If you’re looking to add an outdoor hobby to your leisure activities — especially now that you’re spending more time outdoors thanks to your new swimming pool — you might want to give birding a try! Also known as “bird watching,” there’s plenty of opportunities and options if you’re interested in exploring this pastime. According to the National Audubon Society, the United States is home to nearly 50 million birders! So if you’re interested in it, you’re definitely not alone.
Benefits of Backyard Birding
Birds are fascinating! From the way they travel together and behave in predictable ways to how they so freely glide through the sky so seemingly carelessly, observing and learning about birds can be a life-giving pastime. And backyard birding is a low-cost, high-interest hobby. To start, you don’t even need a book or binoculars. Simply spend time outside and focus on observing the birds in your backyard. What do they look like? What are they doing? When do they make noise? The simple act of focusing your attention and wondering at nature has many benefits to your mental and emotional health, as does simply being outdoors.
Once you start noticing, you can start recording your observations in a notebook or even on your favorite handheld device. Perhaps you’ll also incorporate some photography, drawing, or painting in your observation notice. “I drew it and I knew it,” someone once wrote.
Variations on Backyard Birding
Patience is not only a virtue that can help you in your birding endeavors, but it’s also something you can grow through this pastime. The more you wait and watch, the more you will be able to observe. Identifying bird species can be a challenging endeavor, but as with anything that is difficult, that just makes success even sweeter! Bird identification is based not only on coloring but also on behavior, so the more patiently you observe, the more likely your observations are to bear the fruit of identification. Some species will be easier to identify than others, partly because of their behaviors and how often and loud they like to sing.
Birding can be a solitary pastime as well as a social one. It’s an activity with which you can involve various family members and friends, regardless of age. And like any hobby, birding can be as casual or formal as you like. But even with very little investment of money and time, you can experience many of its blessings.
Just as the more hospitable you make your soil for plants, then the more they will reward you, so also the more appealing you make your yard for birds, then the more frequently they will visit you. So as you look to enhance your landscape design to allow for this poolside pastime, be sure to include some bird-friendly elements. We’ll look at some of our top choices as we continue this series. Continue reading with Part 2.
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