What makes a birder?

We asked the members of our beginning birding class if they would answer a few questions about how they became interested in birding.  Here are a few of their responses..

  • We are curious to know what made you become interested in birding.

I always loved birds; I moved to Pensacola around two years ago and I was thrilled to see so many birds. I am clueless about their names and I would love to learn their names and be able to ID them.

  • Was there a special bird that made you curious about Iis identity?

I am fascinated about Owl behaviors.

  • Were you interested in birds in your youth?

When I was a child I always wanted to fly and be an eagle, lol

  • Was there a special person in your life who made you aware of the birds in your yard?

I have an aunt that used to have bird and bird feeders all around her house.


I was in last year’s fall class and decided to take it again, for repetition purposes.

I am a late bloomer in my birding interests. I’ve always loved nature and getting outdoors (hiking, kayaking, etc) but my interest with birding escalated when I became a tour guide 5 Rivers Delta Safari in 2015. I was surrounded by egrets, herons, cormorants, pelicans, and migrant waders, as well as the Osprey, not a bird, but the alligator. Up close with them all. And I wanted to know more. The toughest birds to id are the little song birds, flitting around in the trees and bushes.

I’m again looking forward to the class and field trips.


I grew up in the desert of Arizona. I was interested in birds as a youth. My mother was interested. We had a road runner in our neighborhood who would run from rooftop to rooftop. My mother wanted to raise quail and went back to college to learn about such things. I have listened to and watched birds my whole life, but never studied them.  I’m very excited about this class.


My mother was a born naturalist. She never forgot a bird or its song. I grew up on 4 acres in St. Louis county where we always had wintering birds eating from the tray at the kitchen window, with pileated woodpeckers in the trees and hawks on the fence. When my middle son needed to take a 3 week college winter enrichment course, I threw out there, “Why don’t you take the ornithology class?” He did, taught by Bob and Lucy Duncan’s son up in Birmingham, and my son’s enthusiasm and incredible memory, just like my mom had, excited me again to become a better birder.  When I’ve taken Master Naturalist Classes the last few years, I’ve chosen particular birds to study and make my reports on (selfishly!) so that I can make myself learn more in depth than by simply looking through a guidebook. I love the “Merlin” app on my phone, and I’ve got a squirrel/rat/cat proof bird feeder that I enjoy throughout the year.


I’ve always loved the outdoors.  I became interested in birding because of BIRD EGGS!  As a young girl, I played and had adventures in the fields and marshes in our neighborhood.

Nothing was more thrilling than to spot a nest, quietly get closer and take a peek a what was inside a nest.  The jackpot was finding unhatched eggs! (Never touching, of course).

What a beautiful sigh!


We would love to know what started you watching birds.  Write a short paragraph telling us how you became interested in

this totally addicting but rewarding sport.  Send it to

By Peggy Baker