Monday, June 21, 2010

Bird Watching as Retirement Hobby

Bird watching is a rewarding hobby that allows us to enjoy nature and the outdoors in a quiet peaceful atmosphere and as many would say birding is second to absolutely nothing else.

Bird watching according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, is now a hobby of 47.8 million Americans, birding has increased as much as 8 percent in the last 6 years. Hunting is down four 4 and fishing has declined 12 percent, in the same time period. 

Bird watching, bird studying is one of those retirement hobbies that are becoming popular again. Birding is getting the people looking for outdoor activities that don't require expensive equipment or extensive training. Birding requires a good birding book on birds that are found in your area, a pair of binoculars and appropriate clothing for the season and you can start birding watching at home in your own back yard.

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One can pursue this hobby on his own or can join any of those clubs that are completely dedicated to these feathered creatures. There are number of birds that you can spot depending upon the time of the year and your location. Some of the popular birds are; hawks, woodpeckers, falcons, finches, wrens, cardinals, blue birds, sparrow, black birds, blue jays, pigeons, robins, goldfinches, nut hatches, chickadees, starlings and many more.

 Many smart bird watchers offer feeders or create bird houses to have a better look at birds. If you love hiking, then head towards the woods to experience activities of bird in their natural habitats. Binoculars will come handy if birds are perched high in a tree top. Bird guide will help you in identifying species that you can pen down in your diary along with date, location and time. Those having camera or camcorder can always click some lovely pictures of these innocuous species. If you are a member of a bird watching club then you can share these snaps with your club mates who will be delighted with your collection.

If you like to travel there are numerous birding areas that have bird watching trails where you can see live birds that have so far only been pictures in birding books. The reward of bird watching is seeing one of these new feathered folk. Rewarding because you not only get to see these feathered friends and their antics but you get to hear them as well.

Bird watching is allowing some retired folks, who want to find outdoor retirement hobbies but don't want to take up a strenuous hobby, a way to get outdoors. Many retirees certainly don't want to be out on the tennis courts or carrying golf clubs for any number of reasons. Bird watching gives us a chance to be active and enjoy themselves outdoors.

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Bird watching can become a part other hobbies. When bird watching becomes bird study and as finer details are learned the possibility of incorporating birds into painting becomes a real possibility. Consider birds in your knitting and other needle crafts. Carvers have a great subject to use, as do scroll saw artists, intarsia artists, etc.  

The first rule of the bird watching guide to ethics is everyone must have respect for the birds. Taking a few seconds and considering the feelings and situation of the birds, when initially coming into contact with them will help you understand the principles of behavior. Consider for a moment that the bird was you. Do you think that you would want to be harassed and coerced into flying or moving so that the bird watchers could get a better view of you with a set of binoculars or a camera? I doubt it. Therefore, to respect the birds and their environment is a very important rule when you are bird watching. When watching the birds, it is completely about control and respect. It is key that when photographing or videotaping that much care is taken not to startle the birds. This is something to take great care of when bird watching in habitats where there are great numbers of birds.

As well, when bird watching, you need to keep your distance from the birds' nests and to respect their nesting habits. Bird watchers who get to close to take a picture run the chance of being pecked because the babies are well protected by their parents. Consequently, staying very quiet and concealing yourself behind a rock, log or something else is imperative if getting a great bird photo in that place is what you desire.

The second rule of the bird watching is respect for the law. Many times you may come across a bird that you want to look at closer while you are out bird watching. If that bird is on private property, then you must ask the owner if you can enter their yard and take a look. Ask yourself if you would want someone wandering into your yard without talking to you first. You'd probably like the courtesy of being asked, so do the same...

As well, there are some parks or protected areas in the world that only allow groups in at a time. These laws are put in place to protect the area for the birds so that they are disturbed as little as possible. Watch for signs or check with park office before travelling there with a group.

A bird watching hobby is relaxing and inexpensive to entertain. You can enjoy this hobby with your family and friends.  Keep a journal by recording details of the birds you have found in different parts of the country, where you go on vacation, or on the special trips that you may take to entertain your hobby.  This will help you develop your bird watching skills and could ultimately mean your bird watching hobby becoming your full time job.

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