Outdoor pursuits, including birding, have garnered increased attention during these unique times.
So why not grab the binoculars and head to the mountains, the coast or the canyons to observe beautiful creatures in flight?
Here are five places to consider:
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Perhaps you’ve heard about the cliff-diving blue-footed boobies? Or the 8-foot wingspan of the waved albatross? The latter is also known for an elaborate courtship dance that can include 20 minutes of bowing, honking, whistling and bill clacking.
But perhaps the most famous and biologically important of the island birds are Darwin’s 13 finches. The creatures were central to the scientist’s evolutionary theories.
With more than 500 winged creatures on its bird list, this Southwestern region offers ample opportunity for bird-loving families. Visit the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to see snow geese and sand hill cranes land en masse at sunset.
With more than 100 species of birds breeding in the refuge, there are always winged creatures to spot. Learn more during tours, workshops and hikes crafted for all ages and levels of experience.
Located on two migratory bird flyways, the Central and Mississippi, and near the Neches River and Pine Island Bayou, the area attracts hundreds of species to the delight of enthusiastic birders. A popular viewing spot, the Big Thicket National Preserve, encompasses 108,000 acres and has been recognized as a “Globally Important Bird Area” by the American Bird Conservancy.
Each year, Beaumont participates in the annual “big sit” birding event, a challenge to spot (and hear) as many birds as possible in 24 hours.
Visit this region to see as many as 250 bird species, including more than 17 kinds of colorful hummingbirds, the elegant trogon and a painted restart. Check out the Sonoita Creek Preserve, near Patagonia, to spot hawks, fly-catchers and heron.
Owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy the lush riparian area provides habitat for more than 200 species of birds.
Cape May, N.J.
With proximity to ocean, bay, salt marshes, ponds, grasslands and open fields, this coastal enclave is popular among dedicated birders for its year-round access to feathered friends in flight.
Walk on the beach, access nature trails, visit the Cape May Pointe State Park and enjoy the charms of this historic small town. Contact: www.capemay.com