GREENFIELD — Don Johnson has watched birds take up residence in birdhouses outside his living room window for a good decade.
When the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department distributed a survey to area residents asking what new programs they’d like, about a dozen people, including Johnson, indicated they’d be interested in a bird-watching group.
Johnson, of Greenfield, decided to take his bird-watching to the next level. He and Carol Blaser volunteered to lead the bird-watching group, which has met at sunrise at two Hancock County parks, Thornwood Preserve and Beckenholdt Park.
“It’s just so peaceful to watch their interactions and watch them raise their young,” Johnson said. “We can learn a lot from birds.”
Johnson, a photography enthusiast, has spent time shooting photos of the nesting eagles on the north side of Greenfield. He has seen several different species of birds on his recent bird-watching excursions, he said, though he’s not sure of all the species. He’s taken to shopping on Amazon for used bird guidebooks so he will know what he’s seeing.
Parks programming manager Jeremiah Schroeder said he hopes to get a regular attendance of about 10 to 15 people to the bird-watching group meetings, which will rotate among Greenfield city parks.
Those interested in participating in the free bird-watching group should contact the parks department to fill out a one-time registration form, Schroeder said.
People who attend should dress appropriately for the weather and for walking through wooded areas; Schroeder recommended bringing sunscreen or bug spray if necessary, as well as binoculars. No supplies will be provided.
The parks department will announce where upcoming bird watching sessions will take place on its website, greenfieldin.org/parks, Schroeder said.
The Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department is holding free bird-watching groups. Session details are posted on the department’s website greenfieldin.org/parks.