Bird Watching

Three adult birdwatchers in the snow.It has been called a meditation – a time of quiet discovery and reflection. What motivates a person to pick up that first pair of binoculars and call themselves a birdwatcher?

Bird watching can be an uncomplicated, singular pursuit and simplicity can be the main attraction. The sight of a great Blue Heron slowly stalking the edge of a lake brings us closer to nature. Words can fail when describing a thin line of snow geese flying white against a winter sky, rising and falling with the wind until they have almost become the breeze itself. This is life unfettered and free.

A Great Blue Heron on the bank of Payette Lake with a fish in its beak.

We are almost envious when we see birds momentarily slip the bonds of gravity. Birds live in a world that for us is the stuff of dreams and wonder. This is whimsy taken wing, a continuity of creativity. Each bird represents an ancient genetic lineage. A perfect blending of environment and survival. It is no accident that Charles Darwin studied birds when developing the theory of Evolution. They are an unbroken chain of life that some fear may be in trouble.

A toddler birdwatcher with binoculars.

As children grow in an age increasingly filled with computer monitors and television screens, it is frighteningly possible to lose touch with our natural surroundings and the beauty they offer. Many families are actively seeking to rekindle that special connection between humanity ands nature, and bird watching is the perfect opportunity to do so. Grabbing a pair of binoculars and heading into the outdoors is a simple thing to do but, for ourselves and our families, can be truly life changing. Birds have a story to tell, and all we have to do is take the time to watch and listen.

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