Bird-watching: A hobby for the whole family

If you are looking for an affordable and enjoyable hobby for the whole family, bird-watching might be right for you.  Bird-watching works for the very active and the not so active (I fall into the latter category). All you need to start is a pair of binoculars (cheap ones will work as starters) pen and paper (to record all your great sightings), a good field guide and a love for nature.  While aching knees or backs will eventually force your friends to hang up their skis or running shoes, birders can bird for as long as they can walk, roll, or look out a window (I’m genuinely excited to impress my roommates at whatever nursing home I eventually get put into). When I’m feeling very energetic I head for the woods or the river for a long walk, but most often it’s a tall glass of iced tea watching the bird feeders from my deck chair! This year my favorite sightings included a pileated woodpecker (Woody Woodpecker), a Ruby-throated hummingbird, and a Baltimore Oriole.

A great website for information is The Library offers many resources on birds, including;

Birds; a guide to the most familiar American birds

Birds of the world

National Audubon Society first field guide. Birds

A field guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American birds

Birds and Blooms

Winter, Spring , Summer or Fall, you can “bird” in them all, so consider catching the bird-watching bug, we can compare sightings and maybe we’ll have that elusive  Big Year.