rss

June 2022

Vol. 50, No. 3

Birding with Autism

Kari Sasportas

Bobolink. Photographed at Heard Farm in Wayland, Massachusetts, on May 1, 2021. All photographs by the author.
Bobolink. Photographed at Heard Farm in Wayland, Massachusetts, on May 1, 2021. All photographs by the author.

Birds are a treasure to me. I am endlessly awed by the variety of birds, their adaptation to specialized habitats, the vastness of their reach across the globe, their ability to survive harsh conditions and long migrations, and their interesting behaviors. As reading books can take us to faraway lands and broaden perspective, birding can deepen our connection to the natural world and allow us to immerse ourselves in experiences unlike our own. I am a person who finds it difficult to sit still and maintain focus, particularly in environments with multiple interruptions and competing priorities. It takes me a long time to get back on track when my concentration is broken. Anxiety and worry, the feeling that I am constantly on the verge of doing or saying something that will disappoint others, is a close companion to autism. Although everyday demands can leave few opportunities for rest, I seek out nature as often as I can to reset. The best way for me to reach a grounded state, to put worry and fear away, is to wander and explore the outdoors.

To view the rest of the article you'll need to subscribe. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, field notes, field records, photographs, and art work.
Bird Observer logo
celebrating our
50th year

Our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harrassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities.
© Copyright 2022 by Bird Observer, Inc.