Jan 24

Bird Watching 101

Bird watching has been one of the exciting and fascinating hobbies that you can have. Even if you have a little knowledge about birds, you can already start scouting for the amazing and beautiful birds found in different parts of the world.

Moreover, identifying a bird can be quite challenging since they are usually quick, energetic and active. In addition, you might also encounter some obstacles in getting a good view of it. Some of these obstacles include poor lighting, direct sunlight and birds diving into the bushes and trees.

Tips for Beginners

Bird WatchingAs a beginner, you might be caught up in a situation where you don’t even know how to start. This is quite normal especially if you still don’t have enough information about birds. In order to guide you, here are some tips on how to perform bird watching:

  1. Learn the Bird Sounds

    1. Every bird has its own song or vocalization. If you want to identify a bird easily, should study the particular sound that it produces. Once you became an expert on bird calls, bird watching becomes easy for you.
  2. Picture the Bird

    1. If you have an idea on the size, color and appearance of the bird that you are looking for, you can easily find it. To help you identify, look for books that contain photos and descriptions of birds.
  3. Check the Color and Length of the Legs

    1. Aside from the appearance; make sure to also check the legs of each bird. Some birds have long legs, while others have short. If the particular bird you are looking for has unique leg features, you can easily identify it.
  4. Be Vigilant

    1.  Once you have spotted a bird, check your field guide immediately. Every second in bird watching counts, so keep an eye on every bird that flies. Check on all the markings, size, movements, feeding habits and song. If possible, take down some notes.
  5. Take Note of the Bill Characteristics and Facial Markings

    1.  Once you have settled with the shape and size, check on other details like distinctive patches and strips of color. It is also advised to check on how the bill looks like since some birds can be easily identified through their bill.
  6. Identify the Tail Shape and Wing Bars

    1.  Aside from the bill, the tail, body and wings should also be examined, since some of the distinctive marks are found in the belly and tail.
  7. Observe Feeding Habits

    1.  If you have more time to research, know the kind of food the bird eats and how it feeds. Some birds cling to the tree trunk, while others dig on the bark.
  8. Know Their Habitat

    1.  Some birds are endemic to particular places. Since they can only be found in that region or country, you can easily identify them. In addition, climate also plays an important role.
  9. Take Down Notes

    1. After viewing a particular bird, you can jot down what you have learned and observed. In fact, all the information you have can be used for future reference. Make sure to record the location, time of the day, and date in addition, to the bird’s features.

How to Dress For Bird Watching

Birds are found anywhere in the world. In connection, birders can experience various weather conditions while bird watching. In fact, this hobby requires appropriate attire in order to make the experience memorable.

  1. If you are to perform bird watching during the summer, you need to wear light clothing. Birds can be distracted easily, so wear something with light colors such as white shirt and white pants. During winter, wear warm clothing like jackets and sweat shirts. You can also add a hat, portable umbrella, or wind breaker depending on the need.
  2. Footwear is also very important. If your location is near the shore, a pair of sandals is acceptable. For other places, rubber boots and hiking boots are recommended.
  3. During hot season, always wear sun block lotion to avoid sun burn. Bird watching requires several hours under sunlight, so be prepared. In addition, insect repellant is also important.

Places Perfect For Bird Watching

Though birds can be found in different parts of the world, United States is one of the popular places for bird watching. In the northern part of the country, there are more than 1 million birds found in Alaska. In the Southwest region, birders can visit Saguaro National Park and Minnesota Valley in the Central region. When you head to Northeast, you can go to Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania and Merrit Island National Wildlife if your destination is in the Southeast.

Season for Bird Watching

The best time to do bird watching is early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Moreover, the best month is in April as the snow has melted completely. During this month, you can see sparrows and robins, while warblers, tanagers, vireos and nimbles start to be seen in the month of May. Above all, it is good to know that different birds are found all year round.

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