Nature is fascinating to witness, and throughout the entire year there are ample opportunities to watch nature play out through the lives of the local bird population. Bird watching, or “birding”, is a fulfilling hobby that requires no prerequisite knowledge and minimal equipment. Plus, it can be done virtually anywhere. If you do like to watch birds, you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, some 45 million people actively watch birds both around and away from their homes. Whether you’re looking to take this up as a hobby or enhance your bird watching experiences, here are some tips to help you enjoy and identify birds from the comfort of your armchair.
Reap The Benefits of Bird Watching
Aside from being interesting and fun, bird watching has been shown to lower stress levels, reduce feelings of depression and provide a sense of peace and well-being. If you’re able to sit outside and watch the birds, just being in the fresh air can help calm frazzled nerves and boost your mood. Bird watching can be enjoyed from indoors too, and whether out or in it can be a highly social activity. Some people enjoy bird watching with friends, as part of a class or as a member of a bird watching club.
Ways to Participate In Bird Watching
Bird watching can be done virtually anywhere. A local park is a great place to start, but you can also enjoy beautiful birds without leaving the comfort of your home. Consider purchasing a window or other bird feeder, a suet feeder and some bird food, and watch the birds flock to you! Gazing out at the birds outside of your own window is a relaxing way to spend some time. And, throughout any given season, you may be able to watch birds build nests, incubate their eggs, care for their young and then see the young birds fledge and then learn to fly. You might also consider sampling a bird watching class at your local library or community college, or gathering a few like-minded friends to start a bird watching club of your own.
Bird Watching Tools
Bird watching doesn’t require special equipment, but it can be fun to “gear up” to enhance your bird watching experience. Here are some recommendations for those who want to take bird watching to the next level.
- Invest in high-quality binoculars.
- Buy a field guide to birds. Here is a list of guides to consider.
- Research birds and birding. We recommend watching the BBC’s The Life Of Birds hosted by David Attenborough or reading The Genius Of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman.
- Try some birding apps. From bird identification apps to bird calling, bird tracking, bird checklists and more, several apps are available for bird enthusiasts.
- Visit a bird watching forum. Forums like BirdForum.net and BirdWatchingDaily.com connect bird lovers from around the world.
At Lighthouse Senior Living, we believe that exploring new interests is an important part of an active and fulfilling lifestyle. To learn more about our assisted living communities in Essex and Hopkin’s Creek, contact us to schedule a tour today.