back and do the same thing.
      • ‘The 3rd photo is my all time favorite bird- Painted Bunting.  Like I said earlier, colors attract my eyes and this bird has all the colors I love.  We have been fortunate to have a few, nests at home so they are here from spring to about August.  I usually hear one singing in the backyard.
      • Diane
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        dianeh01
        Lynette, you are a wonderful photographer! I've never seen a Painted Bunting, but would love to! I live in MN and I think they are found more in the Southeast?
      • Raphael
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        buyomars
        I want to see a painted bunting in person!!!!!
    • Dennis
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      wager9
      DSC_0133189046143_172596951453945_7297227198414547698_n I picked two of my favs of recently. The Barred Owl is my favorite bird so far. When I found him it was in the woods and he was watching me before I was watching him. When the bins landed on him it was a jump for me as I did not know an owl was there. I thought it was a vulture lol. The Eastern Phoebe was a small, fun, cute bird near a lily pond and he posed for me for a bit and let me practice with my camera, which was awesome, as I am new to birding and wildlife photography.
    • Armando
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ArmAce3000
      IMG-7721 In this not so clear picture, is a Phainopepla! My favorite bird that I've seen in my neighborhood. When I first got my field guide and saw this bird, I thought I would never get to see such a cool bird where I live. Then to my surprise one day, I look up at one fly catching from this tree! I have never seen this bird in my life, and it was right there. It's large crest, red eyes, and black body are really cool to look at and that is why it is my favorite bird.
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Puk3ko5
      For the last year or so in the PNW, I kept seeing 'Blue Jays' and didn't realize that they were in fact Steller's Jays. When I see them there is usually a group of 2 or 4 that hang out together making noise. I enjoy watching them play (if that is what they are doing) and like their boldness.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pdavey2017
      Here in the Pacific NW, the first visitor to our new feeder was the  Chestnut - Backed Chickadee.  Being new to birding, it was SO exciting to see a few of them gathered at the feeder at one time.  I didn’t realize how messy our new feeder would be but, by the next few days, found quail scurrying around the feeder base as well.  Enjoy those seeds, y’all.
    • Carla
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Carla Ann
      Hi, we have whippoorwills at our house in the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania. (I'm listening to one right now as I type!) I had never seen or heard them before moving here about 7 years ago. I moved from near a lake in a valley about 30 miles away, but despite being relatively close, I still never heard one. They instantly became my new favorite bird, and still are due to their unique call, their litheness, and their cuteness! Amazing how such a little bird can create such a big sound! They're tough to get a picture of since they only come out at dusk and dawn. But, a couple times, when standing in our front yard in the evening, I've spotted one, and have had one or two swoop past me, around me, and do what appeared to be mid-air somersaults! I'm looking forward to learning more about them. I'm guessing they're in the songbird group? I look forward to hearing them late springtime every year!
    • Yvonne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      ydehass
      Yvonne Activity 1.  We needed to pick a bird and expand on it:  I've chosen the songbird,  Red Cardinal.  It has a beautiful song and sits on my porch railing and serenades me in the mornings.  There are several different bird feeders on my deck with various bird feed in them.  The Red Cardinal seems to enjoy eating out of more than one.   I didn't know it liked cracked corn until I read about it.  It really does like it and seems to visit it often.  Of course it is a beautiful red color with distinct black markings.  Really brightens up my day.        
      • Peggy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        pdavey2017
        F3504DF1-F1A7-4F71-A029-F5C65E42D8E5 This is a picture of the type of red-headed cardinals that we saw on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, in April.  So different .... and beautiful.  Enjoy!
    • Lorin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      birdherder
      IMG_2459This is a photo I took of a Eurasian Green-winged Teal at a nearby park. Waterfowl are my favorite birds; the common merganser is my 'spark bird'; the one that inspired my passion for birding.  I was on vacation at a lakeside house on the Oregon coast one chilly November and noticed that there were a lot of ducks. Then I looked a bit closer and said 'hey...those look like different kinds of ducks.' And there was a pair of binoculars and a Sibley's guide on a table by the picture window that opened onto the lake...and that was that.
    • Lee Ann van Leer
      Moderator
      Chirps: 81
      LilacRoller
      Reminder: For those doing Activity 2 and exploring birds online our Bird Cams are always hopping. Besides the live footage there is also plenty of fascinating archived footage.   Some interesting recent videos: An interesting video that teaches you the common species found at the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam   We hope you all keep enjoying birds!
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jjshannon
      This is a dark eyed junco nest that a mom made in a wreath that I have hanging on my front door! I have just recently moved back into my rebuilt home that was burned down to the ground in the 2017 CA fire. There were no birds here when we first moved back, but as I have put up bird feeders, baths and landscaping has come back, so have the birds. I think of this as my baby bird miracle. The only problem is we can't use our front door, LOL, but so worth it. Dark eyed junco chicks
    • Lydia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lydiharp
      Hi All, I really loved looking through the Wall of Birds and also through your posts. The Common Loon call reminds me of my childhood at the cottage and is still one of my favourite birds. It was nice to hear it again! Yesterday at a local park and pond I saw several Wood Ducks (Waterfowl), a White-breasted Nuthatch (Songbird) and two Downy Woodpeckers (Woodpecker).  I had planned to just go for a little bit, but four hours later I told myself I better go home and take a break. Anyone else find that time just flies (pun intended..haha) when birding? About a month ago I set up a bird feeder on the window of my work-from-home office.  After a few weeks, I was starting to get discouraged and wondered if I'd ever get any visitors. Last week some American Goldfinches discovered the feeder and they've been keeping me company ever since. I love watching how they arrive in little groups, each taking a turn at the feeder and looking for it when it's been knocked over by a squirrel.20210422_121210
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      yatesj1009
      The Wall of Birds is amazing! I very much enjoyed clicking on all different sizes of birds and reading about them, even those that are extinct. I particularly like the Cassowary and the Shoebill. Their appearance is fascinating! I saw many birds today from the different groups in this lesson. Three that I saw are red tailed hawks, house finches, and Anna's hummingbirds. I just love watching birds, and listening to their sounds as well! It's hard to pick a favorite bird but I have to choose a bird I saw for the first time yesterday at my feeder, a black-headed grosbeak. I was so excited to see a new bird at the feeder! There was a male and female and they came back to the feeder today as well. They are beautiful and have such big beaks! 20210418_181015 20210418_180817 I also want to mention how much I enjoyed reading the posts from other bird lovers out there. It's awesome knowing there are so many people who get excited about birds.
      • Beth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        bethinoko
        What an amazing bird feeder!  Did you make it yourself?
    • Karcsi
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tawny owl
      DSC_0023
      • Gretel
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        gretelt
        Great photo capturing the behaviour of a tree creeper going down a tree head -first!
    • Karcsi
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tawny owl
      DSC_0025Hi, I am Karcsi. I am 12. I love the local white breasted nuthatches that come to my feeder.
    • Glenda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      gmulac
      Our feeders and our neighbor's feeders bring in lots of birds. One of my favorites is a pair of Carolina Wrens. They actually nested in one of our deck side flower boxes last year. Before that, I had never even heard of them, let alone seen one. I am hoping they do the same this year. (Songbirds) Another favorite is Downy Woodpeckers. We have a male and a female that visit both our tube and suet feeders daily. I also had not heard of or seen a Downy Woodpecker before I started watching the feeders. (Woodpeckers) And lastly, I have always enjoyed Mourning Doves. We have between one and four that visit each day, picking up seed from beneath the tube feeder. They look elegant and make a wonderful cooing sound. (Pigeons and Doves)   wrenchick Carolina Wren almost ready to fledge last spring.
      • john
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        jfwilliams29
        We have lots of Carolina wrens in our back yard in Austin, Texas.  I love their plucky personalities and amazing determined loud singing!
    • Marcy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      greenmarcy
      I have found birds mostly in my yard.  The first is a songbird. I have a LOT of sparrows in my yard that I have come to learn are white-crowned sparrows. Another bird I saw while on a bike ride was a wild turkey-from the chicken-like group.  There was even a big Tom Turkey showing off his feathers.  My favorite part was his blue head. Another bird I saw in my yard was from the Hummingbird group.  It was an Anna's Hummingbird.  I was surprised to see it here in the late winter, but learned they hang around my area year-round.
      • Marcy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        greenmarcy
        I forgot to include my favorite!  It is so hard to choose just one! I will tell you an experience I had with a new one I enjoyed: I got a field guide for Christmas and was having fun looking through it.  I came across this cute little guy, a black-necked stilt.  I thought to myself-I'll never see him.  I've never seen anything like that around here.  Too bad, he's so cute. A few months later I went to a Nature Preserve near me to take a walk and look at birds.  Guess what I saw right there wading in the water?  Black-necked Stilts! And more than one! I was SO excited to see them! *sorry my camera didn't capture them very well 20210404_13075320210115_151143
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bkoivisto
      I enjoyed exploring the Wall of Birds and spent time reading about many of the birds families represented on it.  I hope to have the opportunity to see it in-person one day.
      • Marcy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        greenmarcy
        Me too!  Wouldn't that be fun!
    • joann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JDSjds
      Last year I monitored Bluebird Boxes for our county parks. I found tree swallows instead of bluebirds. I enjoyed observing and learning about their habits.  They were full of energy. This activity prompted me to take this course to learn more about other birds.
    • Lesa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lchilders
      My name is Nori. I am 10 years old.  My favorite bird from the Wall of Birds is the American White Pelican.  Pelicans eat fish. The white pelican scoops fish out of the water. My mom helped me with this. WIN_20210329_12_11_34_Pro (2)
      • Marcy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        greenmarcy
        Great picture, Nori!  I love the American White Pelican too!  I recently saw a few of them on a little lake I ride my bike near.  They are so pretty!
    • Lesa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lchilders
      Hi I'm Henry. I live in Merriam KS. I am 8 years old and I recently looked at the wall of birds and my favorite was the ospreyWIN_20210329_12_12_06_Pro (3)
      • Marcy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        greenmarcy
        Great job, Henry!
      • Julia
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Ju2575
        Hey Henry, love your drawing, it’s spot on!
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Hummingfig
      I live in Berkeley, CA and have been enjoying identifying many new birds, but my favorite is the Bushtit. Though not very distinctive in color, they are adorable and rich in personality, tiny butterballs of pure energy. I love how they blow through the yard in berserk little flocks, peeping away and flitting about from shrub to tree for a minute or two before cruising on to new destinations. I don't have a good pic of my own, so I borrowed this one from the web. 2347515661_aa294981ed_w
    • Penny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      pennyJo55
      Activity 3: Ever since I was a little child I have always celebrated the arrival of spring. My mother says she doesn’t know how I developed my fascination with the first day of spring! Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s not even that big of a transition out of winter! But now I have lived in Wisconsin for almost 40 years. The end of winter is a huge thing for me!! So every March I begin my American Robin watch. I make note in my calendar the first time I see a robin in my city, and again when I see one in my yard. It’s my own little victory celebration for surviving another winter.
      • Peg
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        PD Keehner
        My first read in this lesson was yours about the American robin. It brought back memories of my childhood too in celebrating the start of spring. My family would have a contest for seeing the first few robins in spring. We had a ritual to perform to make our sighting “count”. If we saw a robin we needed to kiss our thumb then take that kissed thumb and press it into the palm of the other hand. Next we took our fist and “stamped” it on the thumb kissed palm. As we did so,  who ever completed that routine first was the person who saw that robin.  It was lots of fun as a child, and we continued stamping robins for at least a few weeks. this year I did stamp the first robin and I can not wait to share the experience when our baby granddaughter grows up.
    • Penny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      pennyJo55
      Activity 2: my husband and I are brand new to birding. We are loving the Merlin app! Of course we have always been able to identify familiar birds in our neighborhood: songbirds such as robins, swimmers such as mallard ducks and Canadian geese, and woodpeckers. But we were excited to identify a common grackle, a blackbird, in our visit to a nearby state park yesterday. This is going to be a fun post-retirement hobby!
    • Clif
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Clif1f
      My favorite bird changes from day to day.   Actually, I have two favorites, very similar.  They are the Red-breasted Nuthatch and the White-breasted Nuthatch.   The first is the color.  Not many local birds have a lot of blue, so it makes them easy to identify.  I love the intensity of the blue in both varieties.  I like it that they are not shy.   I can get relatively close and watch for more than a few seconds before they fly away.  But most of all I like their climbing behavior.   They are as comfortable upside-down as upside-up.   While most backyard birds are active and persistent, the nuthatches seem so curious and thorough, looking at every crack from every possible angle.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 44
      CBMac7
      BD6A4BCA-E837-4757-88C3-C7BFA0704901EAC18B22-93E7-4C20-9EFA-4FBD7E66BD679D6E30CF-B1EF-4657-AF2B-21288A614CFAMy favorite bird this year has been a mating pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers that have been regular daily feeders in my front yard.
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      joyceames
      Curious to find out about the "beautifully colored bird" that my daughter spied while in Mexico, I research it and we both agreed that it probably was a turquoise browed motmot.  Finding it on the Wall of Birds, I learned that it has a really long forked tail that it swings back and forth like a pendulum while perching in trees watching for food.  Fascinating!Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 12.11.46 PM
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        DominiqueDW
        That’s an incredibly beautiful bird! Thanks for showing it.
    • Jacob
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jmh124
      IMG_8579IMG_8632 IMG_8598 as a new homeowner in southern Maryland ( grew up in Massachusetts). i have been seeing a lot of the same birds from childhood me and my mother loved identifying. I've focused a lot of time and energy to see what feeders work for who and during the colder months been making sure my juncos are well fed but i must say i love my wrens! something funny about a little brown golf ball flying through the wind . A lot of new birds have caught my eye and the most distinct are my pine siskins! for the longest time i had no idea who they were and of course had to make a phone call to ole mom who apparently knows all. I've utilized a lot of my deck space, hangers, garden space in the front yard and many of dollars spent at wild birds unlimited but I cant get enough. the kids get excited to see a bird now and we all watch and identify and do our best to get pictures! happy hunting!
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      trmdon
      70699458-2DCD-4903-AFD9-C7D3ECAA6F2A
      • Joyce
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        joyceames
        What type of bird is this little guy?
      • I’m going with molting Fox Sparrow!
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Nicholsa
      Activity 2 and 3: We saw surf scoters today! Along with Brandt’s Cormorants, and the ubiquitous (and my favorites) Buffleheads. Buffleheads-my favorite because of their up-then-down diving behavior- they are so cute! Greater and lesser scaups, redheads, and mersangers, bluebirds, Savannah and Song sparrows, ravens, red tailed hawks, white tailed kites, Anna’s hummingbirds. It was a lovely day for birding. PNG image
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        molinasb
        Hi Amy! I'm fascinated by your list - please tell us your location?
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      koliver
      IMG_2434 I'm very new to birding, and my current favourite bird is the ruby-crowned kinglet (zoom into the middle of the photo; my partner managed to get this with her phone). I also love the golden-crowned kinglet, but I love the cartoony eyes on the ruby-crowned. They are tiny and adorable and constantly moving, so incredibly hard to photograph, but I can usually count on seeing them at a park not too far from my house.
    • Chloë
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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: 5
      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: 7
      roxaneabbott
      E7F59316-A38E-49EB-8D86-52638E8DBF6F
    • Roxane
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      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: 7
      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: 47
      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.
      IMG_9383
      • L
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        brownmane
        Cardinals are my favourite winter bird.  Their bright colours always liven up a dull day.  I have a pair (male and female) who come to my backyard feeders.  I think the male has been in my area for a couple of years, starting as an immature male and finally finding a mate possibly just this year.  At least I like to think it is the same bird and that he has happily found a female.  I do know that cardinals are territorial and often an area is inhabited by one pair.  Not sure of area size though.
    • 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: 4
      alokkr
      IMG_2426
      • Alok
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        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: 4
      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: 2
      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: 47
        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: 4
        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: 6
      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: 4
      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: 4
      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: 5
      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: 5
        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: 127
      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: 127
      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: 3
      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: 4
      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: 3
      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: 7
      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: 4
      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: 3
      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: 3
        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: 34
      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: 5
      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: 3
      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 Afre Segui
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      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: 58
      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 a