The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Put a bird on it!

I don’t think I’m generalizing to too much of an extreme when I say that most high school students view the ideal weekend as one filled with video games, the occasional tiddlywinks convention, and excessive sleep. There are those, however, who find solace by waking up in the early morning, spending hours on end in the woods looking upwards, and making noises at trees that are not meant to sound human. These people are called birders. Just so that we’re on the same page, birding is different than bird-watching. Most people use the two terms interchangeably, but bird-watching implies that one is merely watching the birds, and not also listening for the many beautiful calls and sounds that different birds produce. The auditory aspect of birding can often be one of the most rewarding parts of birding: anyone who is a fan of the common loon or the eastern screech-owl would concur with this. Birding is really a simple hobby to take up. Many hobbies or past-times require long hours of practice and force you to spend loads and loads of money just to do something you enjoy. All you need in order to bird, is an outdoor area that you are comfortable in, and your eyes. Obviously a pair of binoculars and a bird field guide are helpful, but they really aren’t necessary to simply enjoy watching the wonderful and amazing, countless species of birds. Those who are not familiar with birding probably dismiss it as “boring” or “waste of time”, but to these naysayers I say: “It’s obvious that you’ve never tried it before.” The fact of the matter is; anybody who loves the outdoors or collecting things, would most likely love birding. Much of the fun that results from birding comes from simply being outside and enjoying nature. Even if you spend three hours without seeing a single rare bird, if you’re a nature lover; you most likely had fun. And when you finally do see that rare bird that only appears during migration season, even if it takes multiple trips; there is no better feeling in this world. Though birding may seem like a boring and counterproductive way to spend your time, I assure you that it is not. It is a fun and inexpensive way to just kick back and relax. Personally, I could sit in a field for hours just listening to the birds singing. So the next time you’re just sitting in your home with nothing to do, head outside and just watch for the birds. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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