That’s a cardinal! There’s an American goldfinch! Wait, do you hear a blue jay? America is going to the birds…literally. Birdwatching, also known as “birding” amongst true enthusiasts, is the fastest growing hobby in the United States, second only to gardening.
According to the National Audubon Society, millions of Americans will flock out into the wild this spring and summer to spot everything from Chickadees to Woodpeckers in their natural habitat. Birdwatching is an opportunity to spend quality time outdoors with your family and learn about wildlife.
Birdwatching is serious business. More than 65 million Americans spend over $30 billion annually on goods for watching and studying birds. They’re even extending this hobby into collecting anything bird-related.
Bird lovers of all ages have already started collecting Wild Republic Audubon birds, 5” plush beanbag birds with authentic birdcalls. Wild Republic, a leading provider of nature-themed toys, worked closely with Audubon to make sure each bird species is an accurate replica of its wildlife counterpart. For the bird sounds, they enlisted the help of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which provided actual real-life birdcalls recorded in the wild.
“While Audubon birds make great children’s toys, they are extremely popular with adults and collectors, especially bird enthusiasts,” says John Trenta, Wild Republic. “Birdwatching is a great way to learn more about the birds’ characteristics, habitats and sounds. Collecting Audubon birds is a natural extension of this popular hobby.”
To learn more about Audubon birds and their wildlife counterparts, log onto www.wildrepublic.com. While visiting the site, you can also see a variety of species of birds from around the country and hear their birdcalls.
Birdwatching or collecting can foster curiosity of wildlife in the home. Whether you’re watching hummingbirds from your sunroom or scouting a local store for an Audubon bird, both can be truly enjoyable. Children may find both to be pure adventure…trekking through the woods, spotting different types of birds, listening for their distinctive sounds and then collecting their favorite plush birds.
To get started in “birding,” you need supplies. Binoculars are crucial to spotting the tiniest of species. You also need a field guide, which is the next best thing to having a bird expert at your side. And, to keep track of the birds you see, carry a sketchbook along on each birding adventure.