Calling All Birders

Indigo bunting. Malachite kingfisher. Whistling warbler. Piping plover. What do these four things have in common? Feathers.

If you’re a bird watcher (birder to those in the know), you get this. You’re in it simply for the love of gorgeous winged creatures and a glimpse of them, no matter how fleeting.

But if you’re not a birder, here’s the skinny: birding is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities around. Turns out there are tens of millions of them (us included) all over the world. People who love watching birds just for the sake of watching.

To be honest, it’s a bit of an odd thing to do — trekking across savannas, beaches, forests, marshes and even city parks with binoculars in hand –– waiting and hoping for a glimpse of that elusive red-headed, black-shouldered, white-crowned, blue-winged, crimson-backed, or yellow-bellied creature. And as strange as it sounds, there’s a curious zen to bird watching. A calmness and oneness with nature.

So what do you need to join the ranks? Not much is the answer. Binoculars are helpful but not essential. Yes to curiosity, patience and maybe a list of local birds in your area. Then head out and simply look up.


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