The Ultimate Bird Watching Guide
Today you are going to see the best birding tips (Download free PDF) that will explain to you step-by-step on all the aspects of bird watching but mostly you will learn about:
- Choosing the right birding equipment
- How to use these instruments
- Preparing yourself for field trips
Table of Contents
- The Ultimate Bird Watching Guide
- Bird Watching Method [Infographic]
- Essential Equipment: Bird Watching Binoculars
- Visiting the Field
- Bird Identification
- Keep records
- Learning more on the birds
- Bird Watching in the United States
- Advice to bird watchers
The information that I have laid out for you will help you plan for your next field trip. I have given details on the best bird watching binoculars that are useful in bird viewing.
If you are a birder who desires to have a closer look at the birds I have also discussed the spotting scopes. Check out my guide for the best spotting scope.
You should know this…
I understand the importance of recording bird sounds. That’s why I did my research on the best field recorder.
To all those who love taking photos of the birds or even recording a movie, I have the best information on the best wildlife camera.
My reviews will guide you in purchasing some of these birding instruments.
Have a look at each of the following instruments and you will understand exactly how to make your next birding field trip a big success.
Bird watching video
In this video I will go through the 6 Actionable Bird Watching Techniques that you can use today.
Bird Watching Method [Infographic]
If you’re looking for some practical strategies that you can use today, then you will really enjoy this infographic.The following are the key guides for birdwatching.
Embed this infographic on your site:
Here’s my take on the Infographic [Step-by-Step]
1. Get The Right Birding Equipment
Before you set out to the field, ensure you are well versed in the area with the right bird watching equipment.
First of all, make sure to carry good shoes that will be comfortable for the terrain to handle.
When you go on a field trips it’s also very important to know the region to avoid getting lost in the area.
Birds are not dangerous, but it is wise to know if the desired region has other dangerous animals. When preparing for a birding fieldwork you need to wear the right attire for the field.
If you choose to carry binoculars, ensure they are comfortable to hang on your neck. They shouldn’t stress your field activity. The binoculars should have optimum magnification recommended for birding.
Make sure to carry the best bird watching binoculars with you or a spotting scope to assist you in viewing.
A spotting scope offers high level magnification. It is good for those who want to view the birds from their cars. See also the best spotting scope that I recommend for birding!
If you need to record, carry a field recorder with proper magnification because birds are normally far away. The field recorder should have enough memory to store recordings throughout the exercise. The recordings will give you memorable playbacks of the fieldwork.
I have done my research and give you my recommendation for the best field recorder.
Also make sure you have a wildlife camera with you to capture all the moments. Ensure the wildlife camera has a high sensitivity and zooming capacity. Check out the best wildlife camera that I recommend for bird watching.
2. Know the Right Time for Birding
It is not automatic that you will find birds if they are not on a reservation. It is, therefore, important to recognize the most appropriate time to go for the birdwatching. This has been recognized to be in the morning and late in the afternoon.
If you start birding in the morning, you are likely to find more birds because they are searching for their food. They wake up very early and start singing.
Backyard birds offer the best birding opportunity. Sometimes you can learn bird habits through watching the birds in your backyard.
Attracting the bird to your yard makes birding easier. Backyard birds can be very useful since they will give you basic information on how they behave during the year.
Bird houses and bird baths could be ways to enjoy watching birds in the comfort of your home.
Build a bird house in your home where the birds can be comfortable. Birds also love bathing in water and also in the sand. There are various bird baths that you can create to attract the birds to your yard.
Creating a perfect place for the bird is the initial step of bringing birds to your home. Buy bird feeders with the right bird food so that more birds will come to your backyard. Bird feeds include nuts and seeds. They are relatively cheap and easily available.
3. Have a Field Guide
A guide is important in helping you identifying the best places to spot the birds.
You can use guides with illustrations to assist you in this. You can also learn bird habits, field marks, and calls that will help in identifying the right time and place for birding.
The Audubon bird guide is one of the best guides that can assist you in your field work. This guide has been prepared with a lot of information on the birds. It gives information on rare birds that are undergoing conservation. It also gives environmental conditions that make the birds comfortable helping you now the seasons to find the birds.
With this, you will have in mind the types of birds you will see and the proper timing for identification.
4. Be in a Group
To enjoy birding ensure you are with other bird watchers. These can be found in online social platforms where you can identify groups near you.
You can also request your friends who are interested in the activity to join you in forming a team. Experienced bird watchers can help you identify the birds.
Identifying game parks that preserve birds can help you identify days with most booking. These days you will find teams that you will enjoy birdwatching together.
It is believed that the more you are, the more birds you will see. This is because there is more set of eyes and ears to look for the birds.
5. Bring the Birds to Yourself
Sometimes it’s hard to go to the birds. This is because some hide up the trees.
You can attract them by carrying bird feeders with fresh bird food such as their favorite seeds.
Ensure you have adequate knowledge on best feeds for the targeted birds. This will bring the birds near you. An eBird can also assist you in this. It is a tool that will help guide you in bird watching. It will help you develop eBirding habits that will assist in bringing birds to yourself.
6. Do Not Scare the Birds
When you are birding either in your backyard or a local hotspot, it is important to be very careful. Birds may fly away if you scare them.
It is important to ensure they are comfortable in your presence. The best way to do this is to avoid rough movements and excess noise. Make sure you do not talk loudly when coming close to the birds.
You should also be dressed in attire that blends with the surrounding. This will stop the birds from recognizing you and therefore, they will not avoid your presence.
Birds are a wonderful group of wildlife. They are among the most visible wildlife and, therefore, attract a lot of people who are interested in wildlife monitoring.
When planning to engage in birding ensure you carry essential instruments that will help you in identification.
Birds are of different shapes, color, and sizes, and careful watching can identify this. Some of these features can be identified by a naked eye while others you need instrumentation.
You will find them having different types of songs, call and drumming’s that enable you to spot them.
You might be wondering, who is this for…
It is a common practice in the modern world especially to all those who are interested in birds and nature. Birding is an enjoyable activity that is carried out by campers, hunters, backyard birders, anglers, among others.
Getting in this activity requires thorough preparation. This is because most of the bird watching exercise requires an auditory component. You will first hear the sound of the bird which you can then follow for identification. Birding equipment will then be required for complete identification.
Essential Equipment: Bird Watching Binoculars
A bird watching binocular is one of the essential equipment for bird watchers.
The market has different types of binoculars with varying magnifications. A good magnification is about 8x for woodland and around 12X for open country.
Your binoculars should not be heavy as it would strain you as you carry it all day long. Range Roof prisms binoculars models are preferred than the Porro prisms. This is because they are more comfortable to use.
Make sure the strap in your binoculars is comfortable for your neck. Otherwise, it will strain your neck for all the hours you will be in the field. You can avoid this by use of a harness that will assist in distributing the weight of the binoculars to the shoulders and also the back.
Before going to the field ensure you know how to calibrate your binoculars and calibrate it before getting to the field.
Visiting the Field
Birding is a wonderful adventure. It is a hobby that can be done in your backyard birds as well as in faraway places. You will enjoy visiting the fields if you love the birds.
Birders can carry out this fun exercise as long as they want as it is not tiring. A good guide before you visit the field is essential. Ensure it is a simple guide that you can read leisurely.
Know where the bird live, the season and anything else that may make the experience enjoyable. The following is a guide when visiting the field:
Different birds are found in different places. A field guide should give you an idea of the types of birds you can identify in a region.
You should know exactly what you want to engage in during the birding exercises. Some love seeing the birds flying, others love the physical characteristics of the birds while some may love to study their behavior in the habitats. All this will require good skills to recognize them completely.
The guide may help you know the types of birds in your area. For complete bird identification, do not focus only on the bird color, as this may not give you complete information on the bird.
Study other features such as shape, markings on their body, posture they have during resting, size, groupings, and any other identifiable feature. You can also note how they carry their wings during flying and any other special characteristics that may interest you.
Most bird watchers keep a record of what they saw. You can do this by recording the birds. This may be difficult as it is not easy to control the birds. If you find it hard initiate the process by just taking the photos of the birds. You can use a binoculars or a telescope to assist you in making a good image.
Identification of many birds will make you enjoy bird watching. Birds reside in different regions, so if you want to identify different species ensure you visit different habitats. You can initiate this by watching the birds found in your home.
If you find the process interesting and enjoyable, you can take a step further to travel to a far place that you can find other types of birds with different features and characteristics.
Enjoyable moments create memories. To enjoy bird watching ensure you keep a list of places you have visited and the types of birds you found in the places. With this, you will be able to recognize rare birds that have very special characteristics. This can be shared with other bird watchers who you can use it as a guide to their trips.
Learning more on the birds
Most people who are involved in birding often end up desiring to learn more about the birds. If you are interested in this, Cornell Lab of Ornithology is one of the most resourceful centers to search more information on the birds. Bird twitch is another great opportunity for continuous learning where birders engage in competitive activities. Twitching involves chasing a bird rarities and capturing as much information as you can. This will be increasing your knowledge of the bird and also your love for the birds.
Bird Watching in the United States
One of the most exciting birding places in the United States is Point Reyes Seashores. It has over 70,000 acres inhabited by birds. The park has over 490 avian species that are found inside the park and on the adjacent waters. Point Reyes has the highest bird count reported in national tally. Every year they organize a festival where all those who love wild birdwatching can attend and enjoy the beauty of the region. This festival takes place during the spring and involves the Point Reyes National Seashore as well as the surrounding fields.
Look, you should not miss this…
You will enjoy watching migrating waterfowl, seabirds, alcids and also the owls.
Birders have several places to view the birds in the park. These include:
1. Bear Valley
In this, you will find a great variety of birds including kinglets, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and wrens. It is a great habitat for these birds as it trails to the ocean.
This region has many species of the waterfowl and the shore birds. You will also find American wigeon, American coot, sandpipers, Northern harriers, california black rail and the green-wingled teal.
3. Lighthouse rocks and cliff region
In this section of the park, you will find brown pelicans in fall, and if you visit during spring, you will find several pelagic migrating species.
4. Five Brooks Pond
Here you will find the birds in grasses and trees. Pileated woodpeckers, accipiters, thrushes, ring-necked duck and the grebes. These birds are in high population during winter.
5. Estero Trail
Estero Trail, this is an extensive pine plantation that provides a great environment for green horned owls. Hawks can also be found in the grasslands in this region.
6. Hawk Hill
Another hotspot is Hawk Hill in California. This marine headland is a favorite for many. The common birds include eagles, hawks, kites, vultures, and accipiters.
Advice to bird watchers
It is important to respect birds during bird watching. Do not disturb them when nesting, do not kill them, do not stress them and do not also expose them to dangers.
American Birding Association regulates bird tourism in America. They have set policies for all those who want to be involved with the birds. They also limit advertising and production of films that can endanger the birds. So anytime you visit the bird, keep off their nests, love them and let them enjoy their private life.
With this, you will promote this enjoyable activity.
Bird Watching Meaning
Bird watching, also commonly referred to as birding, is to observe birds for recreation purpose. Birding has been for many years a popular hobby among many people in the world.
What is the best you can describe bird watching meaning? It is simply a hobby of admiring birds. It is an activity that helps you appreciate the nature beauty. Bird watching is a relaxing hobby it will relieve you of stress always. Remember “beautiful things bring joy.”
Bird Watching Guide
Welcome to my online bird watching guide. I have the best information that will help you enjoy bird watching. This information is based on thorough research on the best bird watching procedures. Have a look at the several guides that I have on my page.
Bird Watching App
Did you know that there are bird watching apps that you can easily install on your iPhone, to assist you in bird watching? Bird watching apps are one of the best guides in bird identification. You can find them in iTunes and also in play store for those using Android phones.
Bird Watching Slang
Like many other hobbies, bird watching has also developed its slang where birders use unique words to refer to their birding activities.
Examples of this include…
When a birder has his first sight of a bird. Birders use the name to mean the event has been added to one’s life list.
Used when you travel to spot a reported rare bird but fail to see it.
Used to describe a bird that has eluded a birder even after several trials of seeing it.
Birding Urban Dictionary
The birding urban dictionary describes the various term you need to know before visiting the field. These are the terms that are commonly used by the birders. The dictionary also discusses the several bird watching slangs and what they mean.
Bird Watching Urban Dictionary
The birding urban dictionary gives different uses for the term bird watching. Currently, “bird watching” is being used to refer to several things depending on the group using the slang. Among the most popular uses of the phrase in Vancouver is to mean smoking. For example “let’s go for bird watching during the lunch break” Some people also use the phrase for spying beautiful women. “I was bird watching in the movie, but I only saw a few bitches.”
Birding Big Year
This is an excellent way of enjoying birding. The bird watchers organize a birding event where they attempt to see as many species of birds as possible. They always consider the best time of the year to organize the birding big year for a specific region.
Birding binoculars are the most important tools that every birder should have. To effectively admire birds, carry some binoculars. Once you see a bird, relax and focus your binoculars on the birds. This is the best way of enjoying this outdoor activity.
They are useful birding equipment for the birders who want to have higher magnification for the far away birds. You must have a tripod stand to use effectively this equipment. They are the best tools for bird watching from your car.
A birding magazine will give you a lot of information about birds. Bird watching magazines have the latest bird news, expert reviews of the birding equipment and the local events including the birding big year. If you are in regions that organize birding competition such as the Britain and North America, you are likely to find these events advertised on birding magazines.
After a birding big year, most birders make a birding record. The birding record can comprise of the birds seen, the geographical area visited, birding movies, photos, and images, as well as the bird, sounds recorded.