Chris Barry is a local high school student and avid birder. He volunteers as an intern with the Chesapeake Conservancy, helping with their multiple wildlife webcams.
How long have you lived in the Chesapeake region?
I have lived in Annapolis my whole life. For over fifteen years now I have been able to experience the wonders of the Chesapeake.
You developed birding as a passion at a young age. How did you get started?
One day, about three years ago, I was in Ocean City, Maryland with my family. I really wanted to go to Assateague National Seashore which was nearby. I had binoculars with me because I knew I wanted to go there before we went on the trip. At Assateague, I picked up a field guide and I was just amazed by the diversity of birds. Ever since then I have been birding.
What are some of your favorite places to see birds in their Chesapeake habitat?
Locally, I almost always choose to go to Sandy Point State Park. I also like Fort Smallwood, Swan Creek/Cox Creek, and Kinder Farm Park. In May when all the warblers arrive I try to go almost every weekend to Susquehanna State Park. There is no bad day of birding there for sure. Also my family often goes on vacation at Rocky Gap State Park, which I find as another fantastic birding spot.
What other activities do you enjoy in and around the Chesapeake Bay?
Other than birding, I enjoy fishing and biking. I go fresh water fishing near my house most days in spring, and I like to go fishing in the summer at Sandy Point State Park. Biking is another fun activity that I can do easily, because I live about a five minute walk away from the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail. If I can, I go to my favorite place to bike, the C&O Canal.
Tell us something about your work with the Chesapeake Conservancy.
My work with the Chesapeake Conservancy so far has been a wonderful experience. I have recently been working on fact sheets for different birds of the Chesapeake, and I have been writing frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the Conservancy’s website. I have already learned so much from working here, and I hope to continue to learn in the weeks to come!
Which webcam is your favorite?
If I had to pick a favorite webcam I would have to go with the Osprey cam, mainly because of it being the first of the cameras I had ever watched. Two years ago, for the first time, I watched baby ospreys grow up, and I have loved seeing every year now the new and amazing family Tom and Audrey raise. Even now I can’t wait to see it and work with it all again next year.
Sandy Point State Park is located in Anne Arundel county just before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The 786 acre park provides a variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating, and windsurfing.
Fort Smallwood Park became the newest regional park in the Anne Arundel County Park System, located on the Patapsco River, the park offers experiences for fisherman, boaters, swimmers, birdwatchers, and admirers of local scenery.
Susquehanna State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities as well as points of historical significance. The park is home to some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the river itself beacons fishermen and boaters alike.
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park lets visitors explore history and the Potomac River along the 184 mile canal from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD. There are a number of visitor centers and sites to visit all along the Potomac so take a look at them all.