I love birds. In fact, birds are my favorite animal. They are so varied in plumage and song and have so much freedom in flight. Some people are surprised to hear that we actually have quite a few birds in the desert where I live. We have hawks, owls, quail, doves, roadrunners, sparrows, woodpeckers, and more. The problem is that most of them are pretty camouflaged and color seems to be a rarity. But if you go looking in the right places and exercise a little patience you can find some pretty amazing birds – even in the middle of the desert.
I have watched birds most of my life, but usually in a casual and unplanned way. I usually sit in my yard and watch what is around me. But ever since I got my new camera I have been ever so inclined to go out and find beautiful birds to photograph. My kiddos and I recently went to a local riparian preserve and were absolutely stunned at the wide array of birds enjoying the quiet marsh in the middle of the desert suburb of Gilbert, Arizona. It was a relaxing and enjoyable outing with just the right touch of thrill and wonder. Bird watching has now become an official family-fun activity in our home.
So why should you bird watch? Let me give you a few reasons.
- Birding gets your family out into nature.
- It requires periods of silence and observation, something a lot of kids do not get much of these days.
- It creates a sense of adventure and exploration.
- You get to look at some of God’s most interesting creations.
- Stress busting! You get to enjoy a slow pace and disregard time for a while.
- If you like photography, bird watching gives you interesting subject matter to capture.
- Bird watching gives you an excuse to travel to beautiful areas.
There are so many reasons to go birding, but you really do not need one. Just go. You will enjoy it and so will your kiddos.