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When the economy goes south, birders have a wing up. Birdwatching is the most inexpensive of sports, and it pays the greatest dividends.

10 Ways that Birdwatchers
Win in Hard Times

1. Economy. The basic birdwatching equipment is a pair of binoculars and a field guide. A good binocular doesn't wear out and will last a lifetime. In recent years the quality has gone way up on inexpensive binoculars.

Save money on travel, too. Since there are birds everywhere, you don't have to drive or fly somewhere else to see them. And there are birds in every season, so you can watch them all year round.

Watching birds won't strain your finances. Good fun, on the cheap!

Birdwatching2. Stress relief. If a retirement account is shrinking and bills are mounting, a person needs stress relief. Especially in hard times, it's vital to devote some time each day to something pleasant and relaxing. Contact with nature, such as in birdwatching, relieves stress and therefore helps you cope.

3. Mental exercise. Experts tell us that learning new things is a big help in staying sharp as we age. Birding constantly challenges us to solve the puzzle of a bird's identity from the clues of its appearance, song, behavior, and location. If you know any elderly birders, you've probably been struck by their youthful energy and enthusiasm. Birding keeps you mentally young.

4. Physical activity. Birdw

5. The value of family and friends

6. Birding makes you happy. Ultimate wealth.


Text copyright 2005 by Michael and Diane Porter.

Photos copyright Michael and Diane Porter 1999-2007. (Diane and Michael took the photos on this page near their home in Iowa.)



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