In “Ode to Joy,” a 1785 poem, borrowed later by Beethoven,” Friedrich Schiller wrote; “All creatures drink of Joy.” I guess that sweet thought lies at the bottom of why we bird…because it gives us joy. Human beings need their joy, it’s a necessary core element to our overall happiness being. We birders find
it, savor it, in blissful moments of spotting, identifying and counting our birds. It’s an aphrodisiac, chasing birds enhances our joy-time, gives our spirit a smile-shot in the arm.
Joy also comes from our encounters with people of like minds, thus our little bird club. And it’s not an abstract, holistic pursuit…it’s creative joy, it’s playful joy and binds us sweetly together.
In Cornell University’s Bird Academy’s program, Joy of Birdwatching, (www.academy.allaboutbirds.org) Ornithologist Dr. Kevin McGowan
presents a wonderful 8 lesson course for new birders. If you struggle with where to find and name birds, this is a great place to start. It offers simple, concise methods that will take some of the frustration out of a situation that is sometimes challenging more than joy.
With a song in your heart…bird!