My first year of birding

2021 was the year that I got into birds. I spent the whole year looking for birds, trying to identify as many as I could. It all started with the pair of cardinals that nested in my backyard. I became obsessed with my little cardinal family.

I learned about lots of different birds that I didn’t know anything about. I took pictures of every bird that I identified. They were all taken with my phone and many are blurry and zoomed in a bunch. I use the Merlin app to help me identify the birds.

I started going to the bird store. I bought bird feeders and baths to draw more birds to my house. I planned special outings, both in town and on vacation, to look for birds.

I only counted birds that I saw in the wild, was able to take a picture of, and was able to identify to the best of my ability. I ended the year with 56 different wild species added to my life list in Merlin, and 3 domestic species that don’t count in Merlin. Here is my 2021 list of birds:

Black-bellied whistling ducks in my neighborhood
Mute swan at the country club
Mallard ducks
Bottoms up. A ring-necked duck.
Female lesser scaup, I think.
Anhinga, flying through the sky.
Laughing gull
Wood stork in the sky
Great blue heron
Snowy egret in my neighborhood
Little blue heron on Amelia Island
Tricolored heron in Orlando
Blurry pic of cattle egret
Green heron on Amelia Island
White ibis
American coots at University Lake
Wild turkeys in Great Smoky Mountains national park
Rock pigeon
Mourning dove
Turkey vulture
Only identified this as an osprey, because the boat guide told me so. It was very far away.
Mississippi kite in my backyard
Ruby throated hummingbird in my backyard
Really faraway picture, but a red-headed woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Blue jay
Eastern kingbird at University Lake
Loggerhead shrike
Brown thrasher
American robin
Cedar waxwing at Hilltop Arboretum
Song sparrow (I think) at Velvet Cactus
House finch
An indigo bunting in Pigeon Forge
Red-winged blackbird
Brown-headed cowbirds
Common grackle
Boat-tailed grackle
European starlings
Pekin duck
Domestic geese

I wonder what birds I will find in 2022!

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