Top 10 Reasons to Be a Young Birder

Why should a kid become a birder? Here are some reasons why we, being young birders, think you should:

BWD Editor Bill Thompson, III, points out a bird to his daughter Phoebe and son Liam.

10. There are so many birds! There are more than 9,000 bird species in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, like hummingbirds, and some are big like hawks and eagles. Some, such as tanagers from South America, are brightly colored; others are dull—like gulls off the coast of Australia.

9. Birds are all around us! Everywhere you look, you can find birds. Whether you are taking a car trip or just out in the local park, there are birds in the sky and in the tree. The cool thing is that wherever you go, you can see new birds that replace the ones you saw in another area.

8. It is an excuse to get outside! When you are outside, you can find new places wherever you look. Therefore, there are practically infinite places to go. After you have been outside birding for a while, whether it is just for a walk or for a serious bird study, you will start to notice things you have never seen before.

7. Once you look at birds for a while, you start to see details in the birds you are looking at. Noticing detail is important in all aspects of life. In bird watching, this skill helps you see small field-marks are hard to see. You can also draw birds better if you can pay attention to detail.

6. Kids that go birding have an excellent understanding and appreciation of the environment. By learning about conservation at an early age through something fun and informative, they become environmentally aware, and this characteristic stays with them their entire lives.

5. Birding is a fun and interesting activity that promotes ecological research and protection. Getting involved in birding can lead to interesting and prestigious future careers in ecology, biology, and/or natural history.

4. Birding has something for everybody. Writing, math, physical activity, and of course science are vital to the birding experience. Therefore, birding helps kids develop and improve these skills as well as allowing them to enjoy them.

3. Birding is a very enjoyable pastime. It combines hiking, mind games, and science. Nothing compares to the thrill of glimpsing a colorful bird and flipping hastily through your field guide to identify it. It does not take long for a young birder to accumulate an incredible life list of exciting and extremely varied bird species.

2. When you become a serious bird watcher, you will want to see new birds that will not show up in your backyard. Once you get to this point, you will want to travel. If you travel, you get to see places all around the world that you may not get to see otherwise. If you are not able to travel to these places, you can still enjoy their beauty through books and in your own backyard!

1. Birding allows kids to connect with their family and friends. This pastime involves much socializing and talking, and birders gain more knowledge from other practitioners the more they participate in birding activities.

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