Winter Nature Study: Bird Watching
The weather is literally freezing here in Tennessee, and I am admittedly not a fan of the cold. Yet, despite the cooler air, I have still found myself outdoors "ice skating" on frozen spring water and assisting the boys in building windbreaks at their woodland fort.
I won't say I dislike these mini-excursions, as they are definitely memory-makers. However, I would be lying if I told you I don't regularly encourage indoor activities on these bitter cold winter days.
If you are like me and find yourself sometimes wishing you could simply watch nature through the window with a hot cup of cocoa in your hands, don't worry, because great nature learning experiences aren't only discovered outdoors. There are many ways to enjoy the beauties of the earth from the cozy warmth of your living room.
One of my family's favorite indoor nature-themed activities is bird watching.
I know many of us envision a bird-watcher as an old man wearing short khaki shorts and a wide-brimmed hat while carrying the world's largest set of binos around his neck, but trust me, this isn't just a niche for the older men in the room.
Bird watching is actually a really entertaining and enriching activity, so don't dismiss it until you've tried it.
And there is no better time to try it than during the barren winter months.
During these cold weeks, birds aren't hidden away in a nest, but are busy searching for difficult-to-find food. Also, because much of the greenery is gone for the season, the earth's little aviators are easier to spot in trees and bushes.
To observe their interesting habits of coming and going, fighting and loving, building and eating is like a miniature version of people-watching, sans the worry that they might stare back.
So if your family is ready to take flight on a new adventure, begin a season of bird-watching this winter, and be sure to check out our Bird Resource Page for a list of books and supplies to get your new hobby started.
I hope these resources prove useful in fostering a love of our feathered friends.
Now grab that cup of cocoa, scoot your chair a bit nearer the window, and see what mysteries of the outdoor world you can discover!