I have been a bird-lover all my life. When I was younger, the birds I knew were Robins, Blue Jays, and Mockingbirds. They were common in Western PA, and they fascinated me. Every year, Robins would build a nest in the maple tree on the side of our house. It was so much fun to climb that tree and look at the eggs and babies, and wonderful to see them launch out on their own, tentatively at first, but then with more confidence. We always had Wild Turkeys in the back yard in the fall. Their colors mixed with the bright colors of the leaves–although the red on their heads and necks did make them stand out a bit. In the winter the Cardinals brightened up the white snowy landscapes.
I honestly never paid much attention to the other kinds of birds until I moved to Florida. Then, I was surprised by Wood Storks, Egrets, Great Blue and Little Green Herons, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, White Ibis, Florida Scrub Jays, Great Horned Owls, Eagles, Brown Pelicans, Ospreys, and many more I can’t remember. Florida is an amazing place for birds. They are so different from birds in other places.
Then I moved to Texas and found Cedar Waxwings, Painted Buntings, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Carolina Chickadees, House Finches (who built nests every summer in the wreath on my front door), Roadrunners, Flickers, and many more.
Now I live in Colorado and I have found tons of new birds. I’ve seen Dark-eyed Juncos, Bullock’s Orioles, Barn Owls, Canadian and Cackling Geese, Western Scrub Jays, Yellow-rumped Warblers, American White Pelicans, Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teals, Gadwalls, Coots, Northern Harriers, Kestrels, Meadowlarks, Clark’s Nutcrackers, Stellar’s Jays, Lark Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, many kinds of Gulls and Sandpipers, Western and other species of Grebes, tons of Hawks (Swainson’s, Red-tailed, Furreginous), Killdeer, White-faced Ibis, Mountain Bluebirds, a variety of Hummingbirds, various Mergansers, Black-capped Chickadees, and so many others. Whew! My fingers are out of breath!
Birds bring joy to my life every day. When I hear the songs of the Meadowlarks in the mornings, my day starts off with a bright outlook. The variety of bird’s colors, sizes, shapes, and songs is amazing to me. When I go for a walk, I always take my camera with me so I can take photo memories of the birds I see.
I share this love of birds and nature with my grandson, and he is better at identifying some birds than I am! He walks with me, taking along his binoculars and camera.
I am so grateful to have been able to experience the joy of seeing and identifying so many species of birds in many different parts of the country. And I am so thankful to be able to share that love with my family and others (through words and pictures).