Greetings from a New Bird Blogger

Rob Ripma

With this being my first post on the Birds & Blooms blog, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little about myself.

Rob Profile Photo

I have been birding for just about 10 years now, but I was not always interested in birds. My brother became fascinated with them at a very young age, and I tended to be dragged along birding on family vacations throughout high school. I can hardly image what species I missed back then! All of that changed when my family made repeat trips to southwest Florida, and I started to really study the birds that we were seeing there. What really caught my eye were the herons, egrets, and Anhingas in Little Estero Lagoon, such as this Snowy Egret and Anhinga. Although I would bird in Florida and participate in Christmas and Spring Bird Counts, I did not regularly go birding around my home in Indiana.

Snowy Egret

Anhinga

My desire to go birding changed dramatically on a visit to the world famous Magee Marsh in Northwest Ohio in 2005. My mom and brother had been telling me about how amazing this place was for several years, but at the time I was a pretty typical teenage boy more interested in sports than birds. They finally convinced me to come with them after my freshman year in college, and I have been hooked on birding ever since. This Chestnut-sided Warbler is one of over 30 species that can be found at Magee Marsh.

Chestnut-sided Warbler

After I graduated from college in 2008, my brother and I created NuttyBirder.com, where we help people find places to go birding all over the world and blog about our birding experiences and adventures. I have had the opportunity to travel all over the United States over the last several years and have more than made up for all the species that I missed on family vacations years ago.

In addition to running Nutty Birder, I speak to kids at schools and camps about birds and birding, give presentations to many garden clubs and Audubon groups, and am the Secretary of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Board of Directors. I also work part-time at two Wild Birds Unlimited stores in Indiana.

Birding has become my biggest passion in life, and I can’t wait to share my excitement for birds and conservation with all of you!

Click here to help Rob create the largest directory of birding locations in the United States and beyond!

  1. Ms. Pepper Terry` says

    Hi Rob: so glad to see you here. I am excited about being able to communicate with you in a less formal format than some of the websites I have looked at. I live in Ocala, Florida now. Lived in Naples for 13 yrs and then in ‘The Villages’ (Lady Lake) for 5 yrs. Spent 4 yrs in PA, and am now back in Florida. I am 71, and am taking care of my 97 yr old mother, who lives with me here in Ocala. I have been a backyard birder since 2003 and love it. Logged about 140 on my “Life List” and still want to log more. I have so many questions, and especially about cross-breeding among some species that make it difficult to be exact on identification. I am looking forward to reading your blog, and although I am not a ‘techno-babe’ when it comes to computers, I am trying my best to figure out how to communicate better. I will watch for your recommendations on where to get more information on cross-breeding and identification, as well as whatever else you share. I feel I am as passionate as you about birding, but am sort of limited to getting out and about on extended trips at the present time. I have not looked into a Bird Watching club here in my local area yet, but will probably do so after the first the year. Since I don’t drive, I feel I need to take my time and make my presence and passion known here locally and perhaps can get acquainted with others in my area. Then maybe I can join in on day trips, or just attend meetings or outings.
    Again, I look forward to following your blog (if I can figure out how to do it easily), and wish you much success in this endeavor.

    • Rob RipmaRob Ripma says

      Hi: Florida is one of my absolute favorite places to go birding and I have spend some time birding around Ocala. Have you been able to see a Florida Scrub-Jay near you? There are not a whole lot of species that hybridize to create offspring that are difficult to identify. The best example I can think of are Carolina and Black-capped Chickadee but that only occurs in a rather small overlap zone between the two species. If I come across others, I will be sure to post about it. For some local birding information, I would recommend checking out the Marion Audubon Society, http://www.marioncountyaudubon.com/. Thanks so much for your interest in our blog!

  2. Crescenzo Di Meglio says

    Rob, nice pics and welcome to Bidrdsandblooms. I would like to see more pictures of a rare bird in US, although this bird migrates to Alaska and Canada for nesting every year a long way from Africa. The bird is called “Northern Wheatear”. This beautiful bird follows a return migration through Soviet Union, through Europe, down to Africa. Sometimes, this bird migrates through the United States and pictures have been taken in New York, Long Island, Cape May New Jersey, to mention a few. I have never seen any discussions or pictures in Birdsandblooms. Thanks.

    • Rob RipmaRob Ripma says

      Hello! Thanks for the suggestion about discussing the Northern Wheatear. I have actaully only ever seen one, in Texas, and would love to have the opportunity to see and photograph more. I will definitely consider writing about this species in the future.

  3. JoAnn Pochciol says

    Hi Rob, All of your bird photos are so beautiful & I love all birds as you do. If by any chance you can get some humming bird pics
    It would be wonderful to see them, thanks. JoAnn

    • Rob RipmaRob Ripma says

      Hi JoAnn, Thanks for the suggestion to write about hummingbirds. I will definitely be doing lots of posts about hummingbirds and will be including many photos!

  4. Sandra L Derer says

    Hi Rob….what about where to get the best deals on foods for birds in different parts of the country and/or how to mix cheaper bags of seed to make it easier for those of us on fixed incomes that still want birds around. Any ways to stop all the seed the birds thro around from growing into weeds in the grass?

    Thanks!

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