It’s hard to believe that ten years have already passed since the launch of Because Birds, my website dedicated to birdwatching and all things avian. What started as a humble Tumblr blog has grown into a full website with a following of bird enthusiasts around the world. Today, we celebrate the website’s 10th anniversary and take a look back at the journey so far.
The early days
Back in early 2013, Because Birds grew into a popular Tumblr blog with a focus on sharing beautiful bird photos, interesting facts about different species, and hilarious bird memes/videos. I then dove (no pun intended) headfirst into birdwatching and wanted to create a space where others could share in that enthusiasm. With a simple layout and a few regular contributors, the blog began to gain traction, attracting a growing audience of bird lovers.
From Tumblr to a full website
A few months later, Because Birds relaunched as a full website, complete with a custom domain and a sleek new design. With the new platform, I was able to expand on the site’s content, offering more in-depth articles on birdwatching techniques, and the latest ways to incorporate new technology into the hobby. Today, Because Birds has become a great resource for birdwatchers, from beginners to those looking to enhance their experience through recording or photography.
My first post: Participating in the Christmas Bird Count
With the San Fernando Valley Audubon, I particiapted in the annual “bird census” which is conducted by chapters of the National Audubon Society and birdwatchers all across North America. I wrote about the history and purpose of the count, as well as tips for how to participate and what to expect. It highlights the importance of citizen science in bird conservation and encourages readers to get involved in this fun and meaningful event.
The impact of technology
One of the biggest changes in the birdwatching world over the last decade has been the impact of technology. Thanks to apps, websites, and citizen science platforms like eBird, birdwatching has become more accessible than ever before. Whether you’re looking for tips on where to find rare species, or simply want to share your latest birding adventures with a global community of enthusiasts, technology has made it easier to connect with other bird lovers and get the most out of the hobby.
Most popular content
Over the last ten years, Because Birds has published a wide range of articles, from my birding hotspot experiences, to gear reviews, to bird-related DIY projects. However, some of the most popular content has been surprising. The “What Kind of Duck Are You?” personality quiz has been a massive hit with readers, as has the article on the often overlooked Muscovy duck. The post on gear setup for birdsong recording has also been popular, as well as the fun tech project on building a digital backyard bird chirp counter.
I believe in transparecy and you can see all of my website metrics right here! I moved from Google Analytics to Plausible Analytics last year and have loved it.
Sharing my birding experiences
One of the things that has made Because Birds so special over the last decade has been the opportunity to share my birdwatching experiences with readers from around the world. From local birding hotspots in San Antonio to exotic destinations like Cancun, Mexico, and Greece, I’ve been fortunate to see a wide range of fascinating species and capture their beauty through photos, videos, and recordings.
Locally, I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences at some of the best birding spots in and around San Antonio. Medina River Natural Area is a particular favorite, with its miles of hiking trails and the chance to see dozens of species in their natural habitat. Pearsall Park is another great location for birding, with its mix of open fields, and wooded areas attracting a variety of species year-round. And of course, Cibolo Nature Center is a must-visit spot for any birder in the area, with its diverse range of habitats and over 100 species of birds regularly seen.
Beyond San Antonio, I’ve enjoyed traveling to some awesome locations for birding. In Cancun, Mexico, I spent time searching for Chachalacas, Kiskadees, and Turqouise-browed Motmots in the jungle surrounding the city. In Greece, I was pleased by the variety of birds you could find in the crowded urban areas of Athens and islands like Santorini. And closer to home, I’ve explored birding hotspots in, California, Colorado, and throughout Texas, always looking for new species to add to my life list.
Fun technology projects
One of the most popular projects I set up has been the BirdNET-Pi station, which I detailed in a blog post. This project involves using a Raspberry Pi to continuously record bird sounds in your backyard and automatically identify the species using the BirdNET deep learning algorithm. It’s a great way to learn more about the birds that visit your yard and contribute to citizen science efforts.
Another project I’ve had fun with is my Digital Backyard Bird Chirp Counter. This project involves using a simple sound detection module to count the number of bird chirps in your backyard and display the data on a digital counter. It’s a great way to get a sense of the activity level of birds in your area and learn more about their behavior.
Finally, I’ve created a live BirdNET-Pi dashboard that integrates the data from my BirdNET-Pi station with my website (see below). This dashboard allows us to see real-time data on the bird species identified in our backyard, as well as charts and graphs tracking the activity over time. It’s a great way to share the feather visitors in my backyard with my readers and get them excited about the possibilities of bird-related tech projects.
New website projects
In addition to my bird-related tech projects, I’ve recently launched two new website projects. The first is my personal wiki, birding.wiki, which I use to document interesting birds I see and birding places I visit. This wiki allows me to organize my birding experiences in a way that’s easily accessible and searchable. It’s a great resource for me to look back on and also for other birders to learn more about the birds and places I’ve explored.
The second project is a smaller spinoff blog, birding.blog, which I use to share smaller experiences and other bird-related thoughts. This blog allows me to share more informal content and connect with my readers on a more casual level. Whether I’m sharing an interesting recording of a bird I saw, or dissecting which bird species I heard screaming in a song I like, I’m excited to use this platform to share my love of birds with others.
As Because Birds celebrates its 10th anniversary, I’m excited to continue sharing my passion for birdwatching with readers around the world. Whether it’s exploring new birding destinations, testing out the latest gear, or incorporating new apps while birding, I’m committed to making Because Birds a go-to resource for bird enthusiasts of all levels.
Here’s to another ten years of birding adventures and discoveries!