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Wed Feb 14, 2018, 10:51 AM

what was your first bird?

I've been on DU for a while, but didn't realize they had a birding group until just now.

Random question for fellow birders - what was your first bird? I don't necessarily mean the first bird you ever saw (probably house sparrow or pigeon for most of us) - I mean the bird that got you started in the avocation.

I can still clearly remember the bird that did it for me - white-breasted nuthatch. During my freshman year in college, I was snowed in with my grandparents (who lived in the same town as my university) for Thanksgiving break. They had feeders set up in their back yard. I was struck by the handsome blue-gray and white bird that scooted along tree trunks and came in for suet. My grandparents had an old copy of Peterson's field guide, so I looked it up. A red-breasted nuthatch showed up later that day, and the fact that two such striking birds could be found in a populated area really grabbed me.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply what was your first bird? (Original post)
cab67 Feb 2018 OP
femmocrat Feb 2018 #1
CrispyQ Feb 2018 #2
cab67 Feb 2018 #6
Lindsay Feb 2018 #3
DownriverDem Feb 2018 #4
TuxedoKat Feb 2018 #5
LakeArenal Feb 2018 #7
WhiteTara Feb 2018 #11
elleng Feb 2018 #8
Chipper Chat Feb 2018 #9
PearliePoo2 Feb 2018 #10

Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 10:56 AM

1. I found this group via a recommendation from a fellow gardener!

This probably sounds silly, but it was a junco!

When we bought our first house (1970s), I put up a bird feeder on the deck. I didn't know what those cute little gray birds were, so I bought a Golden Field Guide, "Birds of North America" for $5. It's still my favorite ID source. It has travelled on so many vacations with us!

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 10:59 AM

2. In order:

1. backyard chickens on my grandfather's little farm - He got some chickens when I was five. They were delightful creatures & would follow us around the farm, but especially liked when we gardened. That's how I first got interested in birds.
2. robins
3. blue jays

Now I hike with a woman who knows just about all species of bird, flower, & grass.

I remember the first time I saw a Peterson's field guide.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:14 AM

6. I ran out and bought one soon after that Thanksgiving break.

It opened my eyes. I had no idea there were so many warblers. There were groups I'd never heard of -
storm petrels, vireos, thrashers, and many more. And sea ducks? Ducks that actually lived on salt water?

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:03 AM

3. Warblers.

I lived near Cleveland, OH, about a mile from Lake Erie. And it turned out that my back yard was on the spring migration flight path for warblers. That was when I got my Peterson's. I was especially fond of the American redstart and the black-throated blue warbler - such pretty birds.

I have since moved further south, and the white-breasted nuthatch is my favorite among the birds that come to my feeder. They're such good little acrobats!

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:05 AM

4. Parakeet

His name was Bart. I've had many since then. The latest one is named Sparky.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:07 AM

5. I couldn't say

I remember a small field guide to birds showing up at our house when I was young and as I was an avid reader I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading about the birds. When I was about 11, I started getting up really early to go birding with my sister. Probably the birds I was most intrigued by from the book were the Barn Owl and the Indigo Bunting. I thought I saw an Indigo Bunting when I was young but years later realized it was actually a Mountain Bluebird instead.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 11:35 AM

7. I was born this way.

Just is.... Love me a red-bellied Woodpecker. We named him Buddy. She is Buddette.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:09 PM

11. Woody and Winifred are the names

of our Red bellied Woodpeckers.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:15 PM

8. MAY have had a canary. Sorry I can't ask Dad.

First NAMED bird = TWINKLE! Parakeet. In Brooklyn. Didn't really get 'into' birds until last few years when moved to house at a river, and have osprey nest adjacent. NOW awaiting their return from their vacay in southern climes!

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:53 PM

9. Green parakeet named Barney.

He had a lengthy vocabulary. One time he got out and I had to climb up a silver maple tree to get him. To my surprise he hopped right on my finger.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:58 PM

10. Lucky me! Built a large pond on my property in the woods.

So delighted when I saw a pair of ducks land on the new pond. Got the binoculars out and, what the hell are those ducks? Bought a book, looked them up and...they were the incredibly beautiful Wood Duck! Started feeding them grain, built nesting boxes and year after year they return and hatch out their babies. Ive been hooked on birds ever since! Im also fortunate to watch an Osprey fish for trout in the pond each summer to feed their chicks! I also see Bald Eagles nearly daily! Lucky, lucky me! K&R

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