With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing and many stuck at home, people are looking for hobbies and activities to fill their newfound free time. Many hobbies these days are hard to do due to social distancing and other concerns. While some are busy baking sourdough and watching movies, might I suggest another idea: bird watching.
You’re probably not surprised I’m recommending this as a new hobby (this is a bird blog after all). Here are five reasons why birding is the perfect pandemic hobby.
You can do it from your house
For those who many not comfortable leaving their homes often, birding can be done at home. Simply find a window or a yard and sit for a few minutes in the morning. You’ll start to notice what local birds hang around your neighborhood. Step up your game by putting up a bird feeder to attract new kinds of species to your personal space.
Low cost to get started
All you need to get started is to go outside and see what’s around you, but of course, a pair of binoculars will help immensely. Binoculars can be found online cheaply or you might look at your local thrift stores to see if you can find something second-hand
Social distancing is easy
Social distancing is easy when you’re out in the field or at a large park. No worry of having to be in confined spaces or around large crowds of people if you pick your birding location wisely.
You can do it practically anywhere
Birds are everywhere. You won’t have to go far to see them. Whether it’s your backyard, local park, or nature preserve, there are likely Birding Hotspots all over your town that are waiting to be discovered. Check out my guide on How to Find Birds if you want some ideas on how to get started.
You contribute to citizen science efforts
While not necessarily pandemic-related, your efforts while birding can help contribute to citizen science projects such as eBird. Keep track of your life list and feel good knowing your observations are helping scientists better understand birds and their behavior.