For senior citizens, birdwatching can be an ideal hobby or pastime. Birdwatching can be done by people whose heath issues restrict their activity. It can be enjoyed by folks on a fixed income. Best of all, birdwatching is an activity that can be done all year round. There are very few special demands made on seniors who want to get into birdwatching. You don’t need new clothes or fancy equipment. Still, a few solid senior tips for birdwatching might come in handy.
- Begin locally and think small. No one wants to squelch the enthusiasm of a senior who is about to take up a new hobby, but birdwatching is something that is perhaps best begun locally and on a small scale. There are birds all over the world but when you begin birdwatching it can be much less overpowering or confusing to start in your own backyard or out your own porch window.
Your first step in birdwatching is to do exactly what the hobby name suggests – watch birds. Try to look out windows in your home that give the broadest perspective and see how many birds you can already name. You may want to put out a simple bird feeder or a few bird house to help attract new birds to your yard.
- Use library bird books or on line sites . If you are new to birding you will likely need help in identifying some of the birds you see. Of course you can purchase a bird guide book or field manual, but a good senior tip for birdwatching is to take out bird books from the library or go to helpful sites on line. these methods are free and they will remind you that nature can be explored with little or no expense.
Whatever sources you use they are likely to assist you with spotting and identifying birds by color, size, and distinguishing features as well as by habitat and food choices. You will be surprised at how quickly you will begin to put characteristics with the correct names of the birds you see and how quickly birds will begin to seem far less generic and more individual.
3 Keep a log. With resources on hand, the next senior tip for birdwatching is to use a small notebook or your house calendar to write the names of the birds you see each day. At the end of the month list new birds that have arrived during the month and birds that seem to have departed. In this way you can keep track of those birds that migrate through your area over the course of the year.
Using a notebook or your computer can allow you to write other notations about what you have witnessed your bird subjects doing in flight, in cover or on the ground. You can begin to become familiar with the habits of specific birds and begin to anticipate their behaviors just as you would with people.
- Take Your Hobby Out for a Walk. For seniors who are capable of getting out on their own, the next senior tip for birdwatching is to try out your hobby beyond your own yard. Certainly you can do this in a walk around your neighborhood, but if you are really looking to expand your hobby , try the nearest Audubon Society Refuge, State or National Park.
Pack your field guide if you have one, bring a small notebook and pen and field or opera glasses if you wish. You should also bring water and a snack to keep you going . See how many of your neighborhood birds you can spot and then indulge yourself and see how many new birds you can add to your list of birds spotted.
- Blend your birding with other interests. If you like walking and you begin to get interested in birds you will find the two interests quite compatible. A good senior tip is to try blending your birding with some of your other interests as well.
For example, are you handy with a camera. There is nothing quite as photogenic as the birds you have been watching. How about doing jig saw puzzles? You will be amazed at the many bird puzzles that are available at nature stores. There are lots of ways to mix birding successfully with other things going on in your life.
- Share Birding with others. A great senior tip for birdwatching is to share it with someone else. Teaching others to enjoy birds the way you now do is a gift to them and to you. You can share birding with other seniors in your neighborhood or at the senior center. Best of all you can share the joy of birdwatching with your children and grandchildren. Young people often move too fast to really enjoy the beauty of the wild life around them. A great senior tip for birdwatching is to include your family and friends in this fascinating hobby.
Birdwatching is for everyone. Once you start birdwatching you will be surprised how much a part of your daily life it becomes and how anxious you will be to share this hobby with those you love.