I wouldn’t have thought a year ago that when we got together with our family birds would be one of the consistent topics of conversation. During the pandemic, we’ve shared a meal either virtually or physically with our younger son and his wife once a week and I’ve been surprised how often birds have been discussed.
Both our son and my husband have taken up birding a little more seriously since the COVID 19 experience began. My husband bought a new camera for birding a couple of months ago and our son just bought new binoculars for his birding expeditions. The two of them aren’t unique at all in their increased interest in birds. Birding has taken off during the pandemic.
Julia Zarankin writing about the COVID-19 boon in birdwatching in the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that even though most of our travel has been put on hold birds still carry on with their migratory journeys and that brings us solace. She says the vivaciousness and loud presence of birds remind us that they are very much alive and by extension so are we. Watching birds gives us hope and reassurance that even during this dark and chaotic time the cycles of the natural world continue.
A recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press reminds novice pandemic bird watchers that Manitoba is the perfect place to take up the hobby because it is on a migration path and more than 400 species pass through the province or live here.
Birding is a great pandemic social activity because it is done outside and you can stay physically distanced from your birding companions. Both my husband and son have benefitted from having friends who are seasoned bird watchers show them the ropes.
I haven’t taken up birding yet but I am enjoying the birding conversations our family has been having. Our grandson lives in Saskatoon and in one of our pandemic Face Time conversations he was showing us pictures of some birds he’d photographed in his backyard. The birding bug may be spreading to a third generation!
Note: All the bird photos in this post were taken by my husband Dave since March.