Local Bird Watcher Encourages Others to Pursue Hobby
In the heart of Plymouth, Parkers Lake Park serves as a go-to spot for anyone who wants to get outside, even in the middle of winter.
“There’s tons of different local parks, but this is one that I’ve gravitated towards,” said Dan DeBaun on a recent visit to Parkers Lake Park.
But there’s something else that draws DeBaun here.
“There’s a great wooded region where you get all sorts of woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, red woodpeckers are all that I’ve just seen in my passing through here,” DeBaun said.
You see, DeBaun isn’t so much a woodpecker enthusiast, but a bird enthusiast.
He runs his own blog called ‘“Bird Bites,” which comes with a variety of photos — and the occasional video — that showcases the different avian varieties he comes across.
It’s a hobby he picked up in 2020.
“I always found birds to be mildly interesting in the back of my head,” he said. “It’s something that my dad was really into, but I didn’t really appreciate it or get into it until COVID when I was looking into an outlet to appreciate the outdoors.”
Bird watching connected him to nature, but he soon found other benefits to the hobby.
Good for mental health
“For me, as somebody who’s a more anxious person, I just noticed first hand that it was really, especially during a difficult time, that my anxiety was reduced,” DeBaun said. “And I soon found that through scientific studies out there that there’s actually a lot to that.”
He says that simply looking at, or listening to birds, can help benefit your mental health.
And one surefire way to encounter them is to set up a bird feeder in your yard.
“If people want to get started with bird feeding, I would recommend that they start with what we call a hopper feeder,” DeBaun said. “Basically, anything that has a roof on it.”
There’s also tray feeders you can set on the ground or hang off your balcony, and ones specifically designed to keep the squirrels away.
It’s a hobby that doesn’t cost a lot of money, and makes your outdoor strolls a little more interesting.
“Bird feeding and bird watching is kind of like Pokémon in real life, because there’s hundreds of species and it’s kind of a way to tap into that way of keeping track of different things in the wild,” DeBaun said. “And I think that’s pretty cool.”
Related: Three Rivers Parks Highlights Opportunities to Learn About Birds