“Holding a bird is like carrying a little bundle of joy and sometimes a little bit of anger. The White-Eyed Vireo was the first bird I ever held. He looked at me, and I said, ‘I know you want to go, but you are very cute.’ There’s something amazing about seeing a bird up close rather than in the field. It’s the detail and beauty–and also the personality.
I am 14, but I started birding when I was 11. One night, I dreamed I was hand-feeding birds; I woke up and wanted to do it. I put up bird feeders to study and memorize the birds. I got into bird banding to see the birds up close and learn more about them. The bird I was just holding was feisty and having a bad day. He didn’t plan to get stuck in a net and banded. Other birds seem to smile and pose for the camera.
I started the North Alabama Young Birders Club for young birders like me. I’m very social and want to be with people my age. We have a good group that’s starting to grow. I plan to go into ornithology and study birds. I also want to teach and do more bird-banding work because I like showing other people about birds and seeing their faces light up.”