Kid Heroes: Quin Keeps Track of the Birds


What happens when you combine two hobbies you love? Official Kids Mag found a Kid Hero who did just that! And finding out about Quin happened just in time for a story about this months’ Great Backyard Bird Count. Quin W., who is now 16, has been taking photos for about two years. When asked how he got started, Quin says “I was starting to get bored just walking on trails with my parents so I started taking pictures of things I’d see. The first camera I used was a Canon SX720hs point & shoot.” He also started taking photos of all the different birds who visited his backyard bird feeders as a way to practice with his camera.

Quin’s favorite subject for photos is wildlife. This awesome kid combined his love of taking pictures and looking at birds and nature into some prestigious photography awards. “I’ve placed in the Benton County Fair, Arkansas State Fair, and Bella Vista Photography Club’s Print Show,” Quin said. (We included a list of the awards he has won on page 38.)

Quin also told us about his favorite photos. “I have many favorites, a recent Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron on a dock, and a Snapping Turtle.”

While taking all these photos, Quin began helping log the different birds wherever he went. And he used his backyard photo practice to start keeping track of the birds he photographed.

Quin has recently learned a lot about determining and identifying birds. He explains how he got started. “This past Spring I learned about the Merlin Bird ID app. I then could take a picture of my LCD screen showing the bird I just photographed and it would guide me toward identifying it. I started doing backyard bird counts this past Summer, and in the Fall learned of e-Bird.”


Quin’s most interesting bird?

The Peregrine Falcon is the most interesting bird to me because it dives at 200 mph. 

Most colorful bird Quin has seen? 

The most colorful bird is the Painted Bunting which I have not photographed yet. My favorite bird I’ve photographed is the Pileated Woodpecker. I like how they fly and also toss bark as they look for food. 

What’s in Quin’s backyard?

We have many feeders and two bird houses. We mainly feed suet, black oiled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, mealworms, thistle, and Cardinal Mix. It brings in a good variety of birds. 

Where is Quin’s best place to watch birds? 

My favorite place to bird is the Craig State Fish Hatchery. You can bird almost anywhere though. 

Quin’s tips on how to get started watching birds and reporting them online:

Take a picture of it, use the Merlin app to ID, confirm Merlin’s suggestion in a field guide, log in to your Wings Over Arkansas log or with e-bird.

What can you share with other kids to get them interested in bird watching?

I look at birding as a game, to see how many birds I can photograph. It’s also an I Spy game finding them, especially when there are leaves on the trees. It’s also fun to earn the Wings Over Arkansas pins and certificates.


Quin has upgraded his camera and now shoots with a Nikon DSLR base and a Tamron lens. He also joined Bella Vista Birders in April 2019 and the Bella Vista Photography Club in June of 2019. Both groups have birders in them. He also “birds” with friends.

Official Kids Mag asked Quin how he does research on local birds or studies different birds and he explained his process. “I like the Crossley ID Guide for Eastern Birds, it has a lot of images of birds from different views and is my favorite book. I also like the Wings Over Arkansas Program and Checklist.”


Quin’s awards:

November 2019 Bella Vista Photography Club’s Annual Print Show

• Weather – Color – 1st place

• Weather – B&W – 1st place

• Long Exposure – B&W – 3rd place

• Animals – B&W – 3rd place

• Architecture/Abandoned – B&W – 3rd place

October 2019 Arkansas State Fair

• B&W Action – Flying bee 1st Place & Best in Show

• B&W Flower – Grouping of three flowers 2nd Place

• B&W Scenic – Landscape of Bella Vista Lake 3rd Place

August 2019 Benton County Fair 

• Color Animal – macro of a turtle with a slug on its forehead 1st Place & State Fair Invite

• Color Action – bird taking flight 2nd Place

• Color Scenic – Mark Twain National Forest 1st Place

• Color Flower – Pink Coneflower with a bee 1st Place

• Color Geometric – Car Reflector 1st Place & State Fair Invite

• Color Wildcard – Macro Photo of a Bumblebee 1st Place & State Fair Invite

• B&W Animal – Macro of a Grasshopper 2nd Place

• B&W Action – Flying bee 1st Place & State Fair Invite – went on to win 1st Place at the Arkansas State Fair & Best in Show

• B&W Scenic – Landscape of Bella Vista Lake 1st Place & State Fair Invite – went on to win 3rd Place at the Arkansas State Fair

• B&W Flower – Grouping of three flowers 1st Place & State Fair Invite – went on to win 2nd place at the Arkansas State Fair

• B&W Geometric – sun “rolling” on the power lines 1st Place 

• B&W Wild Card – macro of a snail 1st Place & State Fair Invite, this photo also win 1st place in Bella Vista Photography Club’s Monthly Contest June of 2019, the first month he joined the club

• June 2019 Bella Vista Photography Club’s monthly contest – Macro theme

• 1st place close up photo of a turtle with a slug on its nose


The WOA (Wings Over Arkansas) program is by the Arkansas Fish & Game Commission. They have a printable log and checklist with six levels of achievements based upon how many birds you have recorded.

Snappy (Quin) has reached the Belted Kingfisher Level having photographed more than 100 bird species. 


What kind of hobbies do you have? Have your adult email to let us know about your cool stories.