There is no more incredible time to be outside than spring. Millions of birds as we speak are making an incredible, arduous journey from as far away as Central and South America which at times defies our own comprehension.
Imagine a bird like a Black-throated Blue Warbler weighing no more 8 grams flying from the Caribbean to southern Canada while stopping off in your backyard for a short rest, an achievement hard to understand in human terms.
And as amazing as this journey is, there is another important excursion happening in the birding world, one that goes hand in hand along with the birds , no less amazing and adventurous, it is our very own personal lifelong journey.
Maybe because I am getting up there in years I tend to think about my own life journey with the birds as much as I do about the birds themselves. At times I think we might get lost in the lists, the Apps and the species race and not realize how much of our lives adventures and journey is connected to our passion for birds and nature.
Through life’s ups and downs, good times and bad, the birds have always been there for me. No matter what was happening in the world around me I could always count on the birds to sooth my soul and renew my spirit. Births and deaths, tragedy and celebration, those times are intertwined in my heart and memories forever along with my first Bald Eagle and the joy of birding with good friends.
To let these things go by without a thought would be like turning away from a rare bird without a glance, something that should never ever be done.
Perhaps it was the special place you stopped, the good folks you met and life birds you found along your birding highway. Maybe it was the rain, the laughs or even the sadness that brought you to where you were with the birds. Sometimes, like life, a birding journey can’t be planned or anticipated. Rather it is better to let it happen and just enjoy the unforgettable ride. No matter how much we try nature and life cannot be controlled and that is the way it should be.
No matter if you are a backyard birder or you search for birds around the world, birding is about the journey, life’s journey. So when you open up that life list don’t forget to add the people you love and met along the way, the places you visited and what they truly mean to you.
They are all as much about birding as the birds themselves. Birding is about the journey, don’t forget to take it all in and enjoy it, just like life.