About the author
I love birds. Always have. My interest began at the age of six, so I can't remember a time of my life that was not bird-dominated.
I grew up in a homeschooling family in which independent interests were strongly encouraged. So, although no one else in my family was a birder, my parents did their best to fulfill my insatiable lust: they ferried me to an untold number of birding spots, bought me binoculars for Christmas, and in general supported my passion in every way. Thanks guys!
We lived in a suburb of Detroit until I was fourteen. I have many a fond memory of Midwest birding: seeking migrant warblers at Magee Marsh, rare shorebirds at Pointe Mouillee, and boreal species in northern Michigan. I had some great mentors to whom I am greatly indebted, particularly Karl Overman and Allen Chartier. These gentlemen taught me an incredible amount about birds. Best of all, they picked me up at ungodly hours to go birding or banding.
In 2007, my family relocated to southern California. Needless to say, I was enthralled with the new assemblage of birds. With greater independence (read: drivers license and California's bike-friendly roads) came more birding. In retrospect I find it alarming just how bird-centric my life was.
In 2010, I returned to my native Michigan to attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids. I graduated in 2014 with degrees in biology and Spanish. Between academics and experimenting with actually having a social life(!), my birding time dwindled significantly.
Since graduating, I have been working various jobs and internships in research and education. It has been a fun adventure, moving every five months to take one new job after another. In fall of 2016, I will be starting a M.S. in biology at University of Alabama. For my research I will be doing occupancy modeling of birds in the Southeast. Think: lots of point counts and lots of staring at computer screens.
My early interest of birds has ushered me into a general fascination with the natural world; I aspire to be an all-around naturalist before hardcore lister. I enjoy studying plants, insects, amphibians, and anything else that I encounter on my rambles. I’m particularly interested in how these organisms interact and how they react to human modification to the environment.
Other activities I enjoy include the following: reading, running, cooking, camping, music, and photography.
About the blog
I started this blog in 2007, writing bird-by-bird updates of my neighborhood outings. Some things have changed—for example, I’m no longer a list-motivated fourteen year-old. But I still love birds! While OCBirding will probably never again be a platform for county list updates, I would like to keep posting with photos, ideas, stories, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I would be honored if you read!