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Eastern Kingbird by Mike Benkis

Book review: Birding for a Better World

In their book, Birding for a Better World: A Guide to Finding Joy and Community in Nature, coauthors Molly Adams and Sydney Golden Anderson share insights into how to best welcome newcomers to birding and bust some myths that might scare off some people hoping to give birding a try. For example, “birding isn’t inherently competitive” and “you don’t have to have fancy or expensive equipment to begin birding.” The coauthors, who are leaders of the Feminist Bird Club, offer suggestions on how to make birding events more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible by drawing on their own experiences and those of organizers all over. The book also provides ideas for ways that birders can take action to help birds and make their relationship with the outdoors reciprocal and restorative, rather than just recreational. They write that birding “has the capacity to enhance your experience of the world by encouraging you to mindfully experience the everyday places you inhabit.”

Many different artists contributed illustrations to the book, creating the sense of the project as a communal effort. Journal pages invite readers to make the book their own and reflect on their experiences with birds. Through birding, the authors suggest, we can find peace within ourselves, community with others, and the chance to improve the environment we all share.

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