Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

What was the bird that started it all?


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 DayPlover

DayPlover

    DayPlover

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 29 July 2011 - 06:06 PM

Hey, everyone!

I'm interested in hearing about which bird first got you hooked into birding.
Long, memory-filled monologues are allowed!

As for me, it was the Killdeer.



#2 creeker

creeker

    creeker

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,776 posts
  • LocationSan Diego County

Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:34 AM

I grew up in a small countryish town in Northern California. Once, when I was four years old, I accompanied my dad to a small market at night. We were going there to test some TV tubes on a tube tester machine, and buy some new tubes. When we were leaving, a white bird flew overhead, making that raspy hissing kind of screech.. My dad pointed up and said "Look, that's a Barn Owl!" The memory of that night is so vivid. My dad died less than a year later. I have been interested in birds as long as I can remember, and that is the first bird I remember.

#3 Mark Miles

Mark Miles

    Mark Miles

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 378 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:28 AM

When I was young I used to build models.  Cars, boats, superman busting through a wall, etc.  One day my mother bought me a model of a Scarlet Tanager.  All bright red and solid black, what a beautiful bird!  I've been interested in wildlife as long as I can remember.  A few years ago I decided I would make a real effort to find one of these beautiful birds for real.

 In a park in a nearby town there are supposed to be tanagers every year.  I went there to see if I could find one, just one!  I was off and running on this wonderful hobby but still couldn't find one.  Finally, after about three years I went back to that same park one day in early spring and stood in a spot I thought should be good to see a Scarlet Tanager.  After a while of seeing almost nothing at all I stopped, closed my eyes and simply asked God to let me see ONE Scarlet Tanager.  I didn't even need a picture, just a chance to see one for real.  I opened my eyes, walked a few feet and thought I heard what sounded like my prey.  A Tanager landed in a tree just 10 yards in front of me and stayed there for at least 15 minutes!  I was taking pictures like mad.  Constantly checking with my binos to see this gorgeous bird as close as possible for as long as possible before it went away.

  Since then I have found more Tanagers in several other parks in the area.  They still thrill me every time I see them.

  Scarlet Tanagers are the bird that started it all for me.

Mark



#4 cwj2323

cwj2323

    Defender of the American Robin

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,205 posts
  • LocationNear Central Iowa

Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:24 AM

As I seriously was thinking about this, it really is hard to say.  It wasn't really the first bird we ID'ed here in Iowa, as it didn't really start an interest in birding.  That was a Northern Flicker.  I cannot even say it was the Brown Thrasher, which brought me to this site.  There were/are the people here who were passionate. We have a 9 year old who really liked the birds.  He is always drawing them, photographing and reading about them.  He builds bird houses and feeders. His excitement  began rubbing onto the rest of the family. 

But you know, I think the bird that really gave me a passion for birding is the Wood Duck.  We had a male and female in our front tree early one Saturday.  It was like if we can have such a cool bird in our yard, what else is out there beyond our 9 acres?   Our yard list still far surpasses everything else, but slowly the gap is widening. 

This whole birding thing really has made us all so much more aware of our surroundings.  It is so amazing what we can see on a daily basis even if weeks pass and we never see a new bird.   We have so much to learn about our regular visitors that at this point, we cannot say there is a dull moment.  



#5 Harrier

Harrier

    Harrier

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 610 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:06 AM

I was working at a nature center when the naturalist mentioned that some hawk was eating the ducklings at the pond. I wondered what species of hawk it was, despite not knowing any species of hawks. I got a guide to raptors and discovered the wonders of hawks and owls. I heard that I might see hawks on a weekly bird walk in the local Arboretum, so I started going and learned other birds. I've been going on strong for over 6 years. By the way, I think the hawk was a Red-tailed, but there's also a summering Cooper's as well. Our neighborhood is full of hawks.

#6 Sandycat

Sandycat

    Sandycat

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 46 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:15 AM

I've always loved animals, but I was never too interested in birds.  I had a parakeet growing up and he was cool, but I really liked learning about mammals.  Then a few months ago I found a book at a discount store about the relationship between birds and dinosaurs.  I thought it sounded interesting, so I bought it.  After I read it, I thought it was crazy that we have these little dinosaurs all over the place.  Heck, I even feed them!  So I started researching birds, which are really pretty amazing animals.  Then Mr. and Mrs. Peepers moved in.  They were the two killdeer who raised a family in my yard.  They really got me hooked.  So I'm brand new, only a few months in the hobby.  I'll tell you, its amazing how birding has opened my eyes to all the beauty around us.


#7 DayPlover

DayPlover

    DayPlover

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:44 PM

Wow. I wish I had the same kind of powerful first experience as the stories I'm reading here.

I've always been into animals, especially mammals, but I was somewhat uninterested in aves as a child. However, a pair of loud, noisy birds became my Grandma's next door neighbors. Unlike most other birds, they would run along on the ground, peeping. And, unlike most birds, I could get so close! Finally, I decided I didn't want to call them "the birds" anymore and I researched online. I discovered they were Killdeer.

Over the years, my Grandma placed a feeder outside and I became increasingly interested in the birds. I got to know them personally and I was amazed at the variety and beauty of the animals living in my own backyard. Now everytime a chickadee calls, I can't help but smile. And the mourning doves always bring a tear to my eye. In a way, birds also opened my eyes to how awe-inspiring creation is.

Now birding is a joy to me. I'm very glad those Killdeer decided to move in.



#8 BGorm

BGorm

    BGorm

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 72 posts

Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:26 PM

Great Post  .. For me it was the American Goldfinch .. I thought someones pet bird escaped .. Since then I have been birding .. I try to get out as much as I can .. Nothing like walking in the woods .. fields .. And wondering what you might see next.

 

Brian



#9 JimBob

JimBob

    Little SuperBirder

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,769 posts
  • LocationSan Diego County

Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:50 AM

Mine was the Northern Flicker, love them so so much!


#10 paulkienitz

paulkienitz

    paulkienitz

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 519 posts
  • LocationAmerican Canyon, CA

Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:36 PM

When I was a photographer with film, I never bothered to try to photograph birds, because it was just hopeless technically, or at least financially due to the quantity of film waste that would be required.  Then when I finally got a DSLR, I found I could actually get shots of critters that just weren't manageable before.  This was especially brought home by a pair of red-tails that decided to soar over me for several minutes just a week after I first got the camera.  Interest in identifying birds definitely came after interest in photographing them.

The colorful wild turkeys where I was living didn't hurt, but I think those two red-tailed hawks get the credit.



#11 stewie

stewie

    stewie

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts

Posted 17 August 2011 - 04:12 PM

When we retired we moved from the city to a rural setting. I started noticing brightly colored birds that I had never seen in the city. I had no idea what they were and couldn't see any detail as they flew by so quickly. One day we were sitting in a park in town and noticed a black and white bird scurrying up and down a tree trunk, then watched as it hung up side down from a tree branch. We were very intrigued. 

We found out it was a White Breasted Nuthatch.

Since then we have been avid bird watchers. We started off with one seed bell in our tree, we now have up to 6 feeders out and get many different birds coming to our feeders.  



#12 ivmeer

ivmeer

    ivmeer

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 231 posts
  • LocationPawtucket, RI

Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:38 AM

The Baltimore Oriole.  I was on a date with my husband at a nice restaurant when I had to excuse myself to take an important phone call, and I was standing outside of the building in my finery when a male Baltimore Oriole flew by and landed in a nearby tree.  It was so flashy and bright, it looked like it belonged somewhere in the tropics, not in suburban Massachusetts.

I wasn't sure what it was, so I searched on Whatbird.  I've always been relatively interested in birds, and I used to watch them out the back window of my grandparents house with my grandfather when I was a little girl, but that was what inspired me to make a life list and get a field guide.



#13 roundywaves

roundywaves

    roundywaves

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,477 posts
  • LocationAlbany, New York

Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:13 PM

Nice thread!

We had previously lived on a postage stamp lot with no trees in a desertish area of Colorado and the only birds we saw at our home there were a robin and a northern flicker.

After we had lived in New York for little over a year, I was spending a good deal of time outside in the spring with my young children.  Our new yard had trees, including old apple trees, wild grasses and flowers and part of a neighborhood forest.  I noticed an eastern towhee.  I had never seen anything like it before.  I looked it up and started feeding the birds.  And have been hooked since.  Although, I have learned enough to know when to feed the birds and what kinds of food attract the birds I am interested in.  And I have also had time to plant flowers and trees that attract birds.

 



#14 lyceel

lyceel

    Order of the Green Heron

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,320 posts
  • LocationLos Gatos, CA

Posted 19 August 2011 - 03:29 PM

I've been into photography for a while now, and I always liked wildlife.  As far as birding, it was somewhere between the Ospreys that I saw on boat rides with my family and the Green Heron that I use for my avatar that I decided to start birding seriously.  I spotted the Greenie on a boat trip around Lake Okeechobee.  I had read a book about Florida's waterbirds the day before, so I knew exactly what it was.  I also had my camera with me.  That was Thanksgiving 2008.  After that Christmas, I was on my way back home from my folks' place and decided to check out Merritt Island NWR (I'd read about it in the Florida waterbirds book too).  I saw my first Sora there, but I didn't know what it was at the time.   While I was searching the web trying to figure out what it was, I came across this site called whatbird.com.  That was it.



#15 Callie Cat

Callie Cat

    Callie Cat

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 282 posts

Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:25 AM

It was either a grackle I took a photo of in Death Valley 20 years ago or a common yellow throat I saw about a year and a half ago.  The grackle was a good shot of a relatively tame, but common looking bird, the yellow throat was a common shot of a really cool looking bird.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users