How to Trick Your Family into Birding Over the Holidays

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I love family gatherings as much as the next person, but I struggle with some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when things get too busy over the holidays. What am I afraid of missing out on? Birds. It’s not that I don’t love my family and enjoy spending time with them, it’s just that birds don’t fight and yell at each other over how mushy the mashed potatoes are or how many presents are under the tree. Watching birds also brings a sense of calm in the chaotic state we’re in yet again this year. So if you’re like me, and want to watch the birds during the holiday festivities but don’t want to come off as rude, follow these tips to trick every member of your family into birding with you.*

Downy Woodpecker, female

The Toddler: This one is as simple as it gets - just tell them they’re not allowed. They’ll be watching the feeders before you finish your sentence.

The Instagrammer: You know, the one always on their phone, trying to get perfect Insta-worthy pictures of every single decoration, meal, and themselves? Every family has one (or two, or five..). To pull the Instagrammers attention away from their followers, just point at a bird in the backyard and say it's super rare and will get them a ton of likes on social media. If you're lucky, maybe they'll tag you in their posts to gain you some new followers, too!

The Gamer: Ever heard of Pokemon Go? Every gamer with a smartphone has. Pokemon Go is like virtual reality wildlife watching (and catching with Pokeballs, but we'll skip that part). If you have a gamer in your family that you need to trick into birding, convince them that bird watching is the OG Pokemon Go, and that it will help them increase their gaming skills. Plus, birds sometimes battle just like the Pokemon do in the game only it's way more fun to watch. 

The "Birds are stupid" Relative: Just disown them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

The Sleepy Great Grandma: Birding from indoors may be your best bet over the holidays, particularly if you've got older relatives who can't handle being outdoors in the winter. If you have a sleepy great granny in your family group, explain that birding takes little energy and can be done from the comfort of her favourite chair. Include her in the fun by offering her a pair of binoculars, or explain the birds that you see and point them out in a field guide. She might even surprise you by teaching you a thing or two about birds.

The Dog: Yep, you can even get the dog involved, and it's almost as easy as the toddler. Just mention “squirrel” and they'll come running. Just don't open the door. 

Black-capped Chickadee

I hope you enjoyed our guide to tricking your family into birding with you over the holidays! But in all seriousness, birding is an excellent hobby to help bring family together even if we can't physically be together. Share you sightings and photos with each other through email, text, social media, or watch the birds together via video chat! Let us know if you got to bird watch with your family over the holidays over in our Facebook group

* Disclaimer: This piece is strictly satirical and we do not condone the use of trickery. However, we will accept all credit if this article helps turn your entire family into birders. 😉

Happy Holidays!
- Shayna

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