I know what you’re thinking, but NO, I do NOT professionally study or photograph birds, and NO, I did NOT go to school for bird-studying or photography, and NO, I have NOT seen every kind of bird on earth… I just really like birds a whole lot! I don’t even use “top-of-the-line” equipment, just my trusty binoculars and sometimes my monocular, and not even a real camera, but merely a smartphone! (And I don’t even use bird identification apps all that much!) All this and I still get results that I’d gladly stack up against any of the other “expert” bird bloggers any day!
I grew up in the Birding Capital of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, or “The ‘Burgh” as everyone calls it. Then the eBird competition got a little too crowded there, so I moved to a faraway land where there isn’t another birder for miles, or even any Carolina Wrens: Boulder, Utah! Now there aren’t so many snobby city-slickin’ know-it-alls questioning the educated judgement of my birding reports!
I have been able to tell apart the different kinds of birds for quite some time now, and I have extensively looked through the Sibley Guide to Birds (the complete and field guide editions.)