Birding may be just the hobby you were looking for!
While you are sitting in your house, wondering what new hobbies you can pick up before you lose your mind, reach for a pair of binoculars! The study of birds, known as ornithology, is something you can do without leaving the comfort of your backyard. There are many native species of birds that you can find in Northeast Ohio. In fact, according to the Ohio Ornithological Society, there are 433 species of birds spotted in Ohio. With such a wide range of feathered friends, you are bound to find a bird nearby.
Look at your surroundings and see what would attract birds. Do you have pine trees, a lake, blossoming flowers? If you live next to a deciduous forest, you may see wild turkeys; and if you live near a freeway, you might hear the loud screech of a red-tailed hawk. Different birds required different food sources and diets. For example, the great horned owl hunts small mammals and the house finch eats sunflower and nyjer seeds. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division provides a guide to see all the habitat and dietary information for Ohio birds.
If you are looking to further your knowledge of birds, or take up birding as a hobby, there are many resources you can turn to for help. The National Audubon Society has been gathering groups of birders since 1896 and is a great place to start. There is a Youngstown Branch of the Audubon Society, which can connect you to local resources.
Another way you can learn and help contribute to the study of birds is by participating in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird ID program. eBird is an app you can download, which will allow you to report birds you see in your area to the Cornell Lab. It’s important to see how the different species of birds are migrating and know their population numbers.
Have fun outdoors and remember to look up!