Be Your Own Birder

Beyond Birding

We are all birders, but we are all more at the same time. While birding and birds are a huge part of my life, I’d never advocate that these little feathered wonders – no matter how amazing they may be – should be your whole life. There’s work, home, family, friends, hobbies and so much more to explore in this tremendous world, it would be a shame if we didn’t get out to experience it. After all, even birds don’t stay in one place all the time.

My world is a diverse and ever-changing one that, at any given time, includes…

  • Travel domestically and internationally, by land, air and particularly sea – I love cruises and have been on more than a dozen, some of which have seen fine birding
  • Cooking, baking and enjoying delicious food (much to the dismay of my waistline), especially if I can do it easily in a slow cooker
  • Compassion for all wildlife with a particular fondness for turtles and tortoises, such as the resident gopher tortoise in our backyard
  • Beach cleanups to help prevent litter from contaminating our oceans and harming all marine wildlife, including albatrosses, sea turtles, sharks and more
  • Books, books and more books, not only on my personal shelves, but from weekly visits to the library and an amazing used bookstore I happily drive two hours to visit
  • Volunteering weekly at the local library (see point above) and seeking additional volunteer opportunities in my community
  • Long and rambling walks, either in my neighborhood, along a stretch of beach or through an extensive antique store, of which I have several to choose from
  • Cross stitch, latch hook and (barely) learning to crochet, with a yen to start painting rocks to leave as brightening gifts throughout the community
  • Writing real, hand-written letters to friends, lengthy enough to stretch the bounds of first class postage and written on personally selected cards or stationary
  • Writing, writing and more writing for work (I’m a freelance writer), from niche blogs and websites to local newspapers, national magazines, organizational newsletters and more

We are all so much more than birds, and while birds are part of our lives everyday, we should never surrender all of ourselves to just one thing. Enjoy the diversity of your personal flock, and look beyond birding once in awhile.

Caribbean Sea – Photo by Melissa Mayntz