With this being my first post on BirdingIsFun.com, I would like to thank Robert for bringing this awesome group of birders together to collaborate on this blog! I think we are all going to have a great time. I thought I would start by sharing the story of how I got into birding and why it’s now just about all I think about!
I started seriously birding ten years ago when I was 16, but I had been unwillingly birding for years before that. For as long as I can remember, my mom had feeders up at our house. She would always point out the usual backyard birds, so I knew most of those from an early age. Sometime in 1993, my mom went out birding for the first time. I didn’t really think much of it back then, but it has come to have an enormous effect on my life. Shortly after, my younger brother, Eric, decided that he wanted to go birding with her. He took an immediate liking to it and began studying birds pretty much nonstop.
That was the point at which the amount of time I would spend birding would increase whether I liked it or not. I didn’t have to go out birding with them around home but on family vacations, I didn’t have much of a choice. One of the first vacations that my family birded on was to Arizona. I never expected to do so much birding on a single family vacation. We started in the Tucson area and took a day trip to Sierra Vista. While the hummingbirds, coati, and scenery were pretty cool at Ramsey Canyon, I was generally unimpressed with birding and couldn’t understand how looking at birds and studying them was even remotely interesting.
Growing up, I also missed out on tons of great birding opportunities in southwest Florida. My family took annual trips to the Fort Myers Beach area, and for the first few years I had no interest in birds and birding. Fortunately, the repeated trips to the area slowly started to turn me into a birder. I eventually become fascinated by the large wading birds, especially Roseate Spoonbills! Those family trips in Florida were definitely my first days as a real birder and the first time I ever had an interest in starting to keep a life list.
|Black-throated Green Warbler|
I work for Wild Birds Unlimited, speak to kids at schools and camps about birds and birding, serve as Vice President of the Indiana Audubon Society, and run a birding blog and website called NuttyBirder.com. Quite simply, birding is one of the most important things in my life.
I look forward to sharing all of my birding adventures here on BirdingisFun.com!