Is Birdwatching Fun?
It is not common for people to think of the birds that thrive just outside of the halls of MJHS. However, they are particularly intriguing and peaceful to observe.
The most predominant bird you will see is the American Robin. They have the grey thrush with orange bellies. There are usually more here in the summer due to their migration patterns, but it is a good enough temperature for most of them to be here year-round. They tend to eat insects and berries; both parents tend to feed their young. It is common to see them in the grass picking at the ground for food.
Another bird you will probably find is the Northern Cardinal. The males are bright red birds with black faces. They are the most eye-catching bird you will see out in nature. The females, however, are brown and a lot less noticeable. Unlike robins, these birds do not migrate and usually live in shrubby areas, like a regrowing forest.
“My mom puts cardinals on our Christmas tree. Not real ones, though,” Elena Brewer (‘26) states, “she likes them because she thinks they are a pretty pop of color in the winter.”
House Sparrows prefer to spend most of their time in town, so you will commonly see them eating people’s food that gets left behind or dropped around restaurants. They are small brown birds with white underbellies and the males are typically darker in color. The birds originate from the middle east. They are rather invasive and are considered unwanted because of that fact.
Blue Jays are blue birds with black and white stripes. They are found in forests, so you will usually find them in the woods, picking at the ground or nesting in trees. You are more likely to hear their loud calls, though. They are in the middle to eastern United States and a small part of southern Canada.
“When I was younger, there was a nest of bluejays outside of my house and one of the birds kept falling out of the nest,” Jessica Reeves (‘24) mentions, “we kept picking it up and putting it into the nest, so I think bluejays have no self-preservation skills.”
A blue jay sitting on a twig. Photography by Jill Wellington.
American Crows are large, black birds that are known for their intelligence. They live all around the United States, except for southern parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. They also breed exclusively in Canada. You will find them on treetops and roadsides.
A crow perched on a tree. Photography by Mabel Amber.
Carolina Wrens are birds that only exist in the southeastern U.S. and some of northern Mexico. They are even more collected in this area than blue jays. Unlike most birds that nest on the branches of trees, they like to nest in tree cavities.
“They are beautiful birds,” Wren Linde (‘24) claims, “I have had several encounters with wrens. They are my favorite bird because I am named after them.”
So if you think you have been spending too much time indoors and wish to know even more about birds, give birdwatching a shot!