Getting outdoors is an integral part of staying healthy. However, in hot weather, exercising outdoors can be too much. In many areas during the summer, even if you get out early in the day, it can be hot. If you do live in a place where it’s cool enough to exercise outside, that’s great. If it’s too hot to work out in the great outdoors, there are still activities you can enjoy outside without overexerting yourself.
One way to enjoy being outside and in the shade is through bird watching. It’s a quiet, peaceful activity you can do sitting in the shade with a bottle of water. It doesn’t require you to be fit or need you to have company. Whether you’re an experienced birder hoping to see a rare bird or just out for a nice day, it is a pleasant activity.
You can grab binoculars and a book — or app — to identify birds or just watch the sky with your eyes. It doesn’t matter how in-depth you want to go: it’s a great way to unwind, no matter how serious you are! You can do some “yard-birding” by putting up a feeder in your own yard and sitting still at a distance to watch what comes to feed there, or you can venture to farther locations. You can just breathe out and pay attention to the natural world, sitting quietly and wait to see what comes to you. It’s a great way to reconnect to nature, in your own yard or in a more wild area!
If you have never bird-watched before and want to try it, there are some tricks to do better with the birds. For instance, wearing neutral-colored clothing will ensure you don’t frighten anything off. You should put your phone on silent, not take flash photography and keep your voice down to make sure you don’t scare anything off. And you should be aware of their territory. Going near a bird’s nest could scare it or lead to you getting attacked. And, of course, never leave your trash behind; it’s bad for the environment and could harm the birds.
There is also etiquette you should follow around other birders. It isn’t rude to speak to people or ask what they have seen, but you should be mindful of how boisterous your conversation is. Loud chats can scare off birds in the area and irritate birders. You should also be aware of your space and if people are trying to get around you. Remember that public spotting scopes are for everyone to use, so you shouldn’t hog them. If you want to use binoculars, bring your own. A stranger most likely won’t mind lending you theirs for a moment, but more than that is considered poor form. And, of course, follow “no trespassing” and “private property” signs.
If you follow these simple rules, you can have a wonderful, relaxing time birdwatching. It’s a great way to enjoy being outside when it’s too hot to be active! The summer is meant to be enjoyed, but sometimes a leisurely activity is best!