Bird Watching Tips
9 Tips For The Novice Bird Watcher
Bird Watching may seem daunting but like any hobby, with practice it is shockingly easy to grasp. It can be done whenever you are outside. All one needs to birdwatch is patience, mindful observation, and an eagerness to learn about the beauty of the natural world around them. Below you will find nine tips to help you in getting started:
⇒ 1 Binoculars;
The true prize of bird watching is witnessing the beauty of each species you view. Thus, your experience highly depends upon the quality of your binoculars. Your goal is to receive the clearest, brightest, biggest, crispest picture from your binoculars. Throughout more recent years a greater amount of higher quality binoculars are available at shockingly low prices. One hundred dollar binoculars are very tempting but if your wallet allows, try to spend two hundred to three hundred dollars on a pair of superior quality binoculars. Your eyes will thank you. These binoculars usually give a clearer, lighter weight, and waterproof advantage. Plus, they usually come with a lifetime warranty. The Leupold Yosemites and Nikon Monarchs models of binoculars are great for novice birders. Try out the 7-8 power binoculars because they tend to have a greater incorporation of magnification with a wider scope where your bird in sight will not be continually hopping out of your view.
⇒ 2 Field Guide;
Once you get down the practice of spotting birds with your binoculars, you will begin wondering what species they are. In order to identify your bird in view, you will need a field guide. A birder field guide favorite is the Sibley Guide. The Sibley Guide comes in a few different versions, its original form the North America version, the smaller Eastern Edition or most portable Western Edition. Kaufman’s, The National Geographic, Peterson’s, and Crossley’s have all proven to be very useful guides as well. Additionally, the internet can be a very useful tool for identifying bird sounds on the All About Birds website.
⇒ 3 Bird Feeders;
Now that you are equipped with your binoculars and guide, you need birds. Bird Feeders can help the novice birder gain practice in their very own backyard. These devices are great for attracting birds close enough to you to practice identifying and viewing them at your own pace. Bird Feeders come in all shapes and sizes. It is recommended to begin with a sunflower feeder utilizing black-oil. In winter it is best to use a suet feeder and in summer one should use a hummingbird feeder. Once you have a handle on these types of feeders then you can advance to using other baits like thistle seeds, millet, fruit, and mealworms to diversify the types of species your bird feeder attracts.
⇒ 4 Spotting Scope;
At this point you are basically stocked with the staples that are necessary when bird watching. However, as you start expanding your horizons you will want to view birds that are farther away along the shorelines, mudflats, and trees which requires special equipment. Although spotting scopes are not cheap, they are indispensable when gathering those last few details to identify a species and truly appreciate the majestic features of unique bird breeds. There are truly some details that only the spotting scope can bring to life utilizing its twenty to sixty time zoom. Scopes, like binoculars are also beginning to decrease in price while maintaining higher quality. Living Bird magazine provides a great spotting scope comparison list.
⇒ 5 Camera;
A camera is very helpful in identifying bird species, plus you get to remember your sighting forever. Birds are very artistic and you can truly connect with them through capturing their essence with photography. There are many featured birding galleries that you can view online for inspiration. Birders are also beginning to practice digiscoping. Digiscoping is when you point your camera into a binocular or spotting scope to capture your shot. However, a cell phone camera will work just as well for grabbing basic photos.
⇒ 6 Skills;
It is highly recommended to practice species identification with the standard four step approach. 1. Judge the bird by shape and size. 2. Identify its dominant color pattern. 3. Note the birds behavior. 3. Consider the habitat. Online you can view many tutorials that walk you through each step.
⇒ 7 Records;
Birders are also known as listers. Listers are people who are obsessed with collecting lists of data. In the world of bird watching, it is appropriate to keep a list of spotted species. Listing is a way to chronologically remember all of the birds you have witnessed and all the places you have visited. Your records can be kept in a hard bound journal or online. There are no rules to listing but your lists will definitely come in handy when attempting to share sightings and explorations with fellow birders, friends, and family.
⇒ 8 Applications;
The advantage of owning a smartphone, is that you are able to carry a library in your pocket. All of the field guides referred to above are made available as applications as well. Birdseye is a truly amazing app as it helps you locate nearby birds. Plus, Birdseye also provides you with directions to find them. Additionally, there are apps chalk full of bird quizzes, photos, sounds, and questions like the Cornell Lab Bird Q&A Application which can help you get familiar with the different bird species found throughout the world.
⇒ 9 Connections;
Bird Watching tends to be a solo pursuit and can be highly therapeutic for the soul. You have the ability to become one with nature. Congruently, the sport of bird watching can also be a social endeavor where you can learn tips and tricks from your fellow birders. A perfect opportunity to connect with fellow birders is the the website birdingonthe. net. The site will provide you with a list of birders found in your area. You will also receive emails announcing species that have been close by as well as local bird outings. Get connected today!