I recently dusted off my bird life list, organizing it by species and counting only American Birding Association countable species. Like most birders, I enjoy keeping track of the birds I’ve seen, but as a bird photographer, I only count the birds that I’ve photographed. The ABA has documented 976 species in North America. About 300 of those can be found in my home state of Florida. I’ve photographed 223 species so far, which is a decent start. The ABA only counts birds that are native to North American, so some of my birdie friends from the Lake Morton menagerie don’t count!
As I went through my list, I realized that I had photographed several species that hadn’t made it to my blog or life list. So today’s post will include several lifers…
My first lifer of the day is a Monk Parakeet, photographed last spring at Brian Piccolo Park. My neighbors may notice a striking resemblance to their pet bird Pickles! The Monk Parakeet, also known as a Quaker Parakeet, is an introduced species in Florida. There are plenty of them living in and around Brian Piccolo.
While I was in Maine, I photographed several Black-Throated Green Warblers. They seemed fairly common in Acadia National Park. We get these guys occasionally in Florida during migration. If only he didn’t have a big stick in front of him!
I also photographed a Black Guillemot in Acadia National Park. I was on the pretty rocky cliffs of Ocean Drive, and I noticed a small seabird bobbing in the waves. He was really far away and I only had my intermediate telephoto with me at the time. When I got home, I was able to do a major crop and identify the bird. Note: while I do have to photograph a bird before I put it on my life list, I do not require the photo to be good! :)
Finally, while at Machias Seal Island, I photographed my first Common Eider. When I blogged about my adventures on the island, I included images of the female with her young chicks. Here’s a brightly colored male to round out the lifer party!
And…for a final chuckle…my life list began when I was just two years old! My mom cracked me up when she sent me this shot of me with some ducks when I was little. I had such a good time petting them. Rich says that the look on my face is just right for someone seeing a life bird! So the list began back then, even though I didn’t know it… :)