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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Recommended Daily Allowance of Birds

Most people don't eat enough vegetables, or fiber. They also don't see enough birds. This year I've decided that I need my minimum Recommended Daily Allowance of Birds. For me, and for most folks in the Lower 48, a good Bird RDA is probably 20 species. It takes a little work to see 20 species each day, but it can usually be done.

I can see about 20 species on my 3 mile morning walk. Most folks in the Lower 48 should be able to do the same. If you can't get 20 species within a couple miles of your house, you might want to reconsider where you live! While I'm not too jazzed about getting up early to walk 3 miles, I can get motivated to get my Bird RDA.

Getting your Bird RDA will take work, lead to improved birding skills, and may even lead to weight loss (if you decide to try the brisk morning walk approach).

So, who wants to join me this year in making sure we get our Bird RDA? I'll report my daily bird totals here on my blog as a motivator to help me make sure I get my Bird RDA.


John B. said...

I think I could see at least 20 species during a three-mile walk from my home. I'm not sure I could have at my old apartment, though.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. How many species does it take to dangerously exceed the RDA? What are the potential dangers of not meeting the RDA? What supplements would you recommend to birders unable to meet their RDA in their current environs? Finally, does the AMA or the FDA support these recommendations?

Happy New Year!

Patrick B. said...

Great idea Rob! I'd be surprised if I could hit 20 around my house. I'll have to give it a try one of these days (when it's warmer).

Jeff Gyr said...

Hi Rob--

This is a great idea! Nice thinking, man.


WanderingAlbatross said...

20 is a lot easier when you can walk in daylight. When almost all of my walk is in the dark, 10 is a good total. However, a day with Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl on the walk meets my RDA, regardless of total species number. Not all birds are equal.

Anonymous said...

I started great with a Bald Eagle in my back yard, but fell short of my RDA. Also blogged you. Thanks!

Ken (Remembering New Jersey)

Laura Erickson said...

So why didn't I read this splendid post until today--March 27? I think you need to write up a paper about the overall health and well-being benefits of meeting that RDA of Birds for the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Anonymous said...

Nice idea! Stuck in a Bangkok suburb getting out for birding isn't always easy. Still with the biodiversity as high as it is in the tropics I should be able to manage 20 a day. I'll see how I do.

Ken said...

I heartily endorse BirdChaser’s advice that a healthy birder is one who attains the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 20 bird species. However,do not follow BirdChaser’s rule blindly, as you may risk missing your overall goal of balanced nutrition. Just as all our daily calories should not come from M&Ms, it is healthier to adhere to the Birder’s Nutritional Pyramid (BNP). Just remember that 2 + 4 + 6 + 8 = 20, and proceed backwards up to the top of the pyramid (more on today's Blog)

Moonbird said...

Mike asked "What supplements would you recommend to birders unable to meet their RDA in their current environs? "
I recommend a minimum of two parakeets a day, where you can see and hear them easily. Mine are currently in the next room over, making contented sounds.

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