Birds have a way of making life better. They get you outside at uncanny hours to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. They bring you to new and diverse locations—city parks, garbage dumps, snowy piers, mountaintops, rocky beaches, deserts, etc. They help you appreciate what each new season has to offer, similar to how each season's harvest is appreciated by those who live off the land. Birders experience the joy of the “harvest” as Spring warblers come in, or Fall waterfowl start to amass, or (like today) flock after flock of Sandhill Cranes are constantly heard through closed windows as they travel to their breeding grounds. Noticing birds has a way of helping us notice everything else. They give us something to seek after, compelling us to see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. In other words, they make life better.
Winter is one of my favorite seasons for birding. Resident songbirds seem to become more active, and are certainly easier to see against a snowy backdrop and leafless trees. In addition we have yearly visitors from the arctic who spend the season with us in order to take advantage of our “warm weather”. I painted six of these winter birds for a small works show at the Nahcotta Gallery in Portsmouth New Hampshire:
I hope you continue to enjoy the last of winter’s birds, and prepare for Spring’s approaching harvest!