Top 10 Tips for Better Bird Watching
Written by Editorial Team - 12th Feb 2020
Bird watching is a hobby that has been with us for a really long time. However, if you are new at bid watching you will wonder where, when and how to start on the journey googling birds and actually finding them in the wild open environment.
#Tip1 Undertake Research
Has the spirit of adventure befallen upon you and you want to get out and start bird watching? Not so fast! I recommend that you begin by undertaking research on the whole topic. Because you are reading this article, I will assume that you are already researching and you are on the right track. Research allows you to have background information on the activity so as to make the most out of it.
#Tip2 Learn Bird Identification
The first place to begin your research on is the fundamentals of bird identification. There are four factors to consider when identifying birds as indicated below:
● Habitat: Birds are known to prefer a given type of habitat and as a result, incase you are bird watching a specific type of bird then go to their habitat which you would have identified during the research stage.
● Behavior and calls: Bird watching by ears is an important skill. You need to be keen on the behaviour of birds. You should check out how the bird moves, is it fast or slow? Then check what and how the bird feeds, does it feed on the ground, in the air or on a tree?
● Size and Shape: You should always note the size of the bird in relation to a given object. You also need to check the tail, the shape and size of the wings, the head, the throat and most importantly the beak’s shape and size.
● Color: Here you need to recognize the color of the bird in detail. The trick here is to check the color of the beak, head, throat, wings, chest and tail separately.
#Tip3 Join a Bird Watching Club
Just like any other hobby, bird watching requires one to build a community. Therefore, join a bird watching community. In the community you will be able to get a chance to learn new tricks and tips faster instead of reinventing the wheel. Birders are everywhere and you can check online or ask around.
#Tip4 Scout for Location and ensure to Check out the Calendar and Clock
Be at the right place at the right time and you will definitely get the best sceneries. Before setting out, it is important to scout for location that best suits you. This means that you need to look for locations where you are most likely to see birds.
Apart from location you also need to check your calendar as there are migratory birds. This is because birds are available in different locations at different times of the year.
#Tip5 Get a Field Guide or Download an App
As a birder, you can get a guide as a map or download a field guide app which will help you identify places and periods which you can bird watch. You can also get a bird watching guide book which will help you bin research and proper planning.
#Tip6 Get the Right Equipment
Once you are ready to head out carry with you the following items.
● Binoculars/spotting scopes: You will be watching the birds from a distance and as a result you need to carry binoculars. I suggest you get spotting scopes as they can also be fitted on smartphone cameras. You can check out spotting scopes by clicking this link https://nativecompass.com/best-spotting-scopes/.
● map/ app guide: Carry with you a map so as not to get lost. You can also check apps that are customized for bird watching.
● Dress for the occasion: ensure that you don’t dress in bright colors. Instead try to camouflage in the bird’s habitat.
#Tip7 Learn about Local Birds then Expand
Begin with bird watching the local birds before trying out new territories.
#Tip8 Take Notes and Keep a Diary
It is also important to ensure that you keep a record of all the information about the birds. It is also important to keep a diary as it will help you discover the best times to identify given birds.
#Tip9 Be Patient
Good things take time and in order to spot birds you need to be patient. There are days you will go out and only watch insects, no birds. However do not be discouraged, you will take time before you master the art of bird watching successfully.
#Tip10 Learn the Rules and be Respectful
When going out it is essential to note that you are going into the birds’ habitat. As a result try to keep distance from species which are sensitive and keep noise level to the minimum.
Basically make the least disturbance to the birds.
Conclusion and Bonus Tip
In conclusion, there is no need to stress a lot about bird watching. If you follow the tips above you will surely enjoy being a birder.
For the bonus tip, try to be a photographer and capture the birds. You are now ready to head out and watch the birds. Don't forget to have fun!