Birdwatching 101: I identified every bird on the Lakeshore path so you don’t have to

That's right — Lakeshore path is more than aggressive joggers and freshmen smoking Mary Jane ... It has birds!

· Nov 3, 2020 Tweet

Amateur birders may initially choose violence before peaceful observance

I’ve heard a lot of gossip from hip, trendy, sexy students in my area about how there are thousands of students just DESPERATE for someone to help them identify birds in their local area. 

I mean, if our student body is known for one thing and one thing only, it’s bird watching and goddamnit – bird loving. I, for one, am sick of there being no bird resources on campus, so I’ll take the first step for us all.

It only takes a few trips to the beloved Lakeshore Path to master this art. Let me take your little claw, and together we’ll identify these winged bastards. Here’s your guide to all the birds on the Lakeshore path. Keep this handy the next time you’re walking down past Memorial Union and you’ll be a bird expert in no time. 

The blue and red ones: These have a mohawk – In fact, these are the only birds in the world that wake up at the crack of dawn to style their hair. Scientists have studied this phenomenon for ages and only have one conclusion – these birds do it because it looks fucking sick.

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The yellow ones: No, not Big Bird, silly! Though there’s a reason we all think of him first … I mean, look at him. He got that name for a reason.

You can usually identify whether or not you’re encountering a yellow bird by looking to see if it’s yellow. See, just like that! You’re a birding expert! Put that in your bio and boom, you’ve just gained like, twenty Tinder matches. 

The ones with long legs: There are a few long-legged birds in the Wisconsin area. And they all have long, stupid beaks and have definitely all gotten fined for public indecency and battery before, because they’re rude as fuck. I hate these birds. I recommend never inviting them to a party, but they will likely show up regardless. Be prepared.

Canadian geese: I do not know why they are here because they are not welcome. They bite and nobody likes them. And jeez, do they make for a snooty winter coat. 

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Robins: These birds are easily identifiable because they eat worms and chirp. I do not know where they go during the winter, but I also never leave my room. 

Water birds: Mixed opinions on these bad boys. But I’m trying to keep this article as scientific as possible, so I’ll leave subjectivity to the side. Water birds are definitely the least maintained bird species. I mean, they obviously have health issues that are visible in their webbed toes. 

It’s so unfortunate to watch them live with those deformities each day – I’m sure they get made fun of a lot by the other birds. Thus, as bird-watchers, it’s our duty to make unwebbing water birds’ toes a conservation priority, so that they can survive (and thrive) as a species. It’s really sad to see what humans have done to our planet. 

Well, there you are. Be free, little birder. It’s OK to misidentify a few birds here and there. We all start somewhere. But please, return to this guide if you feel lost or confused on what bird is sitting on your balcony. And if you see a yellow, six-foot tall bird, don’t hesitate to send him my way. For research. 

Please feel free to contact me with any birding questions or concerns. 


This article was published Nov 3, 2020 at 2:25 pm and last updated Oct 31, 2020 at 1:42 pm


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