My interest in birds began when I was only 7 years old growing up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. In the early spring, a male Mockingbird would sing his bloody head off right outside my window. He was so beautiful, could make the loudest noise ever, and to top it off he could spread his wings and fly away. We couldn't do that. Outside, I discovered more fantastic birds in the area - Bluejays, Cardinals, Cedar Waxwings, Sparrows, Hummingbirds and that noisy Mockingbird.
Luckily for me, when I asked my parents if I could hang up a bird feeder in the front yard, they consented and provided me a with feeder and a huge bag of birdseed we kept in the garage. My lifetime passion for birds had begun.
Every day after school I would fill that bird feeder up to the brim, head inside, and watch from our front window. Once the birds found it, I had more birds than I had ever hoped for, especially when the weather turned stormy. When the other kids asked me why I was checking out bird books from the school library, I lied and told them they were for my weird brother. I didn't want to get teased for being different.
Eventually we moved away from Dallas, Texas all the way to California to an apartment, and I was no longer allowed to manage a bird feeder. But my love for nature, especially for birds, was cemented. Because of my lifelong interest, I eventually received a Bachelor of Science from UC Berkeley in 1970, with a minor in Chemistry.
I am now in my twilight years and still thrill at watching the birds squabble among themselves for the Black Sunflower seeds or Thistle/Nyjer seeds I have in plentiful supply at my feeding station.
This website is an act of love and dedication to the birds I have enjoyed throughout my life. My purpose is to encourage others, maybe another 7 year old, to discover the magnificent world of birds we share the earth with and to watch over and protect them for future generations.
Caren Bonds Hanson
Feb. 22, 2016