ABSECON — Diane and Brian Timms have four children, four cats, two dogs and some chickens, but the birds that fly past their home also could qualify as members of the family.

Their kitchen table for eight and the area around it is the “Happy Place” for the married couple, who are both AtlantiCare doctors.

Near the kitchen table, a spotting scope and binoculars for identifying birds is perched next to a window that looks out toward the back of their property, the marsh and the Marina District of Atlantic City.

A poster with the pictures and names of the “Birds of the Mid-Atlantic Coast” hangs on a wall next to the kitchen table. Bird feeders are everywhere in the backyard. The cats are not allowed out for fear they will attack the birds.

“We started it together as something we could do with the kids,” said Brian Timms, 44, who remembers hearing a National Public Radio program about how amazing birds were.

“The kids got into it. It was something kind of wholesome where we can get outside, just for the fun of it. When you actually start to pay attention, you really notice all the birds that are around.”

The kitchen table is the focal point of the 6,000-square-foot house they have been living in for the past three years. The only new things they have purchased for the kitchen area are chairs and stools.

“We got the bigger house because we had all the kids, but we spend all of our time in an 800-square-foot area of this house, right here,” Brian Timms said.

From the kitchen table, Diane Timms, 41, can survey a large area, including the living room with the fireplace, and keep her eye on the children: Zachary, 11, Grace, 8, Rosie, 4, and Milo, 2.

Diane Timms is the program director of Maternal Fetal Medicine and vice chair for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for Childbirth at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus.

Brian Timms is the associate program director of AtlantiCare’s Internal Medicine Residency Program and the assistant medical director of AtlantiCare Health Services.

“Our kitchen table is where we have family time and have meals together,” Diane Timms said. “Especially with Brian and I working so much, the most important thing when we are not working is to be with the kids.”

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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