Beginning Birding with Nancy Frozen
What's so fun about birding? Nancy Frozen, Master Naturalist and Bird & Nature Outing guide shared her thoughts. Nancy says, "Birding is fun and challenging to look for those flighty, skittish birds and remember shape, size, color, beak, songs, and calls. Like learning a new visual and oral language." She goes on to say, birding can be done with just a walk in a park or with just a few simple tools. Although not required, she recommends bringing binoculars, a bird ID book, and a notebook or have an ebird application on your phone, to record what you see and hear.
Birds appear at different times of the day. On a recent afternoon walk through Owen Conservation Park Nancy spotted these birds and provided a few tips to help you get started in your birding adventure.
Song Sparrow - usually singing in the open prairie areas
Robins - all over, notice what they are up to, eating, preening, nesting, looking at you!
Goldfinch - can't miss the bright yellow in the prairie
Tree Swallows - beautiful metallic blue with white bellies. Also in the prairie
Red-Winged Blackbirds -by the retention ponds
Crows -all around with their raucous caw cawing
Red-Bellied Woodpecker - In the trees usually on the dead branches has red on its head
Chipping Sparrow - usually on the path looking for some gravel or seeds
Northern Flicker - in the trees, Robin size, brownish with a black bib on the front
Gray Catbird - in the low shrubs on the prairie edge or in the woods. Listen for its "meow"
Downy Woodpecker - small black, white, little red on the trees
Cardinal - bright red in the trees with its "What Cheer, What Cheer" call
Bluejay - sounding the "jay, jay" alarm in the trees
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker - a little smaller than the red-bellied woodpecker with black and white stripes on its face and neck
Eastern Bluebird - sitting on its nesting box or near it on the prairie edge
Turkey Vultures - flying in the sky above the prairie, typically a v-shaped wing flight
Black and White Warbler - small black and white bird near the upper branches of the tree
While discovering birds, look to see what they are doing. Are they flying? Or showing off for their mate? Perhaps they are nesting or gathering nesting materials? They may be feeding their young birds, singing, scolding, looking for food, eating? Be observant in your birding adventure and spot something amazing!