Page 17 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - September 2017 - 24-09
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Senior Times - September 2017 The Socially Acceptable Easter
Page 17
Egg Hunt For Adults: Birding!
By: Caleb Putnam
At age seven my father bought my family a bird book (the Peterson Guide) and a bird feeder. Little did he know, this small act was the unwitting genesis of my life passion. I was amazed by the colors of the birds that came into our feeder, by their spunk and energy. But I quickly realized that only about 10-15 species were coming in, yet the book was full of hundreds of other species. So I began leaving the yard and explor- ing woods, swamps, and grasslands, which I found out, are the only places most species occur. I have now spent years on a glorified Easter Egg hunt to find as many species as I can, including many international destinations. One thing is for sure – my quest will con- tinue until I leave this Earth. Birds have filled my life with an immense amount of joy and pleasure.
No matter where you live, no mat- ter what time of year, no matter your physical ability, birds offer an amazing opportunity to connect with the natural world. And given that over 400 species of birds occur in Michigan, many of which require effort and luck to find, birding offers an endless and extremely rewarding scavenger hunt. It’s what I call the ultimate Easter Egg hunt for adults. Yes, you may be regarded by some as a bird nerd, but 47 million Americans will be at your side. That
is the number of Americans who call themselves birdwatchers. And that number is growing. Scientists have now even documented an array of health effects associated with birdwatching too!
Birdwatching, or birding, as we like to call it, is open to everyone. Whether you’re only able to watch from a back- yard feeder, or whether you have the ability to travel to the depths of the Amazon: there is always something interesting to see, and always some- thing more to learn: from the incredibly hardy Black-capped Chickadee
scraping by in the depths of winter,
to the stunningly beautiful Northern Cardinal, to the gaudy and gorgeously vocal Baltimore Oriole, and beyond.
One trick to finding new birds that
I discovered relatively recently is sim- ply to look up often. Last year I saw three Bald Eagles above my house in residential Grand Rapids! I have seen migrating loons over that same house, and even a rare shorebird called the American Golden-Plover. So many birds fly over peoples’ heads that they don’t notice simply because they forget to look up.
One of the best ways to get started in birding in Michigan is to join “MI Birds” on Facebook. It’s free and explores all of Michigan’s bird spe-
cies in a fun and interactive way with a community of over 3,000 birders from across the state. A bird book or app, and (optional) binoculars, and you’re on your way to a rewarding journey with our feathered friends.
Caleb Putnam is Michigan Bird Conservation Coordinator for Audubon Great Lakes and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the author of MI Birds on Facebook.
BARRY COUNTY COMMISSION ON AGING
Friendship Center Locations:
Hastings COA Building:
(269) 948-4856 Mon-Fri 10 am-2pm
Nashville Masonic Temple:
(517) 852-9182 Mon-Fri 10:30am-1pm
Delton Faith United Methodist Church
(269) 623-5400 10:30am-1pm
Woodland Eagles Club:
(269) 367-4041
Mon, Wed & Fri 10:30am-1pm
• Home Delivered Meals. For homebound seniors that are unable to pre- pare meals, can receive delicious meals at home. Special diets available. • Senior Center Activities including line dancing, card making, beading,
cards, bingo, and many others.
• Senior Meal Choice Dining. Restaurant-based senior dining program. • Chore Service provides minor home repair for seniors.
There are many more activities and opportunities to volunteer your time and talents! Just Call Barry County Commission on Aging for more information.
320 West Woodlawn Avenue, Hastings, MI 49058 Phone: (269) 948-4856 | Fax: (269) 948-3336 E-Mail: bccoa@barrycounty.org | www.barrycounty.org
Social Security Q&A
Question:I have never worked but my spouse has. What will my benefits be?
Answer: You can be entitled to as much as one-half of your spouse's benefit amount when you reach full retirement age. If you want to get Social Security retirement benefits before you reach full retirement
age, the amount of your benefit is reduced. The amount of reduction depends on when you will reach full retirement age. For example, if your full retirement age is 66, you can get 35 percent of your spouse's unre- duced benefit at age 62 (a permanent
reduction); if your full retirement age is 67, you can get 32.5 percent of your spouse's unreduced benefit at age 62 (a permanent reduction).
The amount of your benefit increases if your entitlement begins at a later age, up to the maximum
of 50 percent at full retirement age. However, if you are taking care of
a child who is under age 16 or who gets Social Security disability bene- fits on your spouse’s record, you get the full spouse’s benefits, regardless of your age. Learn more about retire- ment benefits at www.socialsecurity. gov/retirement.
LABOR DAY SAVINGS
Bring in this ad and receive $10 off a box of batteries. OFFER EXPIRES: 09-30-17
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