Thanks to photographer Peter Volkmar and the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center—a great place to learn more about birding— for the use of the image of the white-eyed vireo image.

The brightest blue head I’d ever seen.

The little bird was bush-hopping his way alongside the creek followed by what was obviously his drabber mate.

I walk up City Creek Canyon several times every week. I’ve been a birder all my life, a habit inherited from my grandparents. But I’d never really put the two together until last week. I lost interest in birding walks and expeditions since my partner died but the bright blue head of the Lazuli bunting caught my attention and rekindled my interest. I’d seen indigo buntings and painted buntings before, but never a lazuli.

I’m not the only one.

Interest in birding has exploded recently—because outside feels safe, because you can do it alone, because it’s comforting to connect with the natural word. Numerous articles have documented the trend and online sales of bird guides have skyrocketed.

Few things are as rewarding. My nephew always has his eye out for Tks. But birds are real.

Grab a copy of the Audubon, National Geographic or Sibley’s guide to birds of the American west and a decent pair of binoculars and start your list.

Or go to utahbirds.org and print out the list for City Creek Canyon.

Right here in the city you can see dozens of birds:

You don’t need magnification to see wild turkeys, robins and scrub jays, but other common canyon birds are black-chinned hummingbirds, dippers,black-headed grosbeaks, spotted towhees, northern flickers and downy woodpeckers

And, it turns out, lazuli buntings.

For more outdoors, click here.