Watch the Birdie

male_cardinal_20150204We spend a fair amount of time watching birds.  Whether it’s the myriad fowl at our feeders, the hawks hunting the pastures, or the geese and herons settling on the ponds out back, these feathered friends bring us a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment.

We’ve been birdwatchers for a very long time now.  Yet each day brings a new rush of enjoyment from the beauty and antics of our feathered friends.  No doubt, this will continue to be the case.

And we are not alone…

Beauty on the Wing

Bird Watching is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. In the United States and Europe alone, there are thousands of groups dedicated to bird watching,; ranging from small, informal gatherings of friends, to large organizations that hold annual conventions.

If you’ve never tried bird watching, you may wonder what draws so many people into it. At its simplest, bird watching’s popularity stems from its simplicity and ability to relieve stress. Birds are symbols of innocence and freedom, and bird watchers gain a measure of relief from the day to day stresses of modern daily life simply by looking at these little winged wonders of nature.

Another appeal of bird watching is that the sheer variety of birds in the world gives the watchers a sense of something new every time they see a breed they’ve never encountered before. Unlike enthusiasts of domestic animals like dogs and cats, bird watchers who want to look at certain breeds may even have to go into the wilderness on camping trips to look for these birds; thus getting fresh air and exercise mixed in with their hobby.

Birds are a joy to behold due to their colorful nature; they are one of the types of animals that generally use visual displays to attract their mates. For this reason, birds are usually colorful, flashy, and really fun to view. Their behavioral patterns are also more whimsical and playful than most other types of wild animal.

snow_birds_20150204Their songs are another reason why people enjoy bird watching. While some species of birds just squawk or shriek, there are enough songbirds with melodic voices in the world that some enthusiasts have actually compiled their own recordings of the various songs of the birds they’ve viewed.

Bird watching is a safe family event; while some nature trips and wildlife viewing expeditions involve factors of risk that prevent children from joining in, birds are almost predominantly harmless, making a nature trip to watch them an excuse for a family holiday.

Get close to nature

On a more serious note, bird watching also contributes towards the preservation of nature. Aside from environmentalists and natural scientologists, formal bird watching societies make a habit of knowing which species of birds are endangered, which are rare, and the general behavioral patterns and migratory paths of flocks of birds. With this knowledge, even casual birdwatchers are able to help official wild life preservation groups keep track of and protect avian wildlife.