We have a lot to be thankful for here at Bird Watcher’s Digest and Redstart Birding. There are our readers and our customers and the birding community that keep us in business. And our friends and family, of course. And our own crew that feels more like family than colleagues.
This Thanksgiving—this year especially—we wish you and yours a day of rest, reflection, and gratitude—and birds, of course, lots of birds! From our BWD family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Angela: I am grateful for my family and friends, good health, and of course birds.
Bruce: I’m thankful for my backyard. Due to the pandemic, I’ve been working from home and have had more opportunity to spend time observing backyard bird activity. I have enjoyed adding many birds to my yard list this year, including indigo bunting, eastern wood-pewee, Tennessee warbler, yellow-throated warbler, palm warbler, black and white warbler, orchard oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and many more. But my favorite new bird for 2020, the one I am most thankful for, was a red-head woodpecker who visited my backyard on August 6 and stayed with us for nearly a month. We named her Reba because of her red head. Of course, we had no idea if she was female or male, but I suspected she was a she. Reba would always announce her arrival to the backyard with a rapid chrr-chrr-chrr-chrr call. One morning after hearing her call, I rushed to the window to find Reba with two fledglings. What a thrill! What a blessing! I am grateful for all my backyard birds.
Cindy: I am grateful for health, family, friends, and the weather (it is forever changing, that is a good thing!).
Dawn: Not just in the season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the green space in my neighborhood. I’m grateful that my small town in Ohio has decided to preserve so much green space, and that so many big, old trees grow (and are protected) along city streets. I bird every morning when I walk my dogs, and resident in my neighborhood are cardinals, chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, song sparrows, several species of woodpeckers, and even roving bands of cedar waxwings, but also mockingbirds, vultures, red-shouldered and Cooper’s hawks. At various times of year, I’ve seen or heard a diversity of warblers, vireos, and flycatchers, and in the historic cemeteries within a few blocks of my home, bluebirds, Baltimore orioles, catbirds, brown thrashers, kinglets, chimney swifts, nighthawks, a merlin (once), and even a family of foxes! I’m grateful that I can take a 15-minute walk from my house to get to a river, where I’ve seen eagles perched, ospreys flying over, waterfowl, and flocks of geese and gulls. In other words, I’m grateful to live in pretty darned good birding habitat. My patch is good! That has made staying home for all these months so much more bearable.
Emily: I’m thankful for my sweet hubby and for the ability to work from home!
Jessica: For every sweet, challenging, amazing moment with my kiddos; for my supportive and loving momma; for my chosen family, made up of old and new friends from all corners of my world; for my dream career; for the joy of birds; for returning to myself. I am grateful for each of these every day, but especially today, and especially this year.
Katherine: I’m grateful to every subscriber and customer who gave their business to Bird Watcher’s Digest. As one of the marketers who plans the offers we’re sending out, I’m charged with the task of making promotions that will keep our small business thriving, but at the same time will address the needs and interests of bird watchers across a spectrum of experience levels. This has been especially challenging during the pandemic of 2020. At the end of this year we’ve enjoyed record subscription sales online, record website traffic, and an outpouring of appreciation from readers and visitors alike. Thanks to you, we’re still here! Supporting your love of nature and birding is the BEST JOB EVER!
Kelly: I’ll always be grateful to share my life with Kris, but especially during 2020.
Melody: There is so much to be grateful for but first and foremost is my family, and I’m extremely thankful that we are all healthy. I’m also grateful to have employment in these uncertain times, and that BWD is surviving! Oh, and sunshine! Always grateful to see sunshine!
Molly: I am thankful for family, friends, and freedom to enjoy the outdoors.
Sarah: I’m grateful for mundane things.
The wooden table in my front room, a piece of furniture belonging to but unneeded by my grandfather’s business; my sister kindly brought it to me in her spare time. I work from it on sunny mornings, taking in the rays that never reach my office in the rear of the house.
Instrumental focus playlists, which remind me of the music my aunt would play in her downtown store, which I loved visiting during childhood. They ease me through my workday when my attention is stretched tauter than a piano wire across departments.
The way my cat bumps her head against my raised hand to get me out of bed in the mornings, setting me up for a better day through the release of endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and other brain chemicals.
The luxury of having space to fill with whatever I want, even if it’s nothing at all, especially in a time when just a roof over one’s head is becoming increasingly unavailable to so many others.
And, perhaps the least mundane and but most significant, a network of loving support it took me so long to realize I had, and even longer to learn I could lean on it.
Wendy: This year I’m thankful for the ability to adapt. Yes, this is a strange thing to give thanks for during this season, but it’s a precious gift and something I’m incredibly grateful for. I’ve had to adapt to huge life changes over the past few years, and so have my family, my staff, and my entire world. I’m grateful for the human spirit that adapts and finds a path through difficulty, and joy in new beginnings. I’m grateful for the folks who dig deep and find the courage to start over again and again and again, facing setbacks and blows with the courage of true warriors. And I’m thankful that when we adapt, we develop flexibility and wisdom that we wouldn’t have learned any other way. We’re all still here because we adapted and chose joy over inflexibility! Cheers to our adaptable world this holiday season!