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How to Find YOUR "Bird of the Year"

A few years ago, I heard about a tradition where the first bird you see in the new year becomes your "Bird of the Year" !

I've had a lot of fun with this activity, and now I'd love to share it with you! It can be a great way to deepen your connection to a specific bird species during the course of the year, learn more about it, and even find a personal sense of meaning about how this bird relates to your life.

Or watch this 2-minute clip on Instagram:


In the workshop, we did three activities to prepare for finding our bird and recording our observations:

1) For five minutes, make a list of all the birds you can think of who might be likely to end up being the first bird you see on January 1. Which common species live around your home, at this time of year? If you don't know the names of the birds around you, make a short description.

2) Think of a time in the past when you observed a wild bird that was particularly meaningful to you in some way. Maybe it was interesting or inspiring, maybe you learned something new, or maybe there was some lesson from the encounter that you could relate to your own life. Free-write about this memory for five minutes.

3) We watched the first five minutes of this video, and practiced using words in our nature journal to take notes and record our observations in real time.

We'll meet back up for Part 2 during Writing Workshop Wednesdays on January 5th, 2022 to share the stories of our new "birds of the year"! I'd love to hear what bird you got!


If you enjoyed this activity, you might like my free mini-ebook “Science & Imagination: Exploring Words in Your Nature Journal.” It includes more nature journaling prompts that help you deepen your connection to the land around you, and learn to tell your own story.

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