My life list- birds

This is my work in progress list of birds that I have seen alive in my lifetime. I’m only including birds that I’ve seen outside of captivity and only ones that I have positively identified. I will include feral and non-native birds as well.


I was born and raised in Chicago. While I wasn’t actively looking or a birder per se, I’d like to think I was a pretty observant kid. Two memories really stood out. One was when an American Robin pair decided to nest right in front of one of our apartment windows. For a few weeks, I got to watch the lifecycle of these birds. The second was when a Pileated Woodpecker showed up in one of our oak trees. For all us urban kids in the early 90’s not used to seeing wildlife, this was the event of that summer.


I’ve lived on O’ahu for the past 20 years. Feel very privileged to do meaningful conservation work here. Some highlights have been seeing ‘I’iwi and O’ahu ‘Elepaio up close, having moorhen family crash a graduation party and commiserating with an ‘Apapane in the shelter of a Zanthoxylum canopy during a driving rainstorm.

South Carolina

Visited South Carolina just once so far (early 2010’s) for a wedding. I remember being surprised by the large roadkill on the sides of the highways. I wasn’t surprised to see it had attracted lots of turkey vultures to the free food.

Galapagos Islands (2006)


South Korea

  • Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)


  • Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

New Zealand

  • Kaka
  • Stitchbird
  • Weka
  • Takahe
  • Kereru
  • Kokako