Are you interested in expounding your knowledge about birds and understanding their role in a natural environment? If you want to venture into this hobby, the only thing you’re required to do is be interested in birds and everything related to birding. Therefore, in this article, you’ll learn 11 tips for bird watching, especially if you are a beginner. It’s neither complicated nor hard to become a birder. The following are some proven tips for bird watching you may implement this year.
Bird watching for beginners: (11 pro tips to get started )
1. Buy Decent Binoculars
It is so annoying to see how birds are moving from one tree to another but fail to identify their species or the beautiful plumage birds come with. Seeing the plumage and the species of birds when you are on a birding trip is achievable by having decent binoculars. The quality of binoculars will help you see and identify everything you want to explore about birds.
However, cheap binoculars might hinder you from exploring everything you may want to know when bird watching. Therefore, as a beginner in this field, it is advisable to purchase quality binoculars if you are intensely interested in exploring the most salient features of birds.
2. Read and Follow Blogs Related to Birding
“Internet has changed everything” is a common phrase used nowadays. With the help of a computer and internet access, you can learn tons of information online, which is essentially for free. And so, there are many incredible bird-watching publications and magazines you can freely retrieve information from.
Thus, if you want to get in-depth knowledge about bird watching, you’re free to read and follow a blog related to birding. For instance, you can read blogs by Scott which offer beautiful nuggets about birding. Reading many publications will help you garner many tips, especially if you’re a beginner.
3. Read Books about Birding and Get Inspired
Reading some detailed bird-watching books is a great way to fully spice up your knowledge about birding and kindle your interest. Like reading blogs, books provide more value because they contain a lot of information than blogs. A 500-page book about birding will expound your knowledge, unlike a 1000-word blog.
Therefore, some of the books you can consider in this category include The Big Year featuring Mark Obmascik, John James Audubon: The Making of an American written by Richard Rhodes, and To See Every Bird on Earth by Dan Koeppel.
4. Listen to Bird Watching Podcasts
While riding, driving, or strolling around your vicinity, what do you usually listen to? This is where the majority mess by listening to some old-fashioned music, which adds no value to their life. So, if you want to expound your bird-watching skills, it is high time you shift to podcast listening. Sample out some of the relevant podcasts in your field and listen to them at your convenience.
How does listening to a podcast related to bird watching help you? The following are some of the reasons why you should embrace this tip;
- You’ll be entertained.
- Get in-depth knowledge about birds, their identification, and vocabulary
- Get updated with the latest news about bird watching
5. Understand the 4 Keys to Bird Identification
Understanding some critical aspects of birds is something you can master just in a crunch of time. It will keep on developing as you nourish your skills as well. For example, identifying birds from their eye lines to tail feathers is challenging even if you are a more experienced bird watcher.
However, you need not stress yourself about mastering everything a bird has. Knowing some fundamental things will help you understand the species and birds’ plumage altogether. Therefore, some of the four key things to master in birds include the following;
- The Shape and Size of the bird
- The color pattern
- Birds habit
- The behavior of the bird
6. Learn the Basic Rules of Bird Watching
As a beginner, it is essential to learn the established rules of anything you are interested in before fully immersing yourself in it. Generally, every activity outside here has rules governing them, and bird watching is no exception. This helps you understand the boundaries needed to be adhered to when bird watching not to annoy your colleague or place the bird in a tricky situation.
Therefore, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the rules laid down on bird watching before diving into the practice. So, remember to get every rule down on paper and work towards implementing it to be on the safer side of your hobby.
7. Connect With Others, both Local and National Birders
An adage, “The whole is better than the sum of its parts,” is commonly used on the internet. It is true to learn and be an expert in bird watching; you must, to some point, connect with local or international birders. Connecting with others helps you learn and get super tips from the experts.
Therefore, you can look for some local birders within your vicinity or connect with the national birders via Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. This particular community allows you to ask any questions you might find hard as far as bird watching is concerned.
8. Keep a Life List and Enroll for eBird
Generally, bird watching might be a competition on its own. Birders typically compete and make the whole process exciting. Therefore, by so doing, you’ll be required to keep a list of all the birds you’ve ever seen, and this is what is called a life list.
Keeping a life list is exciting. It makes competition healthier among the birders. Therefore, as a beginner, having a life list is one of the fantastic tips for bird watching you can embrace in your birding trip.
9. Recognize Which Birds are in Your Area
Another best tip is to know what birds are the most popular within your environment. Different species of birds might be interested in certain specific locations. Therefore, while starting bird watching, it is recommended to look out for the commonly found species of birds in your area.
For instance, you can quickly identify some bird species, including blue jays, European Starlings, Black-Capped Chickadees, house sparrows, and more. So, once you can identify some of the species of birds in your common area, it will be easy to note the species outside your geographical location.
10. Attract Birds to Your Environment
How can you attract birds to your yard as a beginner? Getting birds to love your surrounding is easy. All you need to do is feed them when they land in your area. Engaging in bird feeding activities will help you identify some of the foods each species of bird likes.
Therefore, you can create your bird feed with seeds that greatly appeal to every species of a bird landing in your area. Additionally, you can select to plant grass and flowers and ditch the pesticides, which will bring bugs that birds will feed on.
11. Find a Bird, Stop, Look and Listen to it
The National Audubon Society always recommends looking for a bird, stopping after finding it, and looking and listening to it. Practicing this step will help you understand birds’ different species and behavior.
Nonetheless, it is not easy to spot a bird, stop and listen to it. You’ll be required to employ different strategies by going to a shade, spot where the bird has landed, and slowly walking towards it so it may not run away and spoil your intention.
Bird watching is entertaining. However, it best suits those interested in bird watching and who want to explore more on birds related topics. Therefore, to have successful bird watching practices, the above 11 tips will help you profoundly.