This Chic Chick’s Guide to Birding is packed with all sorts of fun ways to enjoy one of your favorite pastimes – in your backyard and beyond. So get your girlfriends on the phone and start planning a little birding-themed R&R. And who knows, the guys just might want to join in, too!
Take a Girls’ Birding Trip
Our first suggestion might be the most fun to plan! If you already organize a girls’ getaway, integrate bird-watching into the mix. Check out the area you’ll be traveling to and find a nature preserve or garden to add to your itinerary. You’re almost guaranteed to discover birds you wouldn’t see in your own backyard.
Don’t forget to check out birding festivals around the country. They’re often wonderful travel destinations, too, so you can even plan a trip around one of them. You don’t necessarily have to hop a plane for a women’s trip. Grab your girlfriends for a birding day trip instead. Try a local hot spot, wildlife refuge or even a state park.
Get Your Bird Garden On
Birding and gardening go hand in hand. So if you can have a gorgeous garden and attract beautiful finches and hummingbirds at the same time, why not? If you haven’t already done so, add bird-friendly flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees to your backyard. Set up a viewing station near your feeders, grab a glass of wine to sip and watch the birds in action. Consider joining a gardening club or taking a class on gardening for birds at your local community college. Some nurseries or home and garden stores even hold how-to workshops for simple gardening or birding projects.
Host a Bird Party
Invite your pals over for an afternoon of birding fun. Send out bird-themed invites, and then nosh on bird-shaped tea sandwiches or cookies and sip red punch – maybe a hummingbird will join you! – or hibiscus tea. Plan activities involving birds: scrapbooking bird photos, planting a container for hummingbirds or making special bird seed and suet treats for your feathered friends.
Let Books Inspire You
There are many fascinating birding books out there, and they’re a perfect excuse to get together with friends. We suggest reading The Big Year, by Mark Obmascik, then going to see the movie together when it debuts in October. The female version, Extreme Birder: One Woman’s Big Year, by Lynn Barber, is another option. For do-it-herselfers, there are books with bird-themed projects. Check out The Artful Bird, by Abigail Glassenberg, for unique fabric bird patterns. Papercrafting in No Time, by Clare Youngs, also has bird projects.
Be a Family That Birds Together
If your family outings or reunions get a little yawn-worthy, suggest a friendly birding competition. Host a trip to a local nature preserve and give all the family members a checklist to see how many birds they can spot. Form mother-daughter teams or pit grandmas against granddaughters. Then challenge the men. See who can spot the most birds in an hour. Family birding is family bonding!
With the growing popularity of birds in pop culture, more mainstream designers are adding a bird or nature theme to clothing and accessories. Check out etsy.com for independent artists who use birds as their muse in clothing, jewelry and decor. Useful birding products for women in the field are also hitting the market. Nikon’s SHE Adventure Monarch Binoculars are made for women, with a nice stylish design and a carrying case that resembles a purse.