Conservationists hope growing interest in birding will lead to increased protections

David Bradley loves birds and enjoys spending time alone with them in nature, but the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have reduced his chances to sit in solitude with the animals.

“I go out and the parking lot is full of people with binoculars,” said the B.C. director for Birds Canada, which advocates for the conservation of bird species. “You know, it didn’t always used to be that way.”

What Bradley is talking about is one of the unintended benefits of the pandemic — people who are connecting more with nature, such as observing bird species in their region, as a way to stay safe from infection and do something worthwhile.

“It’s fantastic,” said Bradley, who

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