Member since: January 03, 2022
Positions and Achievements
Hi, My name is Manuel, people call me Manny. I've lived in Philadelphia now for about 17 years, but I am originally from central New Jersey. I work as a professional photographer for Urban Outfitters, down at the Navy Yard.
While i've always loved nature and admiring birds, Birding is very new hobby for me. I got more serious about Birding last spring. After being cooped up most of the winter due to the pandemic, I began to take more walks around my work. I work at the Navy Yard and there are so many birds around, so I wanted to learn more and be able to identify the ones I saw. I downloaded the Merlin Bird ID app, and would just follow my curiosity. One morning as i was walking, something small and yellow caught my eye in a bush....prior to this colorful bird, i was mostly seeing catbirds, starlings, grackles, song sparrows...all great birds but mostly greys, browns, blacks, so this burst of color really got my attention. I had a small pair of not very powerful binoculars, but i decided to spend more time looking at this colorful bird, following it around as it flew from bush to bush then onto a tree. I noticed it was yellow underneath, had black around it's eyes, and maybe some grey on top. I put this info into the merlin app, and lo and behold it was a common yellowthroat! Common seemed to be a misnomer because it seemed so different and colorful to anything I had remembered ever seeing. I kept going back in the mornings to try to find it again, but kept seeing other small colorful birds, and each bird I would try to identify with the app, just kept getting me more and more excited. I learned that all these small warblers I was seeing were passing through on their spring migration, and when I read more about that it got me super fascinated and I just wanted to know more. So to make this long story short, this is what I have now come to know is called my "Spark Bird", and it really really was.
I mostly enjoy birding at the Navy Yard, John Heinz, and FDR. I have met a few people out birding, and have also gone on a few DVOC bird walks, but I am quite shy and introverted, and also this is all so new to me, it is hard to get past just a "good morning" or "Hi, hello!" when i am out there. Hope joining will make it a bit easier, and also hope to learn more from everyone as well.