It has been said that once you get to the stage of watching the birds in your birdfeeder you can officially be called elderly. I beg to differ! Birding or sometimes called birdwatching is an activity that all ages can and should enjoy. You can get as actively involved as you desire. During the pandemic that we are in, it seems to be a great way to pick up a new interesting hobby.
Birding can get people off their phones and out into the sun which is a good way to reduce stress. It is very low cost depending on how much you want to spend on feeders, seeds or traveling to specific locations to seek out more unusual birds. Once involved, a whole new world of birds will be open up to you. Audubon Societies have pamphlets of specific bird walks, many which loan out binoculars if you don't have a pair of your own to use. Bird watching tends to make people more conscious of their environment, thinking green. If you venture out you may discover parts of your city that you never knew existed. Scenic views and observing your surroundings is a wonderful way to appreciate Mother Nature in a whole new light. There is an unbelievable amount of bird species all around us.
After my husband put up bird feeders in the back and front of our house, I was simply amazed of all the different kinds of birds that we had visiting the feeders. We can sit out back in our screened porch or outside patio and watch all of the birds. Even the blue bird houses that he attached to our fence. Never did I believe that we would be able to watch the comings and goings of the mamma and poppa blue birds building their nest inside and then bringing food in to their chicks. Such a remarkable sight.
We also had some robins build a nest up in the overhang of our patio. Fairly soon after, we heard the little ones noisily calling out for food. Both parents were on worm hunting trips constantly. Those chicks were hungry. Birds just are an awesome way for all of us to get in touch with our love of nature.
There are books that you can get for your own state that give you specifics on each bird in your area so that you can identify them. This one is the one that I use to identify which birds come to our feeders. I actually marked the pages with post it arrows.
This picture is looking out from my desk in the study. The little red birdfeeder has proven itself to be to difficult for our squirrels to steal the food. After all, they have a very large oak tree to gather all of the acorns they want. We even change up the kinds of seeds that we put in the feeder. It brings different types of birds depending on the seed you choose. I use my handy dandy bird identifying book many times just to be sure of what I am seeing. I did just order another feeder that we will put the song bird seed in. The cardinals that came before are not coming in so often now. That squirrely squirrel is entertaining when he does try to get to the seed. He can easily hop on the top and then tries to jump on the side but it won't hold his weight and down he goes. After a few attempts, he finally gives up and goes to hunt acorns.
Birding is a great way to introduce kids to enjoy watching birds. Instead of a specific book, which is good for them too, I found a Bird Bingo game. That way they can mark off the birds they see and once they have a horizontal or vertical line of birds sighted, they win...BINGO!
We have a pond and a lake in the subdivision where we live. When driving or walking by we see the mallard ducks, the Canadian geese and even egrets. For a while we had a problem with a few ducks flying over and landing in our pool. All we could do was to run out and scare them away because it is not a good thing to have them in your pool. Finally, they did get tired of being chased off. I even purchased a large alligator float. All that did was to give us one more float to use in our pool. It did not seem to intimidate the ducks at all.
There is one story that is hard to believe. I am telling you that it is true and I am so glad that Steve was with me when it happened. We both were in awe. Saving the best story for last. Imagine driving down a two lane road that has very old trees on each side that canopy the 1 mile stretch of road. We were in my convertible with the top down. As we were coming over a small hill, a very large bird came down and flew along beside us. We could hear the sounds of his wings. The two of us studied his coloring and knew that he was a golden eagle flying along with us. The wing span was more than 5 feet. When we arrived home, we quickly checked our Tennessee Bird Guide and sure enough, that was exactly the bird that we saw and joined us in his flight. When we told family and friends, I am not quite sure that any of them believed us. That's ok. We experienced probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to see such a magnificent creature this close to us.
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