Howdy y’all, from deep in the heart of Texas! I’m Alexandria Simpson, an avid birder . I wish I could say I had been birding all my life, but my avian infatuation did not begin until I was eleven. I could not have asked for a better location to begin my now-favorite hobby:  the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. My pastor invited me to go birding on South Padre Island with him and his granddaughter. More than four years have passed and I haven’t stopped. I enjoy every minute of birding and look for any opportunity to bird. I doubt I could ever thank him enough for that trip; it inspired me so much and helped me decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Since I have been home schooled all my life, I am able to incorporate studying birds into my curriculum. Since my family birds, too, it is pretty easy to convince my mom to take us on a bird field trip.
Becoming an ornithologist is my future goal. I read everything bird-related I can find:  books, newsletters, magazines and even some scientific journals. Maybe someday I’ll be able to read those scientific papers without falling asleep. I listen to song/call CDs to develop my birding by ear skills. I am active in several conservation groups and regularly give presentations about conservation and birding. For two years, I have been a youth ambassador for Texas Brigades, a wildlife education and leadership development camps for teens.
My birding passion has led to improvement and development of other talents and interests:  writing, photography, and drawing. I had done all of those things in the past, but never really progressed in skill. I also really disliked writing. After I began birding, I developed better observational skills which helped me immensely with drawing and writing. In fact, writing actually became one of my favorite things to do—at least  writing about nature.
When I was twelve, my first illustration was published and I had an article published at thirteen. Some of my other accomplishments are placing second in writing and third in photography in the 2009 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest, second in photography and honorable mention in writing in the 2010 contest, second in illustration, third in writing, and third in photography in 2011, and second in writing and third in conservation in 2012. In the Texas 4-H photography contest in 2011, I placed at both the county and state levels in five events.  In 2012, I was published in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, which has a readership of over 100,000.  I am also currently serving my third term as Student Blog Editor for The Eyrie.  Over at The Brainy Birder, I write about anything and everything related to birding.
I’ve enjoyed watching The Eyrie grow into a much-read blog. I can’t wait to see what lies in the weeks and months ahead!