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How to Get Started with Bird Watching

Jun 15, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing

Having a hobby is not only a great way for seniors to prevent boredom, a hobby can also give them a sense of purpose and a way to develop social connections. One hobby that can do all of those things is birdwatching, and spring is a great time to start. Birds are migrating and eggs are hatching, giving an older adult all sorts of fascinating things to look for. A benefit of birdwatching is that there may be a birdwatching club in the senior’s community where they can meet people with similar interests. If your aging relative is looking for a new hobby, getting started with bird watching is easy. Below are some tips for getting started.

Do Some Research

Learning more about birds that live in the senior’s area is a good first step. A caregiver can take them to the library or help them to use the Internet to find pictures of birds native to their area. They can also learn about how to attract the birds to birdfeeders and birdhouses around their house. In addition, the Audubon Society recommends learning about ways to minimize impact on birds during bird watching so their habitats aren’t disturbed.

Buy a Book

Most birders will tell you that a good bird identification guide is a must-have resource. A birdwatching guide can help seniors to identify the birds they see. A caregiver can drive the older adult to the book store to purchase a guide. There’s no need to memorize the birds in the book. Instead, The Nature Conservancy says to learn about groups of birds, like swallows, which can help the older adult to quickly flip to the correct section of the book.

Purchase Binoculars

Since it’s often impossible to get close to birds, a pair of binoculars can help your aging relative to see details on birds that are farther away. Choose binoculars that are lightweight, especially if the older adult has trouble with their hands. A caregiver can drive the senior to the store to buy binoculars and help them pick some that are comfortable to use.

Start a Bird Watching Journal

Half the fun of bird watching is “collecting” the birds. That doesn’t mean the older adult physically keeps the birds, only that they make a record of the birds they have seen. Start a journal to record information about the kinds of birds the senior has seen, when they saw them, and under what conditions. 

Bird watching is a hobby that a senior could do right from the comfort of their own home. But, to add some physical activity and social interaction, caregivers can look for bird watching events and clubs for them to join. 

Sources

https://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/specialfeatures/animals/birds/migratorybirds/what-you-can-do/become-a-birder-in-four-easy-steps.xml
http://www.audubon.org/birding/how-to-start-birding

If you or an elderly loved one are considering caregivers in Clinton, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.

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