Hi! My name is Amanda. I’m a birder, photographer, and amateur forensic ornithologist. I live and observe wildlife mostly in the eastern United States.
I’ve been an animal lover my whole life, but only recently have I started to “specialize” in birds. Since the summer of 2016, I’ve independently studied feathers, from their overall structure to the differences between the feathers of different species. It’s a terrifically interesting hobby, for sure, as feathers are both cleverly engineered and beautiful. In my opinion, feather identification is a sorely underappreciated and underdeveloped way to birdwatch!
My interest in birds has led me to a number of amazing experiences. I recently interned at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, where I cataloged the education collection, developed and implemented public programming about birds and feathers, and currently pursue my personal inquiries using their collections. In the summer, I assist with bird banding research and get to see gorgeous passerines up close in the field! And thanks to the kindness of the team at the Feather Identification Lab, I was able to observe professional forensic ornithologists at work in the Smithsonian’s extensive bird collections.
I have administered the iNaturalist project Found Feathers since 2017, which has allowed me to connect with many wonderful people who also have a passion for feathers. Come check it out if you haven’t already–I’m constantly surprised by the observations of rare and beautiful feathers that show up from all around the world! Plus, it’s the perfect place to practice your feather identification skills, as there are always observations waiting to be identified.
I hope I can help encourage people to attempt identification of found feathers! Feel free to send me a message if you have any feather-related questions, and I’ll do my best to help.
Here are some places where I can be found:
- iNaturalist: @featherenthusiast
- eBird: @featherenthusiast
- Instagram: @featherenthusiast
- Etsy: FeatherCraftStudio
You can find my 2021 high school commencement speech embedded below. Beware of the bird puns!