How To Start Birding

Birding also known as birdwatching is a hobby (or sport for some) that has steadily grown in popularity since the 19th century. It is now a much better practice where the hobbyists study wild birds in their habitats, viewing their appearance, and studying the behavior. 

In the times when modern equipment was unavailable, birders would actually shoot these beautiful creatures and familiarize themselves with the various species by viewing the dead bodies in their gloved hands. Fortunately with the development of modern equipment like binoculars, birding could be accomplished without harm. Find out what bird count on a life list is here.

Tips On Birding

The good thing about watching the various species is you can do it anywhere you choose, from your backyard, or you can track a specific rare find to its location. It’s based on your level of interest and how enthusiastic you become.

The first thing you will need to do is gradually begin to learn how to recognize birds correctly, which is the most challenging aspect of the hobby. There is a method to the process, including narrowing by groups and then categorizing by body and head shape. 

The claim is you won’t find two species with the same shape. The habitat is also vital because some birds will hang out in the trees while others are happiest roaming on the ground. 

Apps are kind of the birder’s cheating technique where you can merely input information and it will give you possibilities, or even take a picture and it will give you possible matches. You can also go on sites like birdinformer.com which helps educate a birder on the entire scope of the process. Other tips to follow if you want to start engaging in the hobby:

Look in your own backyard

The first thing recommended is to set up a few birdhouses in the trees and a bird feeder with some food, even a bird bath, to entice the creatures to visit your backyard. It’s important to pay attention to the markings and shape so you can identify the ones that are coming for a visit either with online research or using books. 

A benefit for this particular “sport” is the relaxation aspect which helps to decrease anxiety and stresses and improves overall mood. It’s a coping mechanism for people who may be suffering with mental health challenges.

Binoculars are a vital component

Even if you watch from your backyard, you’ll want to get a close look to view the specifics like color, any designating features, and shape. A set of binoculars is going to allow for that. You won’t be able to get close enough in most cases to be able to see those things when you're just beginning to learn birding

Prices vary for this type of equipment. You can start at a budget-friendly price point and go to a higher level as your interest increases. There might be other specialized equipment to help fine tune your skills as you progress like scopes and apps. 

A scope gives you a much better look at what's ahead in a magnified capacity regardless of the distance. The apps can give you matches for potential species to what you’re actually seeing. 

But these might not be genuinely effective until you bring it up and, by the time you punch in the information, the bird might have flown away. Ideally, you’ll learn as you go what’s critical to have when you go and what you can do without.

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Don’t give up

You might have difficulty in the beginning. It’s not as easy as it might seem. Birds can just all look the same when you first start. Sometimes you might want to stop when you’re not seeing the special finds that you’re hoping for. 

If your goal is to make this into a serious “sport,” it’s a good idea to partner with someone. If that’s not possible, buckle down and be persistent. It takes time. Make sure you’re buying the type of food to draw the birds you’re hoping to see, put in flowers and plants to attract them, and perhaps some water features. You want your yard to be attractive for them.

Research so you’re prepared

Attempt to read and research on birding and as much as possible online, books, anything you can find to help enhance the experience. You will want to begin studying the various species of birds, their qualities, which live in your climate, what draws them, their particular qualities. Videos would be an ideal resource.

Travel to various locations 

As you become more engaged in birding, you’ll want to travel to different locations to enjoy varieties that aren’t in your area. You’ll also want to become friends with other enthusiasts, so that when you take these trips you can travel together to enjoy the experience so much more.

It can prove to be boring in the downtime while you’re waiting on something to happen. Having friends along for the trip can make it so much more fun, especially when you notice that one rare find.

Water travel for your search 

The suggestion is that some of the best birdwatching can be done from the water on a “Jon boat,” which is specifically made for riding on the river. Even when carrying substantial weight, it remains stable with a flat bottom and wide body that offers square ends so that you can stand up without a problem.

In traveling by water, you can access places you’d never be able to on foot, allowing for incredible views for the excited birder.

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The sport (or hobby) of birding is something that takes considerable amounts of time and a great deal of patience if you want to receive rewards. It will prove valuable once you have adequate knowledge and understand what you’re looking for and where to find it. Follow to see how the popularity is beginning to soar.

The process can prove challenging in the beginning, but it is exciting, especially when you find that rare species right in front of you. It’s why enjoying it with another enthusiast is double the fun. When you experience that euphoria, you’ll have someone to share it with who understands the joy.

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