About Me

You and me and this mic makes three.
Hello! My name is Tessa Rhinehart. I am a recent graduate of Swarthmore College, where I majored in Biology and Mathematics. Understanding complex systems is my passion both as a birder and as a scientist.

Seeing a bird banding demonstration by master bander Tom LeBlanc sparked my fascination with things with feathers. I'm thankful for Tom's tough-love strategy to teaching bird identification... even though it was especially tough for those of us who didn't know the difference between a warbler and a thrush!

Since that fateful summer, birding has become one of my primary passions. I enjoy adding new species to county, state, and life lists. However, I get equal satisfaction from understanding phenomena like seasonal patterns, breeding behaviors, and relative species abundances.

Whenever I am able, I lead bird walks, help folks with bird-related questions, and try to spark interest in those who aren't already avian-inclined. I continue to volunteer for bird banding projects; the two I primarily work with seek to improve our understanding of avian population trends and habitat usage.

My identification skills are quite a bit better since I first started learning about birds. But I'm always seeking to improve. And as they say, the best way to learn something is to teach it! This blog is my attempt to accumulate bird identification strategies in a way that both helps others and rounds out my own knowledge base.


A snowy plover at Coal Oil Point in Santa Barbara County, California.

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