Birdwatching

BirdwatchingOne of the nice things about living in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is being close to nature. There are trees everywhere and it’s pretty common to see deer dart across certain roads early in the morning or late at night. You can step out your front door and hear a chorus of bird songs or spot anything from a cardinal to a jay to a sparrow. If you live in a place like Fayetteville you don’t really have to do anything to spot a bird… which is why it can be easy to take a hobby dedicated to it lightly. However, birdwatching is a relatively popular hobby and the people who do it can be pretty serious about it.

If you tell a diehard birdwatching enthusiast that you saw a bird on your back deck while enjoying a morning cup of coffee and checking your Twitter account, they might say that’s not really birdwatching. Even though you may have literally watched a bird, you just happened to see it. You weren’t actively watching for that bird.

Birdwatchers actively seek out different types of birds and work to be able to identify them by physical characteristics as well as by their song. It’s not uncommon for enthusiasts to drive through several states in order to spot a specific bird or see an event like a migration.

Twitchers (people who are really into birdwatching) will even fly to locations across the world just to look at birds. Kenya, Papa New Guinea, New Zealand –these are just a few of the top bird watching locations that twitchers from all over the world travel to every year. Birdwatchers flying across the world to watch birds fly across the world; there’s a certain poetry in it.

If you love being outdoors, you could probably get into birdwatching. It’s all about being in nature, being more perceptive, and examining your surroundings more closely. Being alert, aware, and patient are all skills that are practiced and honed in birdwatching.

And unlike rock climbing or paddling, you don’t need to have expensive gear specific to the hobby. Really all you need are your eyes and ears. Most birdwatchers like to invest in a nice pair of binoculars to help make the visual aspect of birdwatching more rewarding, but unlike a rope in climbing, binoculars aren’t essential to the hobby.

If you’re already into backpacking, hiking, or anything where you’re outside, birdwatching can be a fun and easily accessible hobby to try out.

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