For The Birds? You Bet!
If you are looking for a new hobby that is enjoyable, leads to socialization, is easy on your wallet, and you can get into starting today, consider bird watching (or, as it is commonly called: birding).
Initially, all you have to do is go outside and look for your new aviary subjects. If the feathered friends you see seem to capture your interest, then consider becoming more involved. If you have a yard, set up a bird feeder to attract a greater number and variety of birds. Try placing a large bird feeder on a pole near a window of your house where you can sit inside and watch the bird activity at the bird feeder. You may want to buy a metal collar for the pole so that squirrels and cats will not be able to get up the pole to your bird feeder. With the colder weather, the birds will appreciate your effort as their natural food supplies become scarcer.
The internet offers a good starting point for all you might need to get started on cataloging your sightings and the hobby (www.birdwatching.com), but your local library is also a resource for some of the literature. You will want a color field guide to birds to help you identify the species in your vicinity.
Then, get a pair of spotting binoculars, a good-quality digital camera with telephoto lens, and a journal to write down your observations. You will, in time, want to visit creeks and woods where you will have the chance of seeing some unusual birds. If you keep up your bird watching hobby, you should keep careful notes about the birds you see and what they are doing when you see them.
Investigate local birding clubs (http://www.birdingguide.com/clubs/) to develop some friendships and encouragement. Birding is a great way to get outdoors and become more aware of your environment. In fact, you may find your children and grandchildren might enjoy joining you on a bird watching outing. It’s a hoot (we couldn’t resist!)!