Bird watching is a popular and relaxing hobby for many Americans. To get started all you need to do is sit on the porch and look around. Birds are great at adapting to a variety of habitats making them as common in cities and suburbs as in more rural areas. Here are some tips to help you be a more productive bird watcher.
An easy to use bird guide book will help you to identify the birds that you are seeing. The Peterson First Guide to Birds is a great guide for beginners as it arranges the most commonly sighted birds in an easy to use format. A bird guide will help bird watchers to know what they are seeing and to learn to identify many species of birds.
Binoculars are another tool that will help bird watchers to be more productive. Binoculars are great for seeing the colors and patterns on the bird in order to identify the species. Binoculars need not be pricey to be useful. Top of the line binoculars will help in low light situations, but for most bird watching anything that is comfortable will work just fine.
To see more species, bird watch in many different areas. Public parks and other areas are great to see a variety of birds that might not be common in your yard. Overlooked areas to bird watch include public hunting and fishing areas that are not as popular as state and city parks. Public hunting areas are usually desolate during the summer months when most hunting seasons are closed. When visiting areas that are far from your home do some research to determine what species of birds are common to your area.
A high quality camera is a must as well. A digital camera will allow you to take multiple pictures of birds and sort through them to find the best. Birds don’t read rule books, so when you find a bird that is out of its common habitat or region getting a picture will make your observation believable.
A notebook that you keep records of bird sightings in will be a valuable resource for your bird watching. Knowing where and when you spotted certain birds in a specific area will help you to monitor bird migration to see these same bird species each year as well as to note the most productive areas for further trips.
Bird watching should be relaxing and very inexpensive making it a great hobby for about everyone. Bird watching can be combined with camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and a multitude of other outdoor sports. Get a guide book and give bird watching a try. You might be quite surprised how fun and addictive it can be.