Birdwatching has become a very exciting hobby for a lot of people. It gives you a chance to enjoy nature and is a great inexpensive way to spend a day. One of the great pleasures of birdwatching is that it does not require any expensive equipment. All you really need is a good pair of binoculars and a good field guide that contains descriptions and pictures of the birds found in your region. It is also very helpful to have a notebook and pen to record your observations. You can also take pictures and make your own bird book.
Bird identification is a step-by step process of elimination that begins with determining where your subject lives, its range and its habitat. One of the most important clues is to identify a birds geographic range. Before you leave home use bookmarks or colored markers to highlight the birds that inhabit your area in your field guide. Pay close attention to whether you see the bird in a tree, on a lake, in a marsh or in an open field. Different birds have distinctive body shapes and features. Since sunlight and shadows misrepresent the colors of feathers the size and shape of the bird’s body would be your next clue to identifying them. Look carefully at the shapes of the bill, feet, tail and wings in flight.
If you do not have time to look up the sightings quickly, draw the shape and describe the features. You can always go back and identify it in your field guide later. Each bird species has distinctive markings such as the color of its legs, throat or wings that set it apart from other species. These key features are known as field marks. Such features should enable you to find out the exact species and even the sex of the bird. Keeping records can be one of the most satisfying aspects of bird watching. Your notes describing the bird, the date of the sighting and any of it’s behaviors will come in handy when identifying the bird.
Birdwatchers spend allot of time learning bird songs, because it is often easier to recognize a particular bird’s song than to spot and identify the bird. In the spring and summer breeding seasons birds rise early to perform their songs. It is the best time of day to appreciate the incredible range and variety of bird songs and sounds.Their are actually many birdwatching clubs that are popping up all over the world. These clubs spend hours outdoors in nature observing how birds communicate, their feeding habits, nest building and if their lucky observing a mother bird feeding it’s babies.