Birds: better than or equal to happiness

Michael Capasse, Staff Writer

I have always enjoyed the outdoors, but in recent years I have come to appreciate one aspect of the wilderness more than others. Birds have found a special place in my heart, and have nested deep within my soul. My experiences with bird watching have been unequivocal ecstasy and have taught me how to live my life on a more philosophical level. Bird watching is more than just looking at birds, it’s a lifestyle, one that has taught me so much about life and made me an overall happier person.

What’s truly magical about the world of ornithology (the study of birds) is that it must be viewed almost entirely through binoculars or a bird book. One of the first things you’ll want to do is find a good pair of binoculars for getting a better look at a far-away avian friend, perched or in flight. Though you can have the zoomiest binoculars and the chonkiest bird book, your instruments won’t do you much good unless you have a prime spot to go bird watching. Ask around the bird-watching community, or simply explore. Patience is a key aspect of birding (behind remembering never to keep your mouth open while looking up), because you can’t always see those rare species that look really interesting in your book. They are rare species for a reason.

Also important to birding is stealth: This stealth may take some practice, but it is a pivotal aspect of bird watching. If you go barreling through the woods like a lunatic, then you most likely won’t see any birds. People often ask me “Why do you go out into the woods and just look at birds?” and I reply “You can’t understand unless you try it yourself.” This I why I encourage everyone to experience the magic of bird watching.