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Why you should try birding (w/ Christian Cooper)

How to Be a Better Human

TED and PRX

Self-improvement, Education

4.2 • 1.1K Ratings

🗓️ 2 October 2023

⏱️ 37 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript

Summary

If you ask Christian Cooper, a science writer, editor, and the host of the show “Extraordinary Birder With Christian Cooper”, birding can teach us all kinds of lessons about life, self-acceptance, and joy. In this episode, Christian shares what he deems as the seven pleasures of birding, why inclusion is especially important in life-affirming pursuits, and how anyone (city-dwellers and countryside-residents alike) can commune with nature to unlock the awe and wonder of the world around us. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts

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0:00.0

Ted Audio Collective.

0:02.0

Audio Collective.

0:04.0

You're listening to How to Bea

0:08.0

You're listening to How to Be a Better Human.

0:11.0

I'm your host Chris Duffy. I am very much a city boy. For all of my life,

0:16.4

I have lived in places where I am surrounded by humans and where if you say to me something

0:20.4

wild is happening outside. I assume that's like a crime or a flash mob on the subway or an improvised

0:26.0

performance art piece that's blocking traffic. Of course though, just because I live in a city

0:30.8

doesn't mean that there isn't actually wild nature here too.

0:34.0

But until my conversation with today's guest Christian Cooper, that's not something that I'd really

0:38.9

ever paid attention to or been all that conscious of.

0:42.0

Christian is the host of the TV show Extraordinary Birder

0:45.0

and the author of the book Better Living Through Birding.

0:48.0

He's also really well known as a comic book author

0:50.0

who has written for places like Marvel and Star Trek.

0:53.0

But while Christian may express himself creatively in fictional worlds,

0:56.0

I think that he's really a hero of the natural one,

0:59.0

especially that hidden natural world that's all around us every day no matter where we live.

1:05.3

Here's a clip from Christian. I'm walking down 9th Avenue in the middle of

1:10.3

Midtown Manhattan. There's traffic going by there's a construction site. I'm

1:14.7

talking to my friend. Other people are passing by with their conversations, but

1:19.1

that click, click, click, the kestrel cuts right through all of it and I'm like oh there's a kestrel here and my friend is like what are you talking about and I'm like and then my eye starts scanning the rooftops and I'm like over there and there's a kestrel and he's like wait that's the most incredible

...

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