Meet Rob Ripma, our newest featured blogger. The Birds & Blooms staff was able to meet Rob at The Biggest Week in American Birding, and he even makes an appearance in our birding music video! Rob, along with his brother Eric, write the Nutty Birder blog where they share photos from their birding adventures both near and far.
What was the inspiration behind your blog and how long has it been around?
I started Nutty Birder in order to share my own birding adventures and those of my brother Eric. With the amount of traveling that we both do (combined with the fact that Eric works a lot of fieldwork jobs and I bird around Indiana a lot), we thought people would find our birding stories interesting. We uploaded our first post on August 12, 2008 and have posted over 450 times since then.
How did you get into birding?
I started birding about 10 years ago but had previously been dragged along on many birding trips prior to that time. As a kid, I really had no interest in birding. But with my mom and brother’s interest in birds, birding became a large part of most family vacations. Everything changed for me on a trip to Florida in 2003 where I finally started paying more attention to the birds, and then I was officially hooked after my first trip to Magee Marsh in 2005.
What’s one of your favorite or most popular blog posts and why?
We have had so many awesome posts over the last four years that it’s very difficult for me to pick a favorite. I always love the posts that we do about our birding vacations. It’s a lot of fun to look back and relive the excitement of the trips.
As for our most popular blog post goes, that one is pretty easy. We have never had a post as popular as our post announcing that Eric had found an Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush in South Dakota during the summer of 2010. It was only the third US record for this species, and it made our blog quite popular!
When you’re not birding, what is your favorite outdoor activity?
I really enjoy any type of wildlife watching, whether it is mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, or just about anything else. I view anytime outside as a chance to see things that you have never seen before and to explore all kinds of new places.
If you could go anywhere in the world to bird-watch, where would you go and why?
This is a tough question for me, because there are so many places that I want to go! But the first place I would choose would have to be Ecuador. I have never birded in the tropics, and it seems to me that Ecuador would be about as awesome as tropical birding gets.