The world is full of wonders. Some of them are big, beautiful, and impossible to miss like the Grand Canyon or the Northern Lights. But many more are small, seemingly mundane, and often overlooked. The trees around us and the sky above are full of thousands of small, feathered marvels. When we dream of having magic powers, most of us dream of flying. For birds, that dream is a reality. I will show you why you should try birdwatching as a relaxing way of connecting with nature.
You may not realize it, but there are countless different bird breeds right in your own backyard. It’s not all pigeons and crows, even if you can’t tell the difference between them. If you’ve ever wanted to, though, maybe now is the time to take up a new hobby. Here are three reasons why you should try birdwatching.
The first and most obvious reason birdwatching is an enriching pastime is because it is educational. As noted above, there are many more species and subspecies of birds than most people realize, even in relatively homogenous urban environments. Taking the time to learn their unique names and traits can instill in you a greater appreciation and understanding of your local ecosystem.
What’s more, birdwatching is a good way to learn about and develop a more meaningful relationship with nature in general. Before long, you’ll be excited to get out of the house and try hiking through that scenic patch of Halton real estate or perhaps take a vacation from the city and go camping in the Colorado forests. Alternatively, you can birdwatch at a local park or even from the comfort of your own home if you have a window with a good vantage point.
Speaking of spending time at a park or at home, another benefit of birdwatching is the tranquility it can provide. As a counterpoint to more physical, stressful, or materialistic hobbies, birdwatching is in many ways similar to meditation. It encourages you to leave your worries behind and filter out background noise in order to focus deeply on an individual subject. A big part of paying attention is being mindful of little details, which typically helps create a calmer, more careful mindset.
An even bigger part of birdwatching is patience. Unlike hunting, birdwatching isn’t about throwing yourself into the wilderness in an attempt to track down prey. Rather, it’s a peaceful, relaxing process of letting the birds find their way to you. Waiting and seeing ceased to be a cause of anxiety, and instead is re-contextualized as an avenue for leisure and serenity.
Leisure and serenity are great, but not everyone is seeking solitude. Many of us enjoy finding opportunities to meet new people with similar interests who we can learn from and share in activities with. Once again, birdwatching offers all this and more. The birdwatching community is very old, very large, and very inclusive. There’s no shortage of chances to make friends.
Chances are wherever you love you’re not the only birdwatcher on the block. Even if in-person socializing isn’t your cup of tea, though, that doesn’t mean you can’t network with like-minded individuals. The internet has allowed the birdwatching community to flourish via online forums and social media sites. You can get advice from a veteran birdwatcher in Canada, compare experiences with a newbie like yourself from the UK, and share pictures of local species with people all over the world. For me animals are the more pure energy we can find on earth, they help us to relax and recharge from the daily routine.
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