This Father Day Take Dad Birdwatching

By by Helen Lovell-Wayne Macaroni Kid Publisher Kissimmee/Saint Cloud June 17, 2021

During this pandemic, a lot of people were stuck inside multitasking and hoping it would be over in the near future.  Now that cases are down and the majority of the nation is vaccinated, people coming out of hibernation. People are enjoying this time going to restaurants and entertainment centers, while others are traveling and spending time with family and friends.  This is a great time to start a new hobby.

One thing that I have learned is that picking up a hobby makes people happier, opens their worldview, and is great for their physical health.  Now that the dads in our lives are able to leave the house why not introduce them to birdwatching.  Bird watching can be even accomplished in the house, all that is needed is binoculars.  Many agencies have birdwatching classes including Osceola County Library, the Audubon Society, Osceola Extension Center, and even local high schools and community colleges have classes.  if the dad in your life is not up for classes he can get an indication book and listen to bird sounds on CDs.  

Then it is time to go out into nature to find interesting birds.  Osceola County is full of places to watch birds.  So choose a couple of nearby habitats and let him walk around.  He will be surprised what he finds.  Most serious birders will take a bird list with them and check off the birds they see.  This data can be input into the Cornell database or kept for prosperity.  

Once he starts getting past the basics he can start going to professional meetings like the Florida Field Naturalist or the American Ornithological Society.  At these places, he can meet other like-minded people to share ideas and go to presentations.  If your dad is observant and a decent writer he can begin publishing his findings.  

Even if the dad in your life does not get serious and just goes birding occasionally, it's a great hobby with positive benefits.  Hopefully, as a society, we will start slowing down a bit and noticing all the birds around us.  That would help us all on many different fronts.  I hope I have given the moms out their ideas for a new hobby for fathers day.

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