When my two older kids were in college, they took science classes that were taught by ornithologists. Andrew got quite interested in birds when he spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica and I enjoyed hearing all about the different kinds of birds he was seeing. Then Rachel had to do a bird observation project for her science class and she talked me into helping her (she doesn't have the world's best eyesight for birding). I do remember her insisting the the male and female Mallard ducks had to be different species--I mean, just look at them!
So I kind of got into birdwatching a little because of them. I'm strictly an amateur, but I do think it is kind of cool to find a new bird and do the work to figure out what it is. (I know I've blogged about birds in the past: here and here and here and here. Actually, I have lots of more bird posts and that reminds me, I should go back and take those birds and add them to my life list at Birdstack.)
Speaking of Birdstack, they are having a bird-watching party this coming Sunday. Which is also the winter solstice. I'm going to join them. (I think it is kind of strange to talk about birding and parties in the same breath!) It is easy, and you don't have to be a professional! Here is the scoop--why don't you join us?