How to Begin Birding
Four Simple Steps to Begin Birding
Purchase binoculars. Do your research and investigate which pair will fit your needs as well as your budget. Always test out the 'nocs before you commit. You can find great birder binoculars at your local wild birding store, Audubon chapter, or nature center. Here you will find numerous pairs of binoculars to test out as well as experienced staff that will be able to answer all of your questions and offer you great advice. You will want to search for 'nocs that focus easily, have 8x magnification, are waterproof, and are equipped with a 30-42mm front lens which indicates their capability of light gathering. Either '8x32' or '10x42' will work. Take your time to feel out each pair.
Purchase a bird guide. It is highly recommended that your read through your guide before stepping out to bird watch for the first time. One piece of advice for all beginners is not to try and memorize all of the birds at once but instead focus on learning bird families. For example, try not to learn each bird by name but rather its type like warbler, swallow, herons, raptor, or flycatcher. Approaching the bird guide in this manner will help to comfort you instead of overwhelm you. Knowing the bird families will aid you in narrowing down your search when you are out bird watching. Birds often fly by quickly and do not sit still, so have patience, the process of identification will get easier.
Go for a walk. You can find local bird walks at your near by nature center, Audubon Chapter, bird store or online on any of their web sites. Try a different bird walk every day! Or try the same one at a different time of the day. You never know what you will find. Donít forget as the seasons change, the bird species you view will as well.
Utilize the Internet. The internet can be a great tool for locating great birding spots. You can find up to date lists on your local Audubon website. Listservs are awesome for providing the current locations of different bird species. Once you find a location it is time to go! Do not forget to make sure it is the appropriate season to view the birds listed. Additionally, there are numerous birding applications found on the smartphone databases. If you ever find yourself at a loss of birds just reach into your pocket and locate more!
As you finally set out to bird watch make sure you take your time! It is vital to walk quietly, slowly, observe, and listen. You will most likely hear the birds before you see them. Shortly, you will find yourself out at dawn greeting the birds as they wake. Each time you sight a bird you will feel as delighted as you did the first time. The whistles and hoots of a Yellow Breasted Chat and the sight of a glowing orange throated Blackburnian Warbler will bring warmth to your heart. You now have all the info you need to begin birding. Go outside today!