Here in the northeast the foliage has well begun to showcase the variance of colors as the trees are beginning their “sleep-cycle” and our summer migrators have left for their voyage south. Looking back at these successful seasons in birding, I see my “Birding Life List” is increasing with the various warblers and songbirds I would have otherwise not seen if I hadn’t gotten up early morning (I mean early) and get outdoors! During breeding season in spring birds are active locating a fruitful, suiting territory while showcasing their best tune to increase their chances of finding a mate. For birders and enthusiasts alike, this provides an ample opportunity to seek out certain species as (let’s be real) they are loud and a bit easier to spot. Below are a few short “bird stories” covering some of the adventures I have had with friends and colleagues here in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area otherwise known as the “DMV”.
(March 21, 2015) During this birding adventure on Kingman Island in D.C. we spotted everything from the tiny Downy Woodpecker to the majestic Wood Duck and a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds along with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet whose distinctive red mark over the head helps with the identification.
(April 11, 2015) In the woods of NPS: Prince William Forest Park we identified a pair of highly active Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and learned that the Carolina Chickadee and Black-capped Chickadee are hard to distinguish as they successfully interbreed and appear to look identical.
(April 13, 2015) Urban birding can be a great escape from the same ol’, same ol’. On this day we spotted a Red-bellied Woodpecker hard at work outside the courtyard of a luxury hotel in the Woodley Park area. Notice the famous Cherry Blossoms in bloom.
(April 25, 2015) This outing was certainly one for the books. Out in Fletcher’s Cove we spotted a Prothonotary Warbler with it’s distinct solid black beak, mostly yellow body and gray wings.
(May 2, 2015) The U.S. National Arboretum serves as an excellent location to learn about the local flora and fauna. On this outing I learned the distinct call of the Indigo Bunting. Learning calls can be a direct form of identifying a bird when visuals are not available at the moment.
(May 31, 2015) When on a group outing (photo on the left) can be a familiar sight. Birder who spots the bird passes the word along to the group and points out the species. Here in Fort Dupont Park we were in search of D.C.’s state bird, the Wood Thrush which was not spotted that day. Some days are hot, some days are not.
(August 15, 2015) On this very special day, I got to take my niece out on her very first birding trip! We spotted large waterfowl such as the Great Blue Heron (pictured above) at the NPS: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. #LatinasOutdoors
(November 22, 2015) Here is a preview of what fall birding will look like. As the birding adventures continue so do the great times outdoors. We spotted Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Bufflehead Duck and a Great Blue Heron at Luther Goldman Birding Trail in Maryland.
Of note, I do not have many photos of actual birds. For photos, especially for the smaller guys, it is necessary to have a professional lens one that my smartphone camera does not have.
I encourage folks to get out, dust off dad’s old binoculars from the garage and take a look at what you may find. Happy to help folks identify the birds, send me a note here: Nydia@LatinoOutdoors.org
Nydia Gutiérrez is a Texas native, hailing from the Rio Grande Valley, a major bird migratory corridor. Ornithology became a passion after taking it as a course in college which required students to enjoy the outdoors and identify birds. Gutiérrez currently resides in Washington, D.C. where she continues to chase the sun and follow the birds.