Friday, March 16, 2012

Lola and I Are Amateur Birders

A few weeks ago Lola and I watched the movie The Big Year on a Saturday night. The movie stars Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black as 'birders', or people who bird watch and record what they see. All three men are attempting a Big Year, where professional birders see how many birds they can spot in the course of one year. It's cute. So after the movie, Lola and I decided we were going to have a San Diego Big Year. Knowing nothing about birds, bird watching or birders, we purchased some blank notebooks on and set out a little late in the year. Today was our first official day of birdwatching. We saw and recorded three birds. Each bird we watch with the binoculars, we draw in our bird books, write down the type of call it makes, where we spotted it, including what kind of tree it was on if it was a tree, if it was a fatty or skinny, the date and the time and the weather. The main thing about this is that it is something free I can do alone with my daughter. Mr. Curry took Ever on a stroller ride while Lola and I bird watched around our condo area, which is beautifully landscaped with plenty of trees. There are a lot of resources online for birders, including the American Bird Watchers Association Young Birders club and a few young birders blogs, like The Eyrie  which is kind of adorably interesting, run by primarily teenagers passionate about birding. Who knew? I'm going to order a book on identifying San Diego birds on Amazon so that we can try to label each one. Wish us luck :)
nicole said...

What a great idea! I traveled a lot with my dad as a kid, he had me keep a bird journal- it set the course for my whole life- as I now paint them for a living;)) best of luck. Also the blog looks damn gooood!

Ms. Moon said...

Watch out, girl! An interest in birds is a sure sign of aging. I swear! Or, okay, maybe just having watched a cool movie. Sounds like a lot of fun, you and Lola finding and identifying your birds.
Makes my heart happy to think of it.

Caroline said...

My parents are avid bird watchers and they keep a book (similar to what you've described) with observations. There's a neat book called Bird Songs out there too that catalogues all of the North American birds and each page has a button you can press (sounds cheesy--but I promise it's neat) that plays the corresponding bird song. You can find this book at any Barnes and Noble (etc) and play around with it while having a coffee! :) I bet Lola would love that too!
I SO agree--it is a wonderful FREE activity you can do alone with kids. It more than likely teaches patience and improves observation skills. And, not to sound too corny but it's a very meditative sort of thing. Oh and the Owen Wilson movie sounds great. I enjoy his acting so I will have to scout out that one and watch it!

Petit fleur said...

That sounds like a cool way to spend an afternoon. I imagine that drawing the birds could be quite fun too. I know if I were to try to draw a bird or anything, it would be hilarious!

Good on ya Maggie and Lola.

Martha Goudey said...

I love watching birds...and have ever since I was a YOUNG woman. Recognizing birds is like recognizing a friend, a part of nature that blesses us...what would the world be like without birds?? What a great thing to do with Lola.

Annie said...

Birding is great, and a wonderful way for you and Lola to spend time together.

previous next