Why do I like birds so much? Why do I blog about birding and post my bird photography on social media? Why do I look forward to the weekend when I can go on new birding adventures and look for more birds even though I've already seen hundreds? All will be answered in today's post! Here are my 10 Best Things About Birding...
1. They're always on the move. At least some of them migrate, anyway. You can see different species during different times of the year depending on their migration habits. Birding is a hobby that offers a nice variety and I like looking forward to the different seasons when I'll see new faces in my corner of the Pacific Flyway.
2. The thrill of spotting something new (or rare to the area you're in). Who needs to go skydiving when you can get an adrenaline rush from seeing your first-ever Phainopepla?
|Red-tailed Hawk, Sacramento NWR boundary road|
3. Finding the same birds in the same places. We always look forward to visiting the Kingfisher of Road P. and the Merlin I've spotted in the same exact tree on several different occasions on County Road Z. And I can't leave out the Peregrine Falcon who hangs out at the Sacramento NWR! Learn where certain species live and congregate and then you can revisit old friends when you're in the area.
|Northern Flicker, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge|
4. You never stop learning. First their names, then gradually you learn about their habitat, behavior, range, etc. And then comes their sounds and songs. Learning the many different songs that go with each bird opens up a whole new world. Then, when you're walking through the forest and hear yank-yank, you immediately know there are Red-breasted Nuthatches nearby. Same with the delightful waka-waka of Acorn Woodpeckers. I could go on and on...
5. Every time you step outside or simply look out your window, it's like you're on a scavenger hunt. What will I see flying by or perched in a tree today? Will I get lucky and finally spot a (insert elusive bird here) today? What a wonderful reason to get up in the morning!
|Great Blue Heron, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area|
6. It's addicting. Once you take that first drive through the auto tour route at your local wildlife refuge, you'll want to turn right back around and go again. As far as addictions go, it's a great one to have. I constantly want to go out and find new birds for my lifelist. Don't even get me started on doing a Big Year! If only I had an endless amount of gas money...
7. Birding get's you out of your own head. It's nice to have something positive to take your mind off of whatever problems or ailments you're dealing with at the moment. Spending some time out in nature is a great way to focus on the beauty around you and the birds going about their business, flying and foraging and hunting for the sake of survival.
|Cooper's Hawk, my backyard birdbath|
8. You don't even have to leave your house. But, if and when you do, the possibilities for bird sightings are endless. Birds are everywhere and you don't have to go far to find them. Sure, they're abundant in nature, but I've spotted some cool birds in plenty of parking lots, too.
9. It can be a solitary endeavor or fun to share with others. I was into birding long before my hubby. He enjoyed the nature aspect of it, but it wasn't until after my first Big Year that he became interested in the birds themselves. Now he's my right hand man in every way, and eager to set out on birding trips to see what exciting sighting we can share and what different species we can find and take photos of.
10. Birdsong is relaxing. Even if you can't identify the birds through all the leaves in the trees, or they're moving around too quickly, it's still nice to stop and listen to them chatter away and sing their beautiful, unique songs. Being serenaded by a Western Meadowlark is one of my favorite things in the world!
I'm sure I could come up with at least a dozen more reasons why I love birding, but we'll save those for another time. Here's to spotting something rare and having the time of your life watching the beautiful winged creatures I happily consider friends...
Let's go birding!