Hey, hey! It’s the second day of Spring 2022!
And for the record, Spring is for the birds.
If you’re looking for a sure sign of the season, look to the skies. The Cliff Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, California this time of year. The Turkey Vultures (buzzards) return to Hinkley, Ohio, and good old Turdus migratorius (the American Red Robin) starts showing up around the Yakima Valley.
Yup, Spring is for the birds!
However, the Yakima Audobon Society counts birds locally from mid-December to Early in January. The 2021 numbers show:
the Yakima Valley Christmas Bird Count found 91 species and 18,389 individual birds. 91 species is right at the average of the last ten counts. The record is 97 species set in 2015. The total of individual birds is a little above the all-time average but well below the record of 29,260 set in 1994
That’s great Dave, where are your feathers taking us?
Simmer down bug breath, I’m getting there.
I tell you about the birds because there is a growing trend among some in the younger generations to do a bit of bird watching!
Over the last year and a half, younger millennials and members of Gen Z actually seem interested in birding. Is there a level of irony involved? Of course. But over 340 million views for the TikTok page “birding tiktok” would suggest some degree of genuine intrigue.
It’s becoming an outdoor hipster kind of thing along the lines of hiking, cycling, and backpacking. And if the birds don’t like it, they can blame the Coronavirus pandemic
restrictions on gatherings forced individuals outside and into more self-driven hobbies. In February 2021, there was a 175% increase in new downloads of the Merlin mobile app, one of the leading bird-identification services. The active user base at the point in the year has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic, and by the end of 2021, over two million people used Merlin for the first time. Plus, visits to bird-species entries on English-language Wikipedia are still well above their pre-pandemic levels
Walking in Nature
Breathing Fresh Air
Mental Alertness & Quick Reflexes
Upper Body Strength
Community & Togetherness
Spring is here, it’s for the birds, consider joining them and maybe you’ll see the American Goldfinch was designated as the Washington State Bird in 1951.
Oh and finally, perhaps you’ve heard that the bird is the word? If you haven’t, then here are some dancing birds to remind you! Word.