A lazy Sunday afternoon takes on new meaning in our current state of social distancing. With fewer places to go and more time at home, simple pleasures are resurfacing as a source of joy and relaxation. People less busy with travel, work and social commitments are cooking from scratch, painting, reading, sewing, cycling, and many are finding the backyard bird feeder captivating.
Interest in bird-watching has soared in recent months as more people look for outdoor activities that are engaging, inexpensive, and requires minimal gear. Birdfeeders, nesting boxes and birdseed sales jumped in the spring months and bird identification and logging app downloads have also seen a recent spike. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has developed a free app to help birders find more hotspots, share their sightings and track their photos and sounds.
Bird-watching can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities and with technology, birders can share their discoveries with other like-minded people on video chat platforms or smartphone and tablet apps. With proper social distancing, birdwatchers can join others on nature walks and learn more about the winged wildlife in their communities. Check out Meetup to join an existing group or start your own.
To learn more about how to start birding, what supplies you need and how to identify birds at home and out “in the field”, follow this link to the National Audubon Society website. Older adults who are not physically able to get outdoors to spot birds or who don’t have access to a garden space to hang a feeder can still enjoy birds in nature through the Cornell Lab bird cams.
Bird-watching is a great way for older and younger generations to connect either in person or virtually. Photographers will have new motivation to dust off the camera and lenses and put their skills to use.