Try a new hobby for Earth Day

There are, supposedly, about 45 million birders in North America. Are you one of them? If not, you might want to consider becoming one on Earth Day this year.

Birdwatching is a (mostly) relaxing and joyous affair. I say “mostly relaxing” because if you want to spot warblers, it’s a great lesson in frustration. The only thing that rivals the frustration is trying to photograph said warblers.

Here are some in my area that are my favorites…

The Chipping Sparrow is a tiny, spunky thing, like the Chihuahua of the bird world.
Common Grackles have stark yellow eyes and an iridescence that’s mesmerizing…or scary, depending on your mindset.
House Finches are common and ubiquitous but they have a certain charm, especially when you catch them in a pensive pose.
The Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker is an unusual Woodpecker in that it tends to ground feed (but it’s not a bottom feeder because it’s not a politician).
White-crowned Sparrow are one of the more easily recognized sparrows, even I can ID them easily. Of course, newer (or drunk) birders could sometimes still confuse them
for White-throated Sparrows

If you’re really lucky, you’ll spot the majestic Pileated Woodpecker. And if you’re really, really lucky, it’ll actually show up at your suet feeder and make short work of your supply.

Ms. Pileated getting her fill, and then some.

Or, maybe a pair of identical, stunning Red-headed Woodpeckers will visit, too. I can never get enough of their stark coloration and strong personalities.

“Yo, lady! If you keep staring at us, we’re gonna have to charge you for it.”

If you’re a birder already, what are some of your favorite local birds? Tell me!

15 thoughts on “Try a new hobby for Earth Day

  1. Today is a great day to promote birding as a hobby. I see it in many MG novels. I like to promote the Christmas bird count and backyard bird counts. I am a backyard birder. Too hard to get out into the woods. We have a lot of cardinals, robins, white-throated sparrows. I hear owls at night, but haven’t seen them during the day. Mice photographs!

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  2. Thanks, Pat! I mostly bird around the house, too, unless we’re traveling. I’m too lazy/busy to wander far. LOL! Yes! Participating in the Christmas and Backyard Bird Counts are great ways to get involved and immersed in the hobby.

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  3. Sparrows, pigeons and starlings are ubiquitous in the city, but I see and hear cardinals, blue jays, crows, robins, mockingbirds, flickers, mourning doves, hawks, and seagulls out my window and on the surrounding roofs. In the parks I’m always seeing new birds too. A pileated woodpecker would be a treat–I’ve only seen red-headed ones. (K)

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  4. Sounds like you have a nice mix and interesting variety! I hope you’ll see a Pileated soon. Sometimes, they can be shy. We have Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers here but I have never seen one, only the holes they leave as evidence on trees (they have distinctive drilling patterns).

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  5. Great photos! I’m a fan of Cedar Waxwings. But I love watching blue herons stalk gophers. They’re so patient. We started “watching” birds in southern Africa a long time ago. The. crested berbet (looks like a 1920s flapper) being a favorite along with so many weavers and rollers, plus kites that would swoop down and steel the food off your plate while you were walking.

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