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Why millennials are flocking to urban birding

Posted on May 1, 2018

A pastime typically associated with slow-paced nature documentaries and Tilley hats, birding is beginning to take hold in the minds of young people everywhere. Sure, the culture of Instagram photography and inspirational social media feeds can explain this trend, but only in part. If you dig even deeper you can find meaning behind the search for birds — and chances are it affects you, too.

Healing our disconnect with nature

It’s no secret that — as a symptom of our modern world — many of us are disconnected from nature. Being unable to identify common birds, wildflowers and trees can be frustrating, and many young people are taking it upon themselves to change that.

This increasing interest in birding points to an innate desire to connect with and experience nature. Here at FortWhyte Alive we see people from all walks of life seeking out events and experiences to learn and reconnect with nature in a meaningful way. Connecting — or reconnecting — with nature is an important step to finding a sense of place and purpose in the world.

Why should you care about birding?

  • Being outside feels good. Birding presents another great way to practice mindfulness in nature.
  • Learning feels good. Being able to tell a warbler from a goldfinch opens up a whole new way of seeing the world around you that you just have to experience to believe.
  • Being part of the bigger picture feels good. Birding has long been a tool for conservation and for environmental action. Getting to know species that you simply might not have ever noticed before puts a face to bigger issues like habitat loss and climate change.

Into it? Awesome.

We’re here to help you reconnect with nature and dip your toe into the fascinating world of birds:

  • Join us for our ever-popular Birding + Breakfast, happening every Wednesday and Friday this month, starting at the early bird hour of 7 am. Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Next Saturday is International Migratory Bird Day Celebration, featuring a smartphone photography workshop, kids’ activities, hikes and more. Saturday, May 14.
  • Learn the basics of bird photography with our Introduction to Bird Photography workshop, happening Saturday, May 26.

Connecting humans with nature is part of the bigger picture here at FortWhyte Alive. To be part of the magic, become a member, donate or volunteer today.