Even with 2020 well behind us, we’re still seeing its lingering effects day by day. This year may not be an easy one, but we hope to introduce you to a new hobby that can brighten your days.

We believe that 2021 is the Year of Birding, and in this blog, we’ll tell you why birding is the best thing you can do for your body and your mind in 2021.

Easiest Hobby Ever

Look up and stay grounded, you never know what amazing birds you’ll see!

Birding is probably one of the easiest, low barrier to entry hobbies out there! Picking up birding can be as easy as going outside in your backyard or going for a walk in your local park, and just watching. Look around you, in the trees, on the ground, in bushes, take it slow and you’ll start to see movements you may have overlooked before. What makes it truly easy is the fact you can do it nearly anywhere! It’s a great incentive to discover the unknown parts of your local area if travelling is out of the question but you’re still feeling the itch to explore.

Not to mention, birding can be really cheap to get into. You don’t need any fancy equipment to watch birds and most resources for learning about birds in your area are free and available online. Birding also pairs well with other hobbies you may have already – walking, hiking, camping, photography – if you’re outside, there are probably some birds nearby. 

Get Your Fitness In

Pair your daily walks with some bird watching.

Lots of people have some form of fitness or activity goals for the new year, and luckily, birding can fit in perfectly with that. Even just incorporating goals of daily walks can do wonders for your health and wellbeing, but sometimes, going on a walk without a purpose can make it too difficult to even start. Pair your walks or runs with a checklist of birds commonly found in the area and you have yourself an adventure that can help take your mind off the “must go on a walk” paralysis. 

You can squeeze birding into almost any outdoor activity, especially if it helps to motivate you. Hiking once a week? Look for birds! Cycling regularly? Plan a route that has a stop by the water or at a park and look for birds! Open water swimming? Race cormorants in fish catching! OK… maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. You might end up really enjoying the birding aspect and find yourself actually wanting to go out for even more exercise to see more birds!

The Serenity Factor

Barred Owl photo by Tina Rataj Berard.

Birding got a huge bump in attention last year with, well, you know… everything. There are a couple reasons for that! Birding provides a great outlet to the many things we’ve been facing and at the very least, it can help take your mind off it all.

Since it’s an outside hobby, birding checks the box for getting some vitamin D, fresh air, and a healthy dose of green surroundings. As a mental health boost similar to meditation or mindfulness, being outside birding in nature is a wonderful resource that can be linked to many benefits. It may not seem like it at first, but there is a calm that comes from watching your resident birds go about their daily business that can help you let everything go for a moment. Birding is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, or a way to start your day with some peace and patient observation.

Getting Started

Discover your local parks, trails, and birding areas.

We’re excited to have you join the birding community! The BC Bird Trail is full of resources to help you get started: from understanding what it means to go birding, to how to bird responsibly, to how to count birds – we are a resource here to help!

You can plan your first birding adventures with the help of our regional self-guided itineraries. Pick and choose where you want to go birding, stop for coffee, eat dinner, or grab local goodies to take home with you, making it even easier for you to support local.

Plan ahead: Read more about BC’s current travel restrictions here.

For more information about the latest provincial health orders, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions