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10 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I don't actually know my first lifer, but, going by the different colored pen I used ūüėĀ, I think some of the first birds I saw when I began making a list are Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, and Common Merganser.

Thanks I would like it but... I‚Äôm out... pens are so helpful!ūüėÄ

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First on eBird is an American Robin, in with the Northern Harrier. to date, I have never seen a NOHA anywhere near where I live

first bird I ever sought to ID, or otherwise my spark bird, was a sharp-shinned hawk. 

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I'm pretty sure the first birds I ever technically "saw" were House Finches. My first list I ever put on eBird was a whale watching cruise and that included Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets and stuff so that doesn't really count. 

I remember American Pelicans flying over the house, and a Peregrine Falcon which I'm still not sure was an actual Peregrine or not... if my memory from when I was like 6 is any good it definitely was, but who knows!

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I'm like you @Melierax.  I remember seeing and being interested in birds when I was very young.  I was probably around 6 as well when I learned the names of the birds I saw around my house.  Eastern Phoebe, American Robin, Blue Jay, and Northern Cardinal are the four main species I can remember from my childhood.

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We lived in Upper Michigan in '68 and '69.  Dad bought the Golden Field Guide to Birds of N.A.  It had a checklist in the back.  There are lots of birds marked, not just from MI but from other states we lived in after that.  But there are no dates or locations, just check marks next to species' names.  And I can't figure out when we would have seen Caribbean Flamingos or Roseate Spoonbills.  (That college Marine Biology trip to FL Keys in '80?)  I've since seen and documented almost all of the birds checked in that book, but 12 of them still elude me.  If I have nemeses, those are the ones.

But from the ones in that book that are commonly found in Northern MI, I'd go with Black-Capped Chickadee.  There; wasn't that the long way to go to get an answer?  (I went farther than that to get BCCH off that Undocumented Nemeses List, all the way to Maine.)

Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Looks like the first bird I ever recorded on a checklist was a Bald Eagle, but that was pretty recent (December 2019). I think the first bird I ever saw and knew what I was looking at was a Black-capped Chickadee because we had bird feeders and birdhouses when I was little which the chickadees frequently visited. Other than that, the first birds I ever learned were Bushtits, Downy Woodpeckers, and Anna's Hummingbirds.

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On eBird my first bird is a male Ring-necked pheasant I saw in 2006 at my cabin that I added this year. Thats the oldest one I have any record¬†of. I think I chased it trying to catch it honestly ūüė¨¬†
I got eBird last year and I‚Äôm thinking my first ‚Äėlive‚Äô checklist bird I added was most likely a¬†¬†a magpie.¬†
First bird I remember seeing is probably a black-capped chickadee as well. I remember going down to this one park to feed them and thought it was cool that they’d land in your hand. I think everyone learned how to recognize a chickadee at an early age. 

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3 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

We lived in Upper Michigan in '68 and '69.  Dad bought the Golden Field Guide to Birds of N.A.  It had a checklist in the back.  There are lots of birds marked, not just from MI but from other states we lived in after that.  But there are no dates or locations, just check marks next to species' names.  And I can't figure out when we would have seen Caribbean Flamingos or Roseate Spoonbills.  (That college Marine Biology trip to FL Keys in '80?)  I've since seen and documented almost all of the birds checked in that book, but 12 of them still elude me.  If I have nemeses, those are the ones.

But from the ones in that book that are commonly found in Northern MI, I'd go with Black-Capped Chickadee.  There; wasn't that the long way to go to get an answer?  (I went farther than that to get BCCH off that Undocumented Nemeses List, all the way to Maine.)

Birds of North America: A Guide to Field Identification

I have that book!

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I had always been somewhat interested in birds & nature in general but didn't "officially" become a birder until one day about 12 years ago. I was hiking in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. There was a bird blind along the trail & I decided to go in to check it out. There was another guy inside who had a camera with a giant lens setup on a tripod looking at something. I looked in the same general direction but couldn't see what was catching his interest so I asked him what he was looking at so intently. He looked up & motioned me over to come look through his camera. So I took a look & at first I still couldn't make anything out other then a bunch of reeds. A breeze kicked up though & I realized there was a large heron-like bird there with it's beak pointing straight up that was moving back & forth with the reeds. With the vertical stripes on the front & it "blowing" in the breeze it was almost perfectly camouflaged.  I had no idea what kind of bird it was so I asked the other guy who told me it was an American Bittern & told me to look again because it was getting ready to call. Sure enough a few seconds later it was making this prehistoric sounding  onka-chonk sound. I looked for a few more minutes then thanked the other guy & told him how cool that was. We chatted for a couple more minutes then I left. From that point on though  I was hooked & "officially" became a birder & American Bittern became the first bird I put on my new life list. It's odd too that I just noticed this thread today since I got real good looks at Bittern earlier today. It's still one of my favorite birds!

Bittern.jpg

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My first eBird one is Blue Jay.

Me and my mom have kept a nature book since I was 5 or 6 years old, of most of the things I have seen. Here is the birds that are in it:

2012 Wild Turkeys.

2012 Greater Roadrunner. They had a nest about 30ft from our house, the male(?) came up on the patio and would run into the french doors repeatedly. At the reflection we guess.

2013 Eastern Phoebe. Nest all over our house.

2013 Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

2013 Mississippi Kite. They nested about 50 foot from our house. It was pretty cool to see them call their chicks offering them food, trying to get them to fly.

2014 House Finch. Nested on our front porch.

2014 Northern Mockingbird. Found nest.

2015 Turkey chicks! Could not have been but a few days old.

2015 Cooper's Hawk.

2016 Black-chinned Hummingbird.

2016 Northern Cardinal.

2016 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Didn't see, feather only.

2016 Meadowlark. Feathers and a few bones.

2017 Painted Bunting. We thought someone had lost the pet bird!

2017 Barn Swallows.

2017 Barn Owl. One night 7 Barn Owls flew over one after another.

I'm not sure why American Robins didn't make it in the book.

That is probably more than anyone wanted to know, oh well.

 

Edited by Kevin
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8 hours ago, stitch58 said:

I had always been somewhat interested in birds & nature in general but didn't "officially" become a birder until one day about 12 years ago. I was hiking in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. There was a bird blind along the trail & I decided to go in to check it out. There was another guy inside who had a camera with a giant lens setup on a tripod looking at something. I looked in the same general direction but couldn't see what was catching his interest so I asked him what he was looking at so intently. He looked up & motioned me over to come look through his camera. So I took a look & at first I still couldn't make anything out other then a bunch of reeds. A breeze kicked up though & I realized there was a large heron-like bird there with it's beak pointing straight up that was moving back & forth with the reeds. With the vertical stripes on the front & it "blowing" in the breeze it was almost perfectly camouflaged.  I had no idea what kind of bird it was so I asked the other guy who told me it was an American Bittern & told me to look again because it was getting ready to call. Sure enough a few seconds later it was making this prehistoric sounding  onka-chonk sound. I looked for a few more minutes then thanked the other guy & told him how cool that was. We chatted for a couple more minutes then I left. From that point on though  I was hooked & "officially" became a birder & American Bittern became the first bird I put on my new life list. It's odd too that I just noticed this thread today since I got real good looks at Bittern earlier today. It's still one of my favorite birds!

Bittern.jpg

How Funny. Great Swamp NWR was the first place I remember birding. It was 10 minutes from where I used to live, and that’s the first time I remember looking for birds away from my backyard. I was just a little later than you. I was there 9 years ago or so. 

Edited by Connor Cochrane
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8 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

How Funny. Great Swamp NWR was the first place I remember birding. It was 10 minutes from where I used to live, and that’s the first time I remember looking for birds away from my backyard. I was just a little later than you. I was there 9 years ago or so. 

It’s a excellent place to get started. I live over by The Meadowlands so I’m not to far away. I still go by on a fairly regular basis. Thankfully they thought better of the idea of turning it into an international airport years ago!!

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It took a bit of digging in eBird.  It looks like my first true birding trip was to Savannah NWR in April 2006.  Everything prior to that is either backyard lists or Historical / Incidental with only a handful of birds.  Even this list is Historical because while my records showed double-digit species, they didn't have counts.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S43131559

I can still see that Anhinga like it was yesterday.  It was the first time I saw a Red-winged Blackbird sing and was able to connect the sound to the species.

It was also the first time my Darling Bride had to ask, "Are we done here yet?"

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The first bird I knew the name of was a Red-winged Blackbird.   They would nest in the field in front of our house.  There was a natural spring that flowed there and it created a small wetland. They co-existed very peacefully with the cows.  I was about 8 yo. 

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1 hour ago, Spyonabird said:

The first bird I knew the name of was a Red-winged Blackbird.   They would nest in the field in front of our house.  There was a natural spring that flowed there and it created a small wetland. They co-existed very peacefully with the cows.  I was about 8 yo. 

Never knew they were peaceful 

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