river talk

Bird balm: an antidote to anxiety

By SANDY LONG
Posted 1/20/21

It’s safe to say that the first weeks of 2021 have not provided the hopeful optimism we’ve all been craving as we attempt to move forward and put the madness of the past year behind …

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river talk

Bird balm: an antidote to anxiety

Posted

It’s safe to say that the first weeks of 2021 have not provided the hopeful optimism we’ve all been craving as we attempt to move forward and put the madness of the past year behind us.

From the increasingly dire COVID-19 statistics to the recent riotous events at the U.S. Capitol, every day seems to deliver a heightened dose of despair-inducing news. Add in the often dreary winter weather, limited hours of natural light, plunging temperatures and social isolation, and it’s easy to understand why it’s hard, sometimes, to simply get out of bed each day.

At wrenching times like this, I remember the miracle of birds—those feathered wonders that flit around our homes, perch along our highways and nest in the forested landscapes of the Upper Delaware River region, somehow surviving snowstorms and temperature plunges without the aid of boots or heated homes.

If you are struggling to maintain a positive sense of the future during these troubling times, turn your attention to birds and the balm they bring.

Locally, the Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society (www.nepaaudubon.org) offers many resources related to birds and birding. Check out their informative post about winter birds and feeder activity at www.nepaaudubon.org/2020/09/24/birds-of-winter.

In addition, register for a NEPA Audubon-sponsored Zoom talk by local author John Harvey, Ph.D. about his book, “The Stillness of the Living Forest: A Year of Listening and Learning.” Harvey, an avid birder, spent a year sitting for an hour a week at the same spot in a Northeastern Pennsylvania forest. The book is filled with insights and a rich stream of bird species and encounters.

For additional opportunities to engage with the uplifting energy of birds, check the photo captions in this column.

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