While we recommended birdwatching with a buddy, this buddy’s not just a fair-weather friend. Bird Buddy is a smart bird feeder that notifies you of feathered visitors, captures their photos and organizes them in a collection that’s easy to view and share — and it’s right here at Meadowood!
One of our residents, Helene, has a Bird Buddy in her back yard. And we’ve got another Bird Buddy that will be making appearances in other areas of our campus like the Stratton Wellness Garden and McLean Memory Center while we find it’s permanent home on our campus.
The weatherproof, squirrel-resistant bird feeder recognizes and identifies the species of all the birds, so there’s no guesswork involved. With the Bird Buddy app on your phone and a Wi-Fi connection, you have full control over its built-in camera. You can add up to three people on the app, so you can even go in on a joint purchase. Bird Buddy’s camera automatically takes up-close-and-personal pictures of birds that stop by, so you’ll never miss a bird sighting. Best of all, Bird Buddy lets you enjoy birdwatching even in inclement weather, right from the comfort of your own home.
At Meadowood, you’ll find birds everywhere — and we’re not just talking about the outdoors. The four buildings in The Grove residences are named after feathered creatures: Oriole, Mallard, Heron and Goldfinch.
And the lessons from geese form the foundation of how we live and work at Meadowood. Geese behaviors have taught us the importance of coming together to enrich and empower each other — and working together as a team.If you haven’t tried birdwatching, you just might catch the bug! And if you have, why not share your passion with someone who’s never experienced the thrill of spotting a species in nature? Either way, birdwatching is a pastime that’s definitely taking flight.
If you’re interested in birdwatching, you’ll want to invest in a pair of binoculars. If you already have hunting or astronomy binoculars, they’ll work just fine. Opera glasses, however, may not be the best choice.
Most birders prefer 8×32 and 8×42 binoculars. The numbers refer to the magnification power (8) and the diameter in millimeters (32, 42) of the objective lenses. The lens diameter gives you an idea of the binoculars’ and how much light they can gather. The larger the number, the more light that gets in. Whatever you choose, make sure the lens is fully coated.
According to the National Audubon Society, most birders choose 7- or 8-power binoculars because they’re bright and have a wide field of view, making it easier to find birds and to follow them in flight. Optics with objective lenses larger than 42mm are heavier; those smaller than 30mm are lightweight but not bright enough to show detail in poor light conditions.
If you’re not sure birdwatching is for you, try out friends’ binoculars first. Or find a retailer that will let you try before you buy. That way, you can find out whether you’re “all in” and, if so, which binoculars are right for you.
Birdwatching: More Than Meets the Eye
We all know habits that promote good health: a balanced diet, daily exercise, and a good night’s sleep. Did you know you can add birdwatching to that list?
This time of year, you’re probably awakened to the sounds of birds outside your window. It’s the perfect time to discover the beauty of your winged neighbors. Depending on your location, the Pennsylvania Game Commission says you might see scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles, Eastern wood-pewees, cardinals, Eastern meadowlarks, song sparrows and more. And the Meadowood campus, a birdwatcher’s paradise, is the perfect place to watch these winged wonders.
Our Meadowell philosophy infuses everything we do, encompassing seven dimensions of wellness: environmental, physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and vocational. Well, with birdwatching you can check off several of those dimensions at once.
Environmental: Birdwatching puts you in the great outdoors. From our Nature Preserve to your own back yard, Meadowood is the perfect place for birdwatching. Our Woods & Trails Committee has built and maintained 72 birdhouses in many spots on campus. Although the birdhouses are designed for bluebirds, other birds nest there, too.
Physical: Grab your binoculars and go for a nature walk. Our 135-acre campus is encircled by a walking trail, so you can stroll to your heart’s content.
Intellectual: With our new Bird Buddy bird feeders, you can distinguish the different species of birds (more on this in a moment). Trying to locate a bird after hearing its call is both stimulating and challenging, serving as a memory exercise and sharpening one’s concentration.
Social: Whether you join our birdwatching group or just schedule a regular walk with friends, it’s easy to bond over birdwatching.
Emotional: Studies have found that being in nature reduces anger, fear and depression; it also increases psychological wellbeing and happiness. And the results are long-lasting: A study published in Scientific Reports found that seeing or hearing birds improved people’s mental wellbeing for up to eight hours.
Spiritual: Being outdoors makes us aware of the universe, of the sheer beauty and awe of nature. Birding is an act of mindfulness, which has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Vocational: Try your hand at building a bird feeder or planting bird-friendly plants in a garden.
CareUK, the leading health and social care organization for older adults, encourages those living with dementia to take part in birdwatching, involving family where possible. Listening to birds’ songs also helps people with memory disorders recall memories from their younger years.