How to Get Started Birdwatching
How to Get Started Birdwatching
- Jul 31, 2018
Do you want take you bird watching game to the nest level? Look no feather, check out our video on how to get start with birding!
Don't feel like reading? Watch our YouTube video below and visit our YouTube channel for more where that came from
The first order of business is to get a good pair of binoculars! Think about the area you'll be in and what types of birds you'll be looking for. How far away will they be? Will you be in bright daylight, twilight, or somewhere in between? High magnification binoculars are great for seeing details of birds far away, but the image is darker, and the close-up view can make tracking difficult when the bird takes flight. Lower magnifications allow for a brighter image and easier tracking, but won't show as much detail.
If you can't decide, the general consensus among birders is that 7x and 8x are safe places to start, because of their versatility and price point. A good pair can be pricey, so it may be most practical to borrow a pair first for a while until you get into the swing of things.
Another important item to have with you while birdwatching is a field guide to birds. There are a plethora of them available, and they come in print or in smartphone app form. Both viable options, so this is all up to personal preference. Some people prefer to carry less weight and use a smartphone app. These have come a long way, and now have the ability to record mystery sounds and calls, which is tough to do on paper! Other birders prefer the comfort of flipping through a book with the ability to write hand-written notes.
You’ll need something to record your findings while you are out birding. Take notes on what kind of birds you see and tallies on how many. For those that you aren't sure about, make a quick sketch or write down its characteristics. Any notebook will do, but a weatherproof one is highly suggested, just in case you get caught in a stray rainshower. If it's more convenient, you can also use a notetaking app on your smartphone.
Want to prove what you see? A camera is the most surefire way! Our smartphone cameras are quite advanced these days, but not advanced enough for birding yet. Cameras suitable for birding can be quite costly, but prices keep coming down as the technology improves. You'll need a long lens
Go for a Walk
But go prepared! Know where to go first. What types of birds do you hope to see? Will you be in the right setting to see them? What natural environments are available to you, and what birds are you likely to find there? Take care not to damage wildlife and habitat, and be cautious about your own safety when you are out in nature. And don’t forget to check the weather first!
Some birds are tough to find, and some are much easier to spot. Depending on which birds you hope to see on a birdwatching outing, you’ll want to take time, go slowly, and be patient. Plan to spend time standing still, and search with purpose.
Birding is just as fun with friends as it is solo! Make new birding friends, or get old friends into birding. Search social media outlets like Facebook and Meetup for group walks in your area, and learn tips and tricks from more experienced birders.
We'd love to see pictures of your birding adventures! Reach out to us on any of our social media outlets and share your pictures and experiences!