Birding, aka Birdwatching, “is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of is a recreational activity.”
Boring, right? To most the idea of walking, canoeing, or kayaking wooded areas hoping to find birds to identify seems incredibly dull and boring. So spending hours in search of birds might not be your thing but learning about the birds just outside your window, in your own yard, is birding too.
Why start birding? Because it’s challenging, that is the fun of birding. You do not need to search out birds, they are likely already within your view. Most of us challenge our friends everyday, did you see that YouTube video? Or that episode? We play iPhone games endlessly against each other. Why not begin challenging each other on nature topics? That’s what birding could be within your group of friends, another game, another challenge. How many Blue Jays can you spot (or hear)? How many Mocking birds did you spot swooping towards an intruders this week? Even in most cities, especially around New Orleans, there are a large variety of birds to be seen. You do not need to drive out of the city into the swamps to begin. At festivals enjoy some time looking up while listening to the music. During Jazzfest you may even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle over head. Start by spending one minute standing outside your door before getting into the car. Look for movement to find the birds, note the color and size of the birds you see. Then take five minutes to identify the bird before diving into Facebook or Instagram that day. eNature.com, Audubon.org and AllAboutBirds.org are great free resources to get started.
Working outdoors everyday our guides enjoy challenging each other. After each tour a quick summary of sightings reveals the winner each day. The winner gains a little pride and each guide gains some more knowledge.
The fun of birding is the challenge. Challenge yourself and your friends.