Birding to Beat the Winter Blues

By Laura Hagar Rush, Townsy Media, January 27, 2021

Miles and Teresa Tuffli will present “Breaking Into Birdwatching” on January 29. (Photo courtesy the Laguna Foundation)

New series of online events from the Laguna Foundation touts the benefits of birding

What has gotten you through the pandemic? For many people, the answer is birds. Birdwatching has gained popularity and recognition during the pandemic for its mental and physical health benefits. This winter, the Laguna Foundation is inviting people to experience the benefits of birding through a series of online events called “Birding to Beat the Winter Blues.”

The foundation hopes beginning birders will bring their newfound skills outdoors to the Laguna de Santa Rosa wetlands, which come alive with hundreds of migrating waterfowl during the winter season.

The foundation’s first lecture on Jan. 26, “Bird-Noticing and the Power of Attention,” featured an online Q&A with Jenny Odell, the author of “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.”

Odell, a Bay Area resident who coined the word “bird-noticing,” discussed using birding as a way to unplug from the attention economy, exemplified by social media. You can watch a recording of the Q&A, which drew a nationwide audience, at https://youtu.be/TJPAoDQ2QOk.

The next event in the series, “Breaking into Birdwatching,” features local birding gurus Miles and Teresa Tuffli of Guerneville and is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 29, 1 p.m. to 2:30pm. The Tufflis, who love working with beginning birders, will help you discover the best places and times to look for birds and how to locate them. They’ll discuss the art of looking at a bird, including the most important things to notice when you see one you don’t recognize. They’ll give you tips on using binoculars, getting the most out of your field guide, and even how to start birding by ear.

The third program in the series is a bilingual presentation called, “Migration: How Birds Connect the World | Migración: cómo conectan el mundo los pájaros.”  This family-friendly event looks at bird migration. This bilingual program will be presented by Irma Cuevas, Community Engagement Coordinator for Sonoma County Regional Parks, and Allison Titus, the Laguna Foundation’s Community Education Manager.

The final online event in the series, “Waterfowl of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the Pacific Flyway,” features local bird expert Dave Barry. It is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. The Laguna de Santa Rosa is an important stopover along the Pacific Flyway for thousands of migrating ducks and other water-loving birds during the winter. Learn the difference between “dabbling” and “diving” ducks, how far geese migrate, and how to tell the difference between male and female waterfowl.

All of the events in the series are free, but the Laguna Foundation is hoping that people will donate $5 to $15 per event. You must register for the events ahead of time to receive a Zoom link for event.

To find out more and register for the events, go to http://www.lagunafoundation.org/laguna_walks_classes.html