Happy Christmas Bird Count to all my friends who observe.
What’s it all about?
“Each year, Ontario Nature member groups organize bird counts in their communities across Ontario as part of holiday traditions. A festive holiday tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) welcome birders of all skill levels to these free events.
CBCs bring community scientists around the western hemisphere to count as many different species, and individuals of those species as possible over the course of a single day within a 24-kilometre diameter circle.
Join a bird count in your area this holiday season to contribute to bird research in North America.”
What’s the fitness connection?
Read The Surprising Health Benefits of Bird-Watching in the New York Times
“It’s no secret that spending time in nature is good for your mind. Studies show that even a stroll through a city park decreases stress, sharpens concentration and improves long-term mental health outcomes.
A few studies suggest there might be something especially healthy about birds in particular. One, published in October, found that just being near bird song improved mental well-being.
Birds are “accessible and equitable, because they’re everywhere in every habitat,” said Holly Merker, a guide for the National Audubon Society and co-author of the book, “Ornitherapy.” Even dense cityscapes offer rock doves (often incorrectly called pigeons), sparrows, hawks and falcons.
There is less research on the physical benefits of birding specifically, but evidence does suggest that walking regularly can help you live longer. And as any bird-watcher will tell you, the lure of the next bird inspires you to walk farther than you normally would.”