By Pam Young, Golden Gate Audubon Society’s Executive Director
Dear readers and members,
During this protracted time when we follow the shelter in place order, we at Golden Gate Audubon Society encourage you to find ways to appreciate what is most valuable in our lives: our health and well-being. As many of you know, one of the most welcoming and refreshing activities is a lovely outing in nature. It is a wonderful thing that nature remains a healthy and beneficial destination, even in times like these.
We have nature in the parks and we also have nature beckoning near our front doors. Do you have children at home? Invite them to spy with their little eyes a flash of a feather that zips by.
Share the joys of discovery while observing a Dark-eyed Junco as she goes about her busy day. Is she foraging – what is she eating? Is she building a nest – where might her nest be? Is she alone or socializing (while keeping her social distance)?
Is that trilling song from the Orange-crowned Warbler – newly returned from his wintering grounds? Is that a caterpillar in his bill?
Each day can be a new joyful discovery in nature.
Now you have time to learn about that curious singing Wren who happens to be your neighbor. Where is that lovely singing Bewick’s Wren while you drink morning coffee or tea? Are those two California Towhees a loving and doting couple? Listen closely. You might hear their soft contact calls, letting each other know that they are safely nearby. Have all the Golden-crowned Sparrows flown north to their nesting site – or will some remain in your neighborhood for the season? Why will they stay? Are they not yet breeding age? Where do the busy Bushtits spend their afternoons?
With our containment at home comes a freedom to experience time according to birds. We have an opportunity to explore the natural world up close and on nature’s schedule. With our family members, friends, and young ones, we can explore the wonder of birds and feel uplifted by their engaging displays.
It’s easy to love birds and other wildlife. Enjoy this opportunity to appreciate them for the solace and comfort that they provide us just by living their lives.
We invite you to follow our updated messages for more suggestions about how to fill your shelter in place time with refreshing and uplifting discoveries about our beautiful birds in our nature-filled surroundings.
For the present, our Communications Manager, Melissa, is seeking 800-1200 word personal testimonies about your experiences birding during this crisis. If you have a personal story you’d like to share, please email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing everyone peace and joy through birds.
Pam Young is Golden Gate Audubon Society’s Executive Director. She is an aviculturist, birding guide, and environmental law specialist who worked for many years as a bird curator at zoos including the Toledo Zoo and Dallas Zoo. Her skills with birds include rescue and rehabilitation, reproduction in captivity for re-population programs, and falconry. She studied avian ecology as an undergraduate and earned a J.D. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.