On this episode of the podcast Social Distance, Katherine Wells and James Hamblin investigate a new pandemic-compatible hobby.
Listen to the episode here:
Some highlights from their conversation:
Jason Ward: The birds that you’re seeing in your yard or in your neighborhood are not there year-round. During springtime, we have migration of 20 billion birds. They leave South America and Central America and the Caribbean and head north to the U.S. and Canada to breed. This bird has to brave storms, predators, windows, and buildings, and it has to brave all of these different obstacles just to be able to make it. And it does this twice a year, every single year. These are small dynamos.
Katherine Wells: What’s the best way for people to start birding?
Ward: I think, first and foremost, we should utilize our eyes and ears and our sense of curiosity. Walk outside. Stay still for a moment and watch the birds behave and interact with one another. Listen to their songs and their vocalizations. Then, if you want to take the observation to the next level, purchase a pair of binoculars. Now you’ve unlocked the key to a whole different world that has always been there. After binoculars comes field guides. You can get a book or use an app, like I do. The beauty of birds is that they have figured out almost every habitat on the planet: oceans, deserts, high mountains—birds are everywhere.