Hobby Feature: Jake Ray’s birdwatching

Jake Ray photo courtesy of Georgia Hatfield.

Jake Ray, sophomore political science and international relations major,  has an outdoor, limited equipment solo hobby he likes to do. Ray is a bird watcher. 

Ray likes to relax by going out with a pair of binoculars and finding birds in their natural habitat. A few years ago, he started “birding,” as he calls it, and finds it to be an excellent way to procrastinate homework. 

He invites anyone curious about nature to explore bird watching. All it requires is for you to step outside and look around. One of Jake’s favorite spots to bird-watch is Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, just one and a half miles from campus. However, he advises looking up the hours of operation first to avoid a lengthy conversation with the police. Yes, you read that right. Once, Jake had the police called on him while birding because he entered the nature sanctuary too early. After the police realized what had happened, they laughed and let him continue with his hobby.

That was not the only exciting story Jake has concerning bird watching. Another time, in Springfield, MO, he had an interesting sighting. Not a bird, but instead an older man using nature’s port-a-potty in the woods. While he occasionally runs into other bird watchers, he rarely finds a sighting such as that. 

Regardless of the peculiar sighting now and again, he thinks birding is a great hobby that keeps you moving, outside and relaxed. 

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