For several years, I have blogged about my experiences as a backyard birder in Southeast Texas, one of the birdiest places around, for The Houston Chronicle. After much consideration, I've decided to take my blog to the wider Internet (joining my other two blogs there: The Nature of Things and Gardening with Nature) where it will be infinitely easier to post and more accessible to interested readers.
I am not an ornithologist. Nor am I a dedicated and competitive lister of birds that one often finds among the ranks of birders these days. I do keep lists but, essentially, I am, as the title of my blog implies, a simple backyard birder who has a lifelong interest in and love of birds and who enjoys experiencing and learning about Nature through the observation of birds and other wildlife.
I am a suburbanite, living just northwest of Houston on a relatively large lot (close to 1/2 acre). I am a habitat gardener and have planted my yard to attract and support wildlife, especially birds. That has been particularly important during the now year-long drought that we have experienced in this area. Many more birds than usual crowd my yard on these late-summer days of unrelenting triple-digit temperatures looking for food and water.
While it is exciting to be able to experience all these birds "up close and personal," it does present some problems. For one thing, it's hard to keep the bird feeders full, but, more seriously, dense concentrations of birds enhance the possibility of the spread of diseases like avian pox. So far, my yard has been clear, but it's something for which I'm constantly on alert. As I often remind readers of my blog, it's extremely important, especially in these conditions, to practice good hygiene around the feeders and birdbaths. Cleaning them often with a solution of 10 percent bleach in water is helpful.
I am a dedicated citizen scientist and I participate in several of the projects sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and other such organizations. If you follow my blog, you'll be reading lots about those projects in coming months.
I hope that you will follow my blog. I look forward to sharing my passion for birds with you and I always look forward to comments from my readers. It's where I learn a lot of interesting things!