Hobbies that calm you down: Bird watching (Tweet, Tweet)

There are many hobbies out there which brings us closer to nature: camping, gardening, wild life photography, and (the main subject of this post) bird watching.

Leucochloris albicollis -Campos do Jordao, Sao Paulo, Brazil-8

By Dario Sanches from São Paulo, Brazil [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bird watching or Birding as it’s officially called is the practice of studying and observing birds. Most people have probably never even heard of the term birder before (I hadn’t before I started researching it), so you might be wondering what the difference is. The terms bird watcher and birder are thought to mean one and the same thing but don’t say that to a serious birder! Basically the difference is in how seriously they take the study of birds; a birder will be much more serious and intense about birding than your everyday run of the mill bird watcher.

Now, from what I can tell, anyone can do birding if they really want to. However, if you want to be a serious birder you should do your homework and learn more about the birds in your area; as for equipment, you can just use your naked eyes or you could use binoculars and/or telescopes if you want to but it’s not necessary. One thing you will have to work on is your hearing, i.e. your ability to distinguish sounds. Bird watching involves a lot of listening and more often than not you’re going to hear a bird before you can see it.

Remember though, this blog is not about serious birdwatching, sorry birding; it’s about relaxing. So, whether you want to become a serious birder or just a relaxed bird watcher, it is entirely up to you. Now let’s get to the point of this post, how birding can help you relax.

At the end of the day birding is a social activity which you are meant to do with other people; and as I have said before, humans are social animals. So if say you’re not the type of person who likes to go out partying and drinking, you can always just hang out with your fellow birders and watch the birds. Besides that, doing something which you find fun with people that also find it fun just multiplies the fun, it always feels good.

Also, you can make a lot of new friends when you go out birding, you never know who you’ll meet when you get together with strangers, you could make a new best friend, heck you might even meet the love of your life. Ok, I’m exaggerating my point a little, but you get the idea.

Then of course there’s the exercise. Birding is a hobby with a lot of physical activity, mostly walking, with a little bit of climbing here and there thrown in for good measure. If you’ve read my post Healthy Body = Healthy Mind (come and look at my muscles) then you’ll know how exercising can help you feel better when you’re down, and since birding has exercise in it, it works out well all around.

And finally there is the most important aspect of birding, getting in touch with nature and of course the birds. The whole point of a lot of relaxation exercises like yoga is to get in touch with nature which birding inherently does. And then of course there are the birds; I don’t know about you but I find most birds to be very cute and in some cases, majestic and beautiful so I would love to look at a nice bird, maybe not all the time but at least every now and then.

Well that’s about it for this post. If you’re interested in birdwatching you can find out everything you need to know about it here (yes it’s a wikipedia article but they do explain everything quite nicely) and if going outside isn’t your cup of tea but you still like watching birds then search for videos on the internet. There are tons of videos which show so many beautiful birds, like this one:

Or this one:

Anyways, bye for now and good luck with the birding.

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