First flight: 10 great places where beginning birders can get their wings

While most of us have been sticking close to home this year, bird watching has taken flight. The outdoor activity, which naturally encourages social distancing, has soared in popularity.

“We’re going back to our roots to reconnect with nature,” says Stan Tekiela, a naturalist and the author of seven regional birding guides, “Birding for Beginners: California, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, South, and Southwest “(Adventure Publications, $16.95). “It really touches our souls.”

He says wildlife refuges and parks around the country make it easy to see a wide variety of fliers, and shares some prime locations with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Sanibel, Florida

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