Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site

  A Little About Me...

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. ~ Psalm 9:1

me and SammieFirst, I don't want to mislead anyone; I'm not an expert on birds. I'm simply an enthusiast - and a relatively new one at that. I'm writing this blog because I want to share my photos and experiences as I learn more about these beautiful creatures. I marvel each day at God's workmanship and my bird blog provides an outlet for me to exclaim about the wonders I see.

I've loved birds ever since I was young (except for a short time during my teens when those noisy Blue Jays would wake me up way too early summer mornings as they shrieked while they ate the cherries on our cherry trees!). Nearly every day of my youth, you would be sure to find me out roaming the large, mixed forest that sprawled for many acres behind our home in Clarence, New York. My love for birds began in those woods. Often, I'd sit very still, absorbing the sounds and watching the little woodland creatures resume their activities after they forgot about me. The little Black-capped Chickadees were one of my favorites because they were so friendly and nearly tame.

My father had an Audubon's Field Guide that he'd refer to whenever some interesting species appeared at one of the feeders. I'll always remember the day when a huge flock of Cedar Waxwings descended upon our Mountain Ash trees. With authority, Dad flipped through the pages of the guide and declared them to be Cedar Waxwings. Our visitors stayed for several days devouring those orange berries! I recently sighted three Cedar Waxings sitting in the top of one of our Maple Trees and was transported back to that day.

I'm the wife of a kitchen designer and remodeler, a proud mom of three great and grown children (two daughters and a son), and I'm "Grammy" to seven beautiful grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter, Sammy, is pictured with me in the photo above. I'm a web applications developer and spend my days programming .NET web applications. I also love photography and it was the purchase of a new camera lens in the fall of 2010 and a subsequent photo of a Tufted Titmouse that really sparked my love for birding and photographing birds.

photo of my son on a birding hike

My son accompanies me every once in awhile on my birding adventures. That's him taking a picture with my old Canon Rebel XT in the photo above. He shares my love of the outdoors and loves hiking, so birding is a good match for the both of us. He's quickly learning to identify the birds that frequent our feeders and on one of our recent trips, he captured a fantastic photo of a Pileated Woodpecker!


October 26, 2012 - The Buffalo News

Birder's Enthusiasm is Infectious »

photo from this news articleGerry Rising, The Buffalo News author of "Nature Watch", interviewed me about birding in the Buffalo area after someone recommended my blog to him.

You can read the article here: Birder's Enthusiasm is Infectious »

February 27, 2013 - Amherst Bee

Birds of a Feather »

photo from this news articleI was one of the folks interviewed by Erika Carlson from the Amherst Bee regarding the phenomenon of local birding.

You can read the article here: Birds of a Feather »

October 9, 2013 - The Buffalo News

Buffalo bird-watchers abuzz over Brown Booby »

photo from this news articleMelinda Miller, from the Buffalo News, interviewed several folks, including myself, over the rare sighting of the Brown Booby found by Jim Pawlicki. They even used one of my photos in the article, the second one down in the left column.

You can read the article here: Buffalo bird-watchers abuzz over Brown Booby »

  Birding Gear

MUST Have's for Birding:

  • Field guide: I started with the "National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America", a great guide for beginners. Now, I have many field guides and resources but I always find myself going to "The Sibley's Guide to Birds" (second edition) first, although "The Warbler Guide" is another first goto when it's warbler season!
  • Binoculars: budget is going to dictate what you buy. I have a pair of Nikon Monarch 7's - 8 x 42. They're bright, not too heavy, and have a nice grip; I love them. Maybe one day, I'll go for a pair of 10's for an increased magnification.
  • Scope: a must for viewing shorebirds or anything out on the lake or river. Again, budget will dictate what you buy. I was fortunate to buy Jim Pawlicki's old Kowa TSN-880 (oh, the birds this scope has seen!). It's been several years now and it's still serving me well.

NICE to Have's for Birding:

  • Hiking boots and muck boots: the hiking boots should be waterproof because you just never know where you're going to end up. I advise to keep an extra pair in your car too!
  • Backpack: without it, my pockets are usually bulging with all kinds of paraphenalia like bird seed, granola bars, a water bottle, a field guide, bug repellant, etc...!
  • Hat: protection from the sun, wind, insects, and bird poop! Seriously!

  Camera Gear:

I get many emails or blog post questions regarding the gear I use, so for those who are curious, I have been shooting with the Nikon D810 and either the Nikon 80-400mm lens or the Tamaron 150-600mm (v2) lens for the last few years. Prior to July 2014, the photos on this site were mostly taken with the Canon 7D and the 70-200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter. In September 2023, however, I just upgraded to the Nikon D850 and the Sigma 150-600mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter.

  Thank you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you'll find my bird blog fun, uplifting, and entertaining as I post my discoveries and photos of these delightful creatures that our Heavenly Father so marvelously and wonderfully created (yes, I believe in intelligent design).

photo of Sue and grandkids

photo of my family and Gerry Rising

The photo on the left shows me with five of my seven grandkids (#s 6 and 7 weren't born yet!).
On the right, is a photo from my interview by the late Gerry Rising.
Included are: my husband, our 3 children and our 2 youngest (at the time) grandchildren.

button link to my bird search