You light a fire with a simple spark. And in birding, that first bird that really captures your attention and makes you fall in love with birds and birdwatching is called your “spark bird.”
For some people, it’s a regal bird, like the golden eagle. For others, it’s as simple as a goldfinch or a blue jay.
Your spark bird can come up anywhere and at any time in your life. I fell in love with birds as a teenager, but recently, I came upon an incredibly dedicated birder from New Jersey who didn’t find her spark bird until her 75th birthday.
For some people, it’s not a spark bird, but rather a spark person who creates a passion for birdwatching.
I have a friend who swears her high school biology teacher was far more important to her eventual career as an ornithologist than any one bird species.
My spark bird was the bald eagle. It’s selection as our nation’s symbol, combined with its constant use to signify patriotism got me interested at a young age. When I saw how bald eagles could turn on a dime in mid-air; catch fish in their talons and dive at speeds reaching nearly 100 miles per hour – I was hooked. After I fell in love with the bald eagle, I fell in love with more raptor species, then my love of birding expanded and I became interested in just about every species found in North America.
So how about you? What was your spark bird? Leave your story in the comments and let everyone know what sucked you in.
Next week I am going to share with you about my favorite birdwatching spots of all time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Avian Beauty. Thanks for listening. Be sure to visit avianbeauty.com for more bird inspiration and information and please consider subscribing (for free) to our blog and podcast. I’m Scott Bourne. Happy birding.
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Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary, a professional bird/wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He is a pioneer in digital photography and was named one of the “30 most influential photographers on the Web” by Huffington Post. His photographic experience spans four decades and his bird/wildlife images have been published in more than 200 magazines and periodicals. He is also a Signed Master at Studio of Masters in China.
Scott has been a founder, co-founder, advisor or early stage investor in several technology companies such as NetRadio, Photofocus, and ViewBug.