What Was Your “Spark Bird?”

beginner birder

Everyone gets into birding differently: some picked up the hobby from their parents or grandparents, others went from constantly stalking and feeding pigeons to finally going on an Audubon-led bird walk (like myself). I moved here to California and started seeing these adorable tail-pumping birds, called Black Phoebes, everywhere. My SO encouraged me to look online for other birders to go out with so I can learn identification and begin bird photography. A quick look on meetup.com and the rest is history.

I asked you guys on Tumblr what got you into birding, or which bird was the one that caught your eye and piqued your interest to learn more about birds. Here are some of your responses:

beginner birder audubon

image credit | Audubon.org

I had a few birds that qualify, but the Eastern Kingbird stands out. A pair lived just outside my apartment window in WI. I love its squeaky little call, and it does this cute tail pump too. 😀 They don’t live out here, and I miss them a lot.  nylorac15

 

Beginner Birder - english house sparrow

Photographed by me at Apollo Park in Lancaster

I’m sure my friends will groan at this comment, but the House Sparrow is what got me hooked. I know it’s considered a “pest” to some birders, but I happened to see the little bird hopping and chirping about whenever I was feeling down and it always lifted my spirits. –amarlo

 

beginner birder, herring gull

image credit | allaboutbirds

For me it would be the Herring Gull- probably the first wild bird I ever actually touched. They come into the conservatory sometimes to eat the dog food, but sometimes they can’t find their way back out again and they get stuck. I just pick them up and put them outside again. But when I was little, the first time I picked one up was one that was exhausted and slightly injured after a storm. My dad nursed it back to health and it seemed gigantic when we let it go- I held its muscular body gently and I felt the power in its wings when it flew away from me, never looking back, dissappearing back to the sky and the sea where it belonged. It blew my mind to think that the fragile white ghosts we see hanging in the wind and the grey-backed pests we chase away from our bins are so majestic. It still does, every time I remove one from the conservatory. –beau-diddly

 

American Crow, beginner birder

Photographed by me in Malibu

I always liked birds, but mine would have to be crows. More specifically Andeg the american crow, and Ossie the fish crow. (RIP Oz I love you)

I go to a wildlife refuge, and most of the animals there crave human attention. (The ones that guests can see are all unreleasable.)

There’s other birds that I love, but it was the crows that started it all. –scalenelovetriangle

European Starling, beginner birder

Photographed by me at Apollo Park

Starlings. I saw my first murmuration at my family’s home when I was in high school. The best part is educating folks of this phenomenon. Starlings are quite common here so it’s nice to point them out and describe their beautiful sky-dance. –fishesandhoney

Grey Catbird, beginner birder

I always loved birds, but when I started walking through a park on my way to work each morning, I started seeing lots of birds I’d never noticed in the city before – grey catbirds, song sparrows, dark eyed juncos and plenty others. –atheologist

Blue parakeet, beginner birder

My parents offered to buy me a pet budgie, and ever since then I have loved budgies! I’d say that there are a lot of things about them that make them amazing, but their cute, playful nature was definitely something I related to. 😀 –ninjabudgie

What bird or event sparked your interest and passion in birds? Let me know below!

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Jeffrey Mann

Author: Jeffrey Mann

A late-20s birder living in Los Angeles. Enjoys birding on the weekend, and loves checking out new areas in SoCal for opportunities to photograph wildlife. When not obsessing about birds, you can find him cross stitching or playing Nintendo games.

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