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How Watching Birds Eases Isolation

Aug 17, 2007
Watching birds is a great activity for those who enjoy the outdoors, but who may not be physically able to get outside and trek over rough terrain. Being in tune with the outdoor world can help people keep their minds active and fit, even if their bodies are not so well equipped. The elderly and other physically disabled folks can enjoy bird watching by setting up a feeder station in the backyard. When situated properly, these backyard stations can lead to hours of enjoyment.

Watching birds in the backyard is an excelent way to pass the time. For someone shut inside all day, time can begin to creep. When one is unable to be active, seconds can turn into minutes and minutes can turn into hours. For many, when their bodies will not allow them to be outside, they struggle to keep their minds busy. An activity like bird watching helps the ticking of those minutes and seconds and gives those shut inside a chance to enjoy a full day.

Another feature of watching birds that can be useful is the fact that it can, if they so desire, involve research. This research can help them to keep their minds sharp as they read, memorize, and track which birds are coming to their feeder. They may take a great deal of joy in keeping a notebook and beginning to understand the traffic patterns and behaviors of certain birds. Watching birds through a bird watching picture window with a pair of binoculars is much more mentally stimulating than staring at the television set all day.

As many individuals struggle with loneliness, a bird watching club can be a way for them to feel as though they are connected. Being able to sit at the window and see familiar birds every day can almost be as comforting as sitting down to the company of old friends. Familiar faces and behaviors help people feel as though they are in a place of comfort, instead of stuck by themselves all alone.

A problem that can plague many elderly or disabled individuals is an over-riding feeling of uselessness. Setting up a bird feeder and building a community of birds that come to count on it for food can reduce or even eliminate these feelings. If an individual knows that the birds are counting on them, then they may feel as though this project is suddenly bigger than just watching birds. It has suddenly become a responsibility. Typically, that is a good thing.

Creating a backyard feeding station and setting it up in a place that is easily observed from inside will enhance the quality of life. If you are unsure of what kind of feeder to set up, or where to place it, get in touch with your local Audubon society chapter or your local birding club. You should find folks there who are more than willing to help you get set up.
About the Author
John Edmond writes regularly for a number of websites on on oudoor recreation and pursuits including rare bird spotting and vacation camping.
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