How to Start Bird Watching

Bird watching is a wonderful hobby for both young and old. You will learn to look at your natural surroundings in a new and interesting way, as you try to spot and identify birds. This enables you to enjoy your outdoor space like you never have before. Another great aspect of bird watching is that it is incredibly easy to get started. Here is how.

Find a Place to Watch
Of course, to enjoy bird watching, you need a place to watch. If you have a backyard, this is perfect. There’s no need to start off big, just step into your yard and see what you can find. If you live in the city, try your local park. You can even pick a favorite bench on the side of the road if there are trees nearby. You simply need any area where birds are likely to find a home.

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Get a Field Guide
A field guide contains detailed descriptions of birds, including pictures. This will help you identify what birds you see and know what details to pay attention to when you are looking for a certain bird. As with your bird watching locale, start small. You can buy a field guide for your state or region of the country. This will have only contain the birds you can see there. As you develop a greater interest for the hobby, you can upgrade to a nicer field guide – for instance, one with birdcalls – or a guide for areas you may travel.

Adjust Those Binoculars
Since the feathered creatures can look at you from their bird’s eye view, you have to find a way to get a better glimpse of them. Binoculars are the easy way to see a bird, no matter how high they fly into the trees. You can buy inexpensive binoculars that will work perfectly. Learn to adjust the instrument’s focus before you start bird watching, so you do not miss anything!

Grab a Notebook and Pen
No matter how great your memory is, you will still need to write down what you see. You should write down what bird you see, where you saw it, and when. Since birds can fly away quickly, the notebook is also helpful for writing down the details you see. Even if you do not have time to identify the bird on site, you can go through your field guide back at home and identify it based on the recorded details.

Don a Hat
Sunglasses are troublesome while bird watching, since they make a binoculars’ use hard and can obscure the bird’s details. Since you will be looking up, and frequently into the sun, a hat is a good substitute. A brim that protects you from the sun and its glare without obstructing your binoculars is ideal.

Liz Childers blogs about bird-related topics for Backyard Chirper, the home for all your birding needs.

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