My husband and I spent last Saturday afternoon at a lecture on woodpeckers, so I guess that officially makes us bird nerds. You won’t necessarily find us holding field guides with binoculars around our necks, but our love for watching the birds was one of the reasons we decided to make the woods our home.
Whether you live in the city or the country, maintain an elaborate system of bird feeders or just sprinkle bread crumbs on your window sill, feeding the birds provides year-round entertainment and a peaceful connection to nature.
It can bring also bring joy in unexpected ways ~
The Joy of Learning – At our bird lecture, Don, a naturalist at Brown County State Park, taught us how to identify seven different species of Indiana woodpeckers. Did you know a woodpecker’s tongue is so long it wraps around the inside of its head? We could never run out of fascinating things to learn about our feathered friends.
The Joy of Kindness – When we do something nice, no matter how simple, it increases the goodness in the world. A single act of kindness can have a long-reaching ripple effect, sending good vibes throughout the planet. Watching the birds gleefully flock to their freshly filled feeders and bird bath, makes us want to keep spreading good cheer.
The Joy of Connection – Over the years, I’ve watched the birds from kitchen windows and backyard porches with family and friends of all ages. Last weekend, I stood at an observatory window and talked with strangers about the birds we saw. Bird watching can create a sweet and common bond over the wonder of our shared world.
The Joy of Beauty – In our flashy, bigger-is-better world, we can miss the subtle, natural beauty of things. When we take time to notice a bird’s intricate coloring, delicate shape, and sweet song, we begin to appreciate the genuine beauty in the world we sometimes take for granted.
The Joy of Simplicity – A handful of bird seed and a little fresh water is all a bird needs. It makes us stop and think about what we really need to live a healthy, happy life. Watching the birds mindfully eat, chirp, nest, and fly can encourage us to strip away the pretenses and live a simple, authentic life.
The Joy of Charity – Remember the bird lady Mary Poppins sang about? “Come feed the little birds. Show them you care and you’ll be glad if you do. The young ones are hungry; their nests are so bare. All it takes is tuppence from you. Feed the birds. Tuppence a bag.” Like Mr. Banks, we can learn to joyfully share our blessings, not just count them.