BOSTON (CBS) — A quiet past-time is now getting some new attention. As more people spend time at home, bird-watching has become more popular. In fact, bird-feeders and birdseed are getting hard to find at stores.

Wayne Petersen, of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, said the hobby is very calming, and fulfills a person’s need for nature.

“I have been interested in birds since about eight or 10 years old,” he said. “I mean just absolutely gaga.”

Peterson is one of Mass Audubon’s leading bird experts. He said the pandemic has led to a surge in bird-watching. As people are stuck at home, they’re able to find a colorful show in their backyard.

“Most birds are around all of the time. But to the real essence of the story, is that by having this kind of event that keeps people at home, it’s caused them to look and go ‘Wow! These things are unbelievable! Who knew?” Petersen said.

Mass Audubon has seen the proof of this phenomenon themselves at their annual Bird-a-thon event, Petersen said.

“Both at the bird-watching level and also at the fundraising level, we’ve been way ahead of what it has been the last few years, which is totally surprising,” he said.

If you’re home-bound, all you need to do is set up a feeder and let the show begin.

“Things like orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, cardinals, blue jays — these are rock stars!” Petersen said. “And people who see them for the first time are going to be like ‘Yikes! I can’t believe this!’ It’s like having tropical birds in the back yard.






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