I started “birding” when Caroline, a dear friend of my mother’s, sent me a card with some money for my first birthday after my mom passed away.  She knew it would be a difficult birthday and it was her way of reaching out to give a comforting hand.  Caroline’s kindness was touching.  Moreover, it was just like something my mother, Florence, would have done.  It made me think how much alike they were, my mom Florence and her friend Caroline.  I didn’t know what to do with the money.  I wanted it to be used for something special so that I could let Caroline know and so she would be pleased.  I wanted my purchase to be as well thought out as Caroline’s gesture had been thoughtful.  I wanted her to know how appreciated her kindness had been.  And, I knew this is what my mother would have wanted me to do.

I acknowledged Caroline’s gift immediately telling her I would take some time to think about how to use the money she sent.  A year later, for my next birthday, I went to a nearby wild bird shop with the express purpose of putting that money toward a bird feeder as my gift to myself.  The trees, small sticks when I moved into my house years before, were finally mature enough to attract birds and squirrels.  I enjoyed watching them and recalled a feeder I had years earlier.  I brought home a feeder and hung it in a tree where I could get a good view from my living room window.

I wrote to Caroline to tell her about my purchase.  I stayed in touch with her from time to time and always brought her up to date on my birding.  She seemed pleased that the gift sent from her heart provided not only the warmth of her comforting gesture in the months following my mother’s death, but also a new hobby that would give rise to many, many hours of pleasure, new experiences and new friends.

Since I bought my first feeder in 2005, I purchased many more that I swap out as the seasons change.  The hummingbird feeders go up in mid-April and are exchanged for suet feeders in late October.  I found the patience to condition Chickadees and Nuthatches to feed from my hand in winter and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to sip sugar-water from their tiny feeders that I hold out to them in summer.  I journeyed to Costa Rica for nine days to trap and study those same hummingbirds in their wintering grounds.  I became a volunteer Bluebird monitor checking the contents of bird nest boxes along a Bluebird Trail in the forest preserve from March through August taking notes and reporting data.

In January, 2012 I received a letter from Carol, one of Caroline’s daughters, letting me know of Caroline’s passing.  Carol did not know how I knew her mother, but was reaching out to those who had sent holiday greeting cards to her mom.  I wrote to Carol including a reference to this blog page hoping it would give her some comfort.  A few months passed and I received a beautiful letter from Carol that included stories about some of her own casual birding experiences.  She agreed with me that our moms wait for us in a better place saying, “I believe it is only when they are gone that we really understand and appreciate who they were and what they did for us.”

I love to share my discoveries and experiences out in nature.  The more I experience, the more I feel as if I’ve just begun to learn about wild birds.  I hope you’ll follow along as my journey continues.

Bluebird Annie
updated on Mother’s Day, 5/13/2012

21 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Public Enemies? | My Latin Notebook

  2. petrel41 says:

    Dear Bluebird Annie,


    I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.

    More about this nomination is at


  3. My story is similar to yours on how I started loving birds… http://farawaypeachgarden.com/2012/11/07/in-memory-of-grandma-fina/. I find comfort watching all the visiting birds to my garden and how they raise their young’s…

  4. timr6 says:

    Hi Annie
    Good news! I have nominated you for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award because of all that you have done so far. See my latest posting for details of this award.
    Best wishes

  5. You have a lovely blog here!! Being the daughter of a wildlife photographer, I have spent a lot of time in the wilds… But we were more focused on the mammals and the bigger creatures there… After reading your posts, I think it is time for me to concentrate on God’s little feathery creations too!! Thank you!!

  6. petrel41 says:

    Hi Annie, good news, I have nominated your blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

    The rules of the award are at



  7. Teju says:

    WOW! i’, so glad to have stumbled upon your blog! it’s super interesting! 🙂

  8. Annie, I nominated you for a Sisterhood of the World of Bloggers award! The ‘rules’ are over on my page. Happy October!

  9. timr6 says:

    Thanks for following Annie, you’ve got a great blog here.

  10. amaeguerrero says:

    Hi Ma’am Annie. Thank you for the comment. Nice to visit in your blog showing your love for nature. I really admire that God bless :)))

  11. I’m just starting to get into ‘birding’. I have a humming bird feeder, a normal feeder, and a pair of binoculars. It gets addictive fast! So happy I found your blog. 🙂

  12. babso2you says:

    Annie – We always watch the birds here. The acorn woodpecker sounds like a bunch of monkeys at the zoo! You might find my bird posts fun! Thank you for signing up to follow me! I hope that you will find it entertaining!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have been a birder for a long time, even a twitcher for a while (but that got a bit silly), so can share your excitement. If only we had hummingbirds here in the UK and although I have the good fortune to visit the US a few times (holidays) wild hummingbirds have not come my way! Oh well! At least we have a proper Robin here in the UK! 😉 (Duck and cover)

  14. lenxylou says:

    I have nominated for you the Sunshine Award:

  15. ceceliafutch says:

    How delightful. That sounds like a wonderful hobby. I love birds and squirrels, too, and being out of doors. I’m glad to have come across your blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s