Any hobby is more fun when it is shared, and these five ways to share your love of birding and bird watching can introduce your friends, family members and community to this rewarding and enjoyable hobby.
Give Birding Gifts
Giving gifts to your friends and family members is a fast and effective way to introduce them to the joys of birding. Popular gift ideas for beginning birders include:
- Decorative feeders with a bag of good quality seed
- Beginning birding books or subscriptions to birding magazines
- Bird items that related to their other hobbies, such as a bird landscaping book for a gardener
When giving birding gifts, choose beginning items and basic supplies that will be useful for novice birders. Easy bird feeders, bird artwork and whimsical bird figurines are other gifts that can share your love of birding.
Visit a School
Young children love animals and are fascinated by birds, and visiting a school or classroom is a great way to share the joy of birding with the next generation. Arrange to present a guest lesson on popular local birds, share your bird photography, supervise a birdhouse making project or cook up fun birdseed suet recipes. If local schools do not have openings for guest presentations, contact a community center, youth group, public library, day care center or nature center for other opportunities to share your expertise.
Arrange a Birding Walk
If you have a favorite birding location that features a range of different species in a beautiful setting, offer to lead birding walks and field trips to that area. A field trip can include some educational material and may visit several local birding hotspots where you can point out different species to eager new birders. Popular spots to find birds to share include:
- Ponds, rivers and lakes
- Wetlands or marshes
- Trail walks or hiking paths
- Open fields or farmland
For the most successful field trip, bring along spare binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides and other supplies so everyone can enjoy the experience even if they are not equipped for birding.
Adopt a Bird
Adopting a wild bird is an indirect way to share your love of birding by ensuring that different bird species are protected. Money raised from bird adoption programs, whether you are adopting a bird of prey, hummingbird, shore bird, song bird or other favorite species, is typically used for research, education, conservation or rehabilitation, depending on the type of organization offering the adoptions. As an adoptive parent for a specific bird, you may also receive a picture of the bird, certificate of adoption or other gift to display and share your love of birding with others.
Practice Good Ethics
Practicing good birding ethics protects local and regional bird populations so many more people can discover the joy of birding. By being an active birder and setting a good example for how to enjoy this hobby without disturbing wild birds, you can spread birding enthusiasm to many new bird watchers who will also act to preserve and protect bird populations for generations to come.