Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Meditative Birding, Ornitherapy & Finer Details

There are many birding podcasts out there. I happen to use Spotify but I'm sure if you searched birding podcasts you could find them through many other services. Recently, I came across one that got my attention. It was Bird Banter Podcast #148 with Doctor Ed Pullen,  featuring guest Holly Merker.

Just to give a brief summary, they talk about how being out in nature observing birds is good for you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Slow birding, mindfulness/hyperawareness, and observing everything in detail can greatly enhance your experience. These are things I've done on my own but it was interesting to know that there are other birders out there that take this approach to birding.

   There is a book available that covers these topics in more detail titled: "Ornitherapy For Your Mind, Body, and Soul"

 Too often, I fall into the habit of the search, identify and move on birding routine. I found the book to be a helpful reminder to take the slow approach to birding while observing birds and my surrounding in more detail.After listening to the podcast I was inspired to pull up a chair and sit quietly at the edge of my favorite local bog. After waiting patiently, a male and female Wood Duck swam over from the opposite side  until they were within 20 feet of me. Wood Ducks spook easily so I was pleased that they stayed and visited for a while.As I was sitting quietly I had a thought. Suppose we all lived within 4 walls that were all just plain white with no other objects around us. How valuable would access to a natural outdoor scenic place be worth? Maybe more than gold or any material item we might purchase for ourselves! Luckily for us, we do have access to places like this, and in most cases it doesn't cost us a thing! Every time you view birds it can be worth giving them a second look from a different angle. Lighting, the position of the birds, and the angle that view them from can show you something that you did not see the first time. 

Spring is only a week away! I am sure looking forward to some warmer weather!


Nan said...

This is a wonderful posting. A subject I haven't thought of before. I am not a "birder" in that I don't travel to see them, but I do feed them and have the joy of seeing them every day. Wild turkeys are a real favorite. They hop up whenever they hear the door open and follow us hoping for food. Not a bit shy and really quite companionable. I know they all do me good. I love the wood ducks.

Anonymous said...

Larry: Thanks. I watched a PBS special about a man who lived in a cabin in the woods. He hatched some turkeys and spent an entire year mixing in with the flock. It was interesting.