“I only ever see pigeons, crows, or sparrows…”
I’ve heard this common experience from many friends and family.
As an avid birdwatcher for the last ten years, I wear my hobbies on my sleeve. Throughout my life, it’s brought me much joy to get others excited and curious about the birds they may encounter out in the world.
I’ve gotten many friends excited about birds and these are a few ways I get people excited about birdwatching.
Share your experiences
I go birdwatching often, and always have new stories to tell about the fun birds I see, often showing photos, audio clips, and the experience with others. You’ll be surprised how often once someone knows you like birds, they’ll start taking photos of cool ones they see and asking for you to ID them.
Your interests and passions are infectious so don’t be afraid to share with the world.
Empower them with resources
The first thing I recommend to curious friends is to download the app Merlin. After I explain to them that they can use it to listen to birds and discover the species, they are often compelled to download it. This brings opportunities for them to learn what visits their backyard or what they’ll see on an evening walk.
Make it easy for a person unfamiliar with new birds to have fun and understand the species they see. This lowers the barrier to entry into birdwatching as a hobby.
Encourage people to look up a local Audubon chapter. It’s a great way to offer a community of people passionate about nature and birds. Local Audubon chapters often host bird walks throughout the community. These bird walks are a great way to learn how to find and identify birds.
Invite them to go birding with you
Extending an offer to go birdwatching with a friend is all it takes to get some people to try it for the first time. I’ve invited many new friends and acquaintances to go birding and they always enjoy it. Share in a new experience and make a memory that will last.