My name is Amy and I’m a birder living in central Florida with my husband Arthur. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I was lucky enough to live in Arthur’s native country, the Netherlands, for about ten years. We spent a lot of that time traveling — birding and scuba diving were among our favorite things to do.
Before moving to Florida in mid-2011, we lived in the Chicagoland area, close to where I grew up, for nearly three years. While in northern Illinois I became involved with a fantastic local birding club and volunteered with a great wildlife rehabilitation center and at a MAPS breeding bird banding station. While I grew up with a love for nature and had started more seriously birding while living in the Netherlands, my love for birds really flourished during this time in Illinois.
Cinnamon the Red-tailed Hawk and me at ACBOP, February 2015
Nowadays I volunteer at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. There are a lot of bird clubs close to where we live (three in Volusia County alone!); lately I attend walks and meetings infrequently. I took some time off of birding during much of 2016. I’m trying to get back into a birding mindset so you’ll mostly find me birding at my local patch, Gemini Springs, at least once a week. My latest interest is green birding, and adding new birds to my green year list is one of my favorite things to do these days.
Trouble the Bald Eagle and me at ACBOP, March 2016
On this blog I write about my own birding experiences. My blog was formerly known as MagnificentFrigatebird.com, which still exists today as a product review blog as well as the home to my online gift shop for birders. I have a Zazzle-powered shop for birders at BirderGifts.com as well.
I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments here or on any posting. You can also send me an email. Thanks for stopping by!
We have a family of owls in our backyard. They live in a nest left by large crows. They are a beautiful camel color! They are easy to find in the trees. I was wondering what type of owl they are?
Hi Amy, I really love your Fickr page and I am glad you photographed the Polistes annualaris wasp. I hope you will add me as a contact, since I added you long ago.
I love the blog! I can’t help feel jealous of your time with owls… That’s so cool! Anyways, I was wondering about the local birding club and the wildlife rehabilitation center and the breeding bird banding station you served in in Illinois. I was wondering how to get into contact with those because I love owls.
Thank you for your kind words. You can find links to Lake-Cook Audubon and Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation on my blog sidebar under “Recommended Links.” The banding project was a part of MAPS but I am not sure if they accept volunteers currently. You can look around the MAPS website [http://www.birdpop.org/maps.htm] to learn more about the project. I think there may be other stations in the area; maybe there is one closer to you than Lake County.
Hi Amy, Its a wonderfull Fickr page and its a great pcitures
Hello, Can you help me identify a bird? I just visited Cape Coral (am from New England) and don’t find this bird in my books or anywhere online. The bird was in a tree which had the beginnings of small acorns. It’s call was similar to a Catbird’s Miaaw and it also did a 2 syllable peep peep going up a 1/3 in tone.. At 1st glance I thought it was a Blue-Jay and it was about Blue Jay size. It had a skinny black head and it’s body was deep blue with white spots . unfortunately it hopped around a lot so I was unable to get a photo and am going nuts trying to learn what it was. Thankyou for doing this site. Tracy
Tracy, could your bird have been a Blue Jay undergoing heavy molt on the head? This blog post shows several pictures of Blue Jays going through this:
That was very interesting, I never knew Blue Jays did that! But I don’t believe that’s what it was. The head was definitely black and the underside of the bird dark. I got to within 10 feet or so of the bird and saw that it’s feathers were a much deeper blue than a Blue Jay and it’s voice nothing like anything I’ve ever heard from a Blue Jay. I suppose it will remain a mystery, I’m so angry with myself for not bringing my good camera.My son also showed me some nests of the Burrowing Owls, another species I’d never heard of and I saw my 1st White Ibis’ ever. Thankyou again for your info.
Really like your site – I’m a Northern Illinois bird nut. I met a few Flint Creek folks during their brief stint at Itasca’s nature center (which ended on a sad note, as you probably know).
Two questions: first, what is Ficker page? Second: I was up in Withlacoochee State Forest last week birding Rd #13, looking for the red cockaded woodpecker. I saw many white banded trees, lots of holes in the trees, but not one woodpecker. Can you tell me (I live in Tampa) where to most successfully find this woodpecker?
Hi Susan — Flickr is a popular site for posting photos; my Flickr page is here: Powered By Birds Photostream on Flickr. I looked at eBird for Red-cockaded Woodpecker sightings close to Tampa, and it looks like the closest to you would be at Withlacoochee SF–Croom Tract. Maybe this map is helpful? eBird is a great tool for finding birds as well as submitting your own bird sightings. 🙂
going to florida in 2013 actually the wife and I in Fort Lauderdale after a cruise saw your
blog while looking up info on florida ,great stuff keep it up
I discovered your blog by chance on the web, congratulations ! it is very interesting.
I am French, “powered by birds” also !, alive obviously but also by antique taxidermy specimens . Do not hesitate to visit my birds collection on the website “www.the-little-museum-shop.com”, it will maybe interest you.
Hello Amy, I have just found your Blog and love it. My wife Joy and I are coming to Florida Next Year around March or April and wondered if you could offer any insight to good birding sights. We have been to Florida once before but that was in 2008 and we are now much more into birds than we were before. We will be there 2 weeks and hire a car and stay in Motels as we travel around Florida. We live in Nottingham in England.
Thank you. Ian and Joy.
Hi Ian and Joy, thanks for your kind words. There is a lot to explore for the birder visiting Florida! If you have certain species you would like to see maybe that will help you decide where to visit. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges are usually a good bet, though Florida also has great state and county parks, too. Locally Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a hotspot that you can explore for a few short hours or a couple of days. The Everglades are a different world and the Florida Keys are amazing. If you visit in late April you should look into taking a trip to the Dry Tortugas with a guide (try http://floridanaturetours.net/). Let me know if you have any specific questions for your upcoming visit! 🙂
Hi Amy, Thank you very much for your help and advice. If we think of anything specific in the future we know who to contact.
Thanks again. Ian and Joy.
I somehow stumbled upon your website today and really enjoyed it. I am an avid birder too! I wish I had more time to devote to it like you do. Your photography is beautiful!! I have a large woodsy backyard and I work from home. I really enjoy attracting a great variety of birds to my home where I can enjoy them as I work. I also enjoy taking photographs and also painting the birds that I see outside my window. I have had a family of hummingbirds living on my property for 4 years. The male hummer sits on my deck all day long, year after year! Every spring I bring my plants back outside and place my aloe in the same spot because it is my hummers favorite perch. He has a favorite aloe branch that he always sits on! And if I get up early when the sun is still rising, I am fortunate enough to get to watch him preen all his feathers. He is so beautiful! He’s got a mate, too, but she hides until he flies off and then she chases after him!
I am going to follow your blog and enjoy your articles. It’s a great site!
I apologize if I am overlooked something on your website, but is there any way I can subscribe to your website/blog where I can receive your new posts to my email’s inbox? I love your website and just discovered it today! I’m 25 and I have been birding since August, 2013.
Hi Lindsay, thanks for your message! I’ve added a “Subscribe Via Email” box on the top of the sidebar.
What a pleasure to look at your beautiful photos!
Regards from Germany
I’m a correspondent with the Daytona Beach News-Journal, doing a story on a bill which will make the Florida scrub-jay the official state bird.
I don’t use Microsoft Outlook.
Could you drop me an email, if you have time to answer a few questions, and offer some expertise.