Santa Barbara Audubon Society is thrilled to read Tyler Hayden’s uplifting April 15 article encouraging readers to explore their backyard birds during these times of social distancing. The Independent is spot on. Backyard birding really does help us handle this new normal.

Thank you for sharing with our community how easy it is to observe birds all around us. Watching birds out one’s window and in a backyard provides momentary diversion from daily stress, chaos, and isolation. Birdwatching connects us to nature, and we are so fortunate that Santa Barbara has such phenomenal avian diversity.

Other birding-from-home fun ideas? Creative individuals are building backyard birdhouses to entertain “bouncing off the walls” stuck-at-home children and “going stir-crazy” parents. One Santa Barbara Audubon Society Board member is using daily walks in nature as bird blog fodder while perfecting her nature photography skills. Entertain a toddler by letting her slather peanut butter on a pinecone. Sprinkle on sunflower seeds and hang said sticky cone on backyard tree or window eave. Hours of amusement and enjoyment.

Santa Barbara Audubon Society protects area birdlife and habitat and connects people with birds through education, conservation, and science. We wholeheartedly applaud Tyler Hayden and the Independent for encouraging people to connect with birds. It’s good for the heart and the protection of birds. We wish our community good health in these uncertain times.

Katherine Emery is executive director of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society.


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