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Newbie notes: Why do you like birdwatching?

Welcome back to Newbie Notes. With lockdowns in place all over the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of us are stuck with backyard birding.

So for this issue, it’s time to answer a very basic, more personal question:

Why do you like birdwatching?

The pros of birdwatching can be read in numerous articles over the internet, so I’ll give this a more personal take and cite my five personal reasons.

Exercise

Everyone needs good exercise. Birdwatching is not a complete body workout, but I find it to be a good way to get moving while getting to enjoy the front row of nature’s show of life.

Flexibility

See, I’m an introvert. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a loner who avoids other people and dislikes talking. It’s just that you avoid small talk and prefer to engage others with topics that you are passionate about.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I’d like to say that birdwatching is a perfect hobby for introverts because it is flexible. If you want to go solo, you can. If you wanna go with a group, birdwatchers are passionate nerds of varying levels, so there are lots of good quality stories to exchange. And you can watch birds from your home, the nearby park, a few hours’ trip away into birding hotspots, or even in a big overseas expedition.

Dinosaurs

I loved dinosaurs and prehistoric life when I was a kid. These days, my love for them has been on a resurgence, and nothing is more dinosaur-y than going out and watching birds. Studies have shown that theropods, the two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs, are the ancestors of today’s birds.

Dinosaurs have been on Earth for 175 million years, with new species still being discovered to this very day. And birds, like dinosaurs, are also masters of evolution, as they can be found everywhere in various habitats all over the world.

Flight

This is something I’ve realized only lately, that a lot of the things I like are capable of flight. About the same time I got into birdwatching, I also got into a hobby called planespotting. It’s basically observing aircraft and/or photographing them, and is often done at areas close to an airport. I didn’t get into it as much as I did in birdwatching, but I can differentiate Airbuses from Boeings at the very least.

I’m a fan of military history with a special focus on military aircraft of World War II, and I also build and paint plastic models of airplanes. Even a lot of my favorite anime series and movies are related to flight. I find it hard to explain why, but I guess the freedom exhibited by flight is just something I find both enigmatic and beautiful.

People

Last but not least, it’s the birdwatchers. It’s amazing how people from literally all walks of life could get together and enjoy watching birds. We share stories, and we all continuously learn as we go along. And our birdwatching reports also contribute to help with conservation efforts. But most importantly, we all get to have fun.

Thank you for reading this issue of Newbie Notes! Hopefully by the next issue the lockdowns would be over and we can all go back to the great outdoors!

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