If you go and sit in your backyard, you’re not just going to see one or two birds. You’re probably going to see 15 to 20 different types of birds. We just don’t pay attention … [Birding] is almost like meditation. I can home in on what’s around me. Being able to count those birds and listen to them is a great way of zoning out and getting in tune with yourself.

Living in Texas gives me a brand-new opportunity to really experience birding in a way I wouldn’t have in Mississippi ... Two of the major bird migration flyways go straight through Texas down through the Gulf, through Mexico, through Central America to South America. That’s their migration pattern. Texas is one of the best places in the world to do birding because it’s kind of like the entryway during migration season.

I didn’t even know that it was possible for birding to be a hobby. I wanted to be an ornithologist ... but because I felt like I was bad at science, it just killed my dreams of being a birder. It wasn’t until COVID that we’re sitting at home all day and we’re spending a lot more time outside ... I was seeing my backyard in a new way that I hadn’t seen it before, so I renewed this love for birding, and I’m obsessed with it. I mean, I do it every single day.

We joined up with the San Antonio Audubon Society and we met up at [Mitchell Lake] … All of us that day went together out to one area and helped count and record all the different birds we saw that morning … we saw probably over a thousand waterfowl.

—Christopher Garritty

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