Melissa Mayntz has been birding for more than 30 years and is developing her suburban backyard into a certified bird wildlife habitat with native plants, natural foods, water sources, and abundant shelter.
Melissa's birding has taken her from the Midwest to the Southeast to the West and internationally to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. She has observed hundreds of bird species and has been published in Bird Watcher's Digest, WildBird Magazine, and National Wildlife Magazine, as well as in various Audubon chapter newsletters and other bird-friendly publications.
Her yard is currently visited by dozens of species, including red-bellied woodpeckers, blue jays, northern mockingbirds, palm warblers, painted buntings, common ground-doves, and tufted titmice. She maintains a birding website, Be Your Own Birder, about all the feathered exploits in her yard and her own birding adventures,
Melissa has coordinated birding presentations for county fairs, served on the planning committee for the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, and is pursuing certification as a Florida Master Naturalist.
Birding is an amazing hobby that is simple to get started in but will quickly take over your spare time. Nothing matches the thrill of discovering a new species to add to your life list, and knowing how to be a conscientious birder is a tremendous source of personal satisfaction. When I'm out on a trail birding, I feel as free as the birds soaring above me or flitting through the trees. I look forward to sharing my experiences and advice with anyone interested in this rewarding hobby.