Humans have a deep connection to nature. Even those who live in big cities often seek out green spaces for a chance to bask in the calm and quiet of nature. When you experience that connection to nature, it can provide a sense of calm during a busy day. So it’s no wonder that so many seniors seek out hobbies that allow them to enjoy nature in their own ways.
Birdwatching is an incredibly popular hobby amongst seniors, and it’s easy to see why. Birds are beautiful and fascinating creatures to observe. Whether you simply notice the birds on a walk through your local park or travel a little further away from home to spot some rarer birds, it’s a hobby that has a little something to offer for everyone.
Benefits of Birdwatching for Seniors
Birdwatching provides incredible emotional and physical benefits for seniors. Let’s take a look at some of the many ways seniors can benefit from this amazing hobby.
It gets you outdoors
Being outside can do wonders for your health. Getting out for a hike or a walk is a great way to get exercise and it’s totally free! It’s easy to incorporate birdwatching into your daily or weekly walks. Get started by taking notice of the types of birds you see when you’re outside.
It’s easily adaptable
One of the best things about birdwatching is that just about everyone can do it! It’s a perfect hobby for those who simply want to get outside a little more, as it can be done while you walk or sit in a local park. Or, if you’re already active and regularly get outdoors, you can plan for a little more activity with day trips to specific sites where you can spot specific types of birds. It’s also a hobby that is very well-suited to those with mobility issues, as it can be done from the comfort of your own home – all you need is a window and a comfy spot to sit.
It’s a great learning opportunity
Birdwatching can be a great way to exercise your mind as well. As you watch for birds, it gives your brain a great workout – you’ll learn to recognize certain movements, bird songs, and the feather patterns of the ones you often see. This is wonderful for keeping your memory sharp and challenging your brain.
Birdwatching also encourages lifelong learning. As people get more into birdwatching, most find that they want to learn more about the types of birds they see. There are plenty of books and websites where you can learn more about your favourite birds. There are a wide range of resources available for everyone from casual birdwatchers to full-fledged birders who really get into the study of birds on a scientific level.
It lowers stress and anxiety
The very nature of birdwatching makes it a very peaceful, calm activity. It requires you to be very patient as you sit and wait for the birds to appear. Simply being in nature or observing it has a meditative effect. It’s even better for stress reduction when you incorporate a little movement into your birdwatching practice.
It’s a great way to meet people
As mentioned earlier, one of the great things about birdwatching is that it’s easily adaptable. When you get started, you might try it on your own, as a way to ease into the day or just find some quiet time. However, it also makes a perfect group activity. Many seniors find that birdwatching is a great way to meet new friends. There are many local birdwatching groups that seniors can join and some communities even offer workshops to get started with birdwatching. Or you can always start your own group in your community!