There are many ways we become birders. Some of us may be born into it while others become birders late in life. There are many species that are “trigger” birds: Blackburnian Warbler, Painted Bunting, Roseate Spoonbill, or the awe-inspiring Bald Eagle.
Here is the winning entry of our contest, the defining moment when Lisa, from Refuge Watch, knew she was a birder.
When I was growing up, I loved animals, but I often made fun of birders, since I didn’t understand the fascination with all the different species. To my young eyes, a lot of the birds seemed to look the same.
But then I became interested in a local national wildlife refuge that hosted hundreds of waterfowl each migration season and was also home to a large population of nesting bald eagles. Seeing bald eagles fishing and playing over the marsh was an inspiring sight that began to fuel my interest in other birds — including birds in my own neighborhood.
While at home one afternoon, I noticed that the bushes outside my bedroom window seemed to attract a large selection of birds. Although these species weren’t as majestic as the bald eagles, they were interesting nevertheless, and I began photographing them through my bedroom window. Soon I had photos of chickadees, titmice, mockingbirds, blue jays, cardinals, and finches â€“ sometimes with their chicks in tow.
Suddenly I realized I had become a birder! From that point on, every bird was of interest, whether I had my camera or not. And it all started with a trip to my local wildlife refuge.
Lisa wins the amazing book, Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide. Congratulations!