VICTORIA -- The Rocky Point Bird Observatory has launched the first annual Victoria Bird Week.

The nine-day event has a variety of virtual events and activities scheduled, with the ultimate goal of getting more people into birding.

“One of the fantastic things about birding as a hobby is that you can do it anywhere and anytime,” said Ann Nightingale with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory.

“Sometimes it's better than others for sure, but you can do it by yourself, you can do it with your family, you can do it with the same groups,” she said.

Nightingale says there are health benefits to birding as well.

“The medical profession has even found that paying attention to nature and to birds is good for people's blood pressure, it’s good for their mood,” she said.

Birds also benefit from the extra attention, according to Nightingale.

“It’s also good to become aware of the birds, they are endangered, a lot of them, they’re threatened in terms of habitat loss and other things humans are doing,” said Nightingale.

“Once you get to know them, you’re more likely to help protect them,” she said.

Nightingale says Victoria Bird Week is a way to celebrate the animals, and there's no wrong way to participate in the event.

“People enjoy birds in very many different ways. Some people never bother to learn the names of the birds and that’s OK. Some people just like listening to them or watching them, watching their behavior in their own backyards,” she said.

“Other people can be nuts about it, they can go chasing every rare bird that comes into town and hope to get pictures of it.”

She adds that birdwatching can be combined with other interests, such as photography, artwork or writing.

“There's lots of things that people do with birds and whatever it is, if they’re enjoying the company of birds, then that’s OK,” said Nightingale.

All Victoria Bird Week events are free and can be found online here. The events run until Sunday, May 16.