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VOA Connect (04/06/2018) Speaking of the Birds


((Banner: Speaking of The Birds))

((Reporter: Faiza Elmasry))
((Camera: Mike Burke))
((Adapted by: Martin Secrest))

((Map: United States / Virginia / Arlington))

There’s a lot of reasons why people feed, but I think one of the most important reasons is that it’s a very, very peaceful, emotional experience. You put the food out there. You spend time on your deck, in the nice weather. In the winter, you’re indoors watching the birds from the perspective of outdoors in the winter, and you never know what’s going to show up. So, there’s always activity. Most of the yards around here can easily get 30 different species of birds in their backyard.
((Reporter: I didn’t know that it’s the second largest hobby in America.))
Yes, 52 million people. Gardening’s the first. Backyard bird feeding second. And they pretty much blend into each other.
((SUMNER ASKIN, Wild Bird Hobbyist))
It’s a lot of fun, just because you see the individuality of each of them. Like the little invasive species around here, like the house sparrow and the European starling. The catbird that we saw will eventually migrate back south, more towards Florida and the islands and stuff. Just like the hummingbird, the robins will leave too. But things like the blue jays, cardinals, gold finches, woodpeckers -- they’re here all year.
((Reporter: You mentioned about young families moving in and starting the hobby. So, we can say now that the age range for….??))
Anywhere from I’d say the 20s to 80 year-olds, all in between. We spend a lot of time too also with the schools, because a lot of school teachers have environmental programs, and they’ve set up habitats in their schools, to teach the young kids about the birds, the species, the nesting, and how to attract them. It’s so important to just spend that time in nature, being outdoors, listening to the birds, getting up in the morning. If you just look up, you’ll see tremendous amounts of things.