Where can your eBirding take you? For Heather Wolf, it helped lead to publishing a book on her patch and a job as an eBird developer! “I went on a little quest to find as many bird species as possible in my urban patch,” explains Heather Wolf, author of Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront. Heather became a birder while living on Florida’s Gulf Coast where the antics of nesting shorebirds and terns were impossible to ignore. A rambunctious Least Tern prompted her to research the bird, and she’s been intrigued by birds ever since. “I was very fortunate to begin birding on the beach where it was easy to observe species and study their subtle differences. When I moved back to New York City, I wasn’t sure what to expect.” What Heather found was a local patch, Brooklyn Bridge Park, with not only views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, but plenty of birds. “Once my eBird patch list started growing, I wanted the local community to know about the birds of their park, so I decided to take up bird photography and share the birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park on a blog.”
Heather’s blog planted the seeds for her book, which, since its release last June, has received nods in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. “I often wonder where the birds that appear in the book are today. I’m ecstatic that they are making people smile and encouraging them to take a closer look at the birds on their block.” Just when she thought things couldn’t get any better, Heather landed her dream job of working for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a web developer. “eBird has been an essential tool and motivator for me since I started birding. To be able to contribute to eBird and other sites at Cornell Lab has been amazing.” If you’re in New York City, you can attend one of Heather’s upcoming events, including a talk at the Brooklyn Bird Club in April and her migratory bird workshop at Madison Square Park in May. Read more about Heather and the entire eBird team here.