A Massive Guide To Birdwatching: Find Out All About Birding Like a Pro! [2021]

For starters, bird watching may seem only like a fun task. But for millions of people around the world, it is much more than that. It is a common habit or even profession for many.

The people have also formed a community of fellow birdwatchers and they call themselves birders. There are various clubs and societies around the world dedicated to bird watching.

People even travel from one continent to another to watch their favorite species of birds. Certainly, the bird-watching community is seeing a massive boost. And, if you also want to join this community then this guide on bird watching will give you great clarity.

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What is Bird Watching?

  • Children need to be reminded that birds can be hard to spot, but they can be heard. Put their eyes closed and have them listen. 
  • In this way, they will be more focused and in sync with nature and will be able to identify different bird sounds in some time.

Where to Take Children for Bird Watching?

  • There is nothing to worry about traveling long distances because the city is usually filled with birds, both in parks, yards, and protected areas. 
  • Keeping close to the water is also helpful if at all possible. 
  • Children can easily see pigeons, sparrows, and swans since they are more easily visible than other birds

Equipments to Carry

  • Many children find it difficult to use binoculars. Spotting scopes are also difficult to look through for kids. 
  • If your kid also has a problem carrying binoculars then tell your kid not to move and instead focus on watching bird and animal movements. In this way, children can learn about wildlife big and small by participating in bird watching. 
  • A number of robins build nests in the Midwest every spring, lay eggs, and raise young. You can observe mama birds caring for their young anywhere, and nests are amazing to see.
  • Furthermore, birdwatching is an excellent opportunity to discuss the larger scope of nature in addition to encouraging empathy for all living creatures
END OF PART ONE

Why Do Bird Watching?

Bird Watching has a lot of benefits for an individual. It can even transform one person completely.

Connecting With Nature

  • There are other living creatures besides human beings. However, we are artificially confined to our fellow creatures in modern society.
  • Nature and other living creatures must be connected to us in some way.
  • A bird can serve as a connection for us, or it can be the start of a much broader connection to nature.

A Great Hobby

  • You can become as involved in bird watching as you like, it is a hobby that suits many individuals.
  • You might start watching birds in your yard, feeding them, learning to identify some birds in your backyard, and getting to know their habits.
  • There’s enough in bird watching that to make your everyday life more enjoyable and interesting.

Can Be Done The Whole Year

  • Birding is an interest or hobby which does not follow a season. You will always find some or all of them, even when the seasons change.
  • Every day brings something new to see and anticipate. Bird watching year-round allows us to remain in touch with the year’s seasonal changes and rhythms in a more profound way than we would otherwise be able to, given our insulated lives.

It is Inexpensive

  • You determine how much you want to be involved and so does the cost. To enjoy birdwatching, it is not necessary to have specialized equipment.
  • Binoculars and a good field guide are all you really need.
  • Teaches you Patience
  • Patience can be found in bird watching. In the great outdoors, birders spend long periods of time unencumbered by distractions.
  • When you are bird watching, you can pause and reflect on your life or just relax and think about something calming.

Keeps You Fit

  • The search for a specific bird species sometimes requires bird watchers to walk many miles.
  • There are many bird species that nestle deep in nature and are difficult to reach. You can only see certain types of animals who live high on cliffs and on mountainsides.
  • This encourages the birders to walk a lot and keep their bodies fit.

Teaches You Acceptance

  • Our lives are not all under our control, although sometimes we wish they were.
  • Even though it is hard to accept, it is an important aspect of maturity to understand that not everything will go our way.
  • It is a harsh truth that most bird watchers know, as they have planned extravagant trips in order to track down rare birds, only to have inclement weather or poor timing ruin their plans.
  • This teaches the birders about accepting the harsh and unfair world and living with it.

Increases Alertness

  • One blink of the eye and a bird can be gone.
  • In order to catch a bird’s attention and to take a picture, bird watchers need their brains to function at many different levels.
  • They always need to be alert and this enhances their alertness by many folds.

You Will Develop More Interests

  • It is not unusual for people to develop other interests as a result of watching birds. An example of this is gardening for birds.
  • Feeders allow you to feed birds, but you also get to learn right away that if you offer them a great habitat, you will attract more birds as well as keep them coming back.
  • Today, many people who watch birds also watch butterflies. Wildflowers or dragonflies often spark people’s interest as well.
  • Birdwatchers are traveling more and more to see birds. Birding tours take place in a variety of hotspots around the world, and there are festivals celebrating nature and birding.
END OF PART TWO

Bird Watching for Kids

Kids love bird watching because it allows them to enjoy the environment without being distracted by screens or schoolwork for a few moments, allowing them to take a break from their busy day.

Regardless of where a person lives or what age they are, birding is a lifelong hobby and can be made into a rewarding experience.

How to Start?

  • Children need to be reminded that birds can be hard to spot, but they can be heard. Put their eyes closed and have them listen. 
  • In this way, they will be more focused and in sync with nature and will be able to identify different bird sounds in some time.

Where to Take Children for Bird Watching?

  • There is nothing to worry about traveling long distances because the city is usually filled with birds, both in parks, yards, and protected areas. 
  • Keeping close to the water is also helpful if at all possible. 
  • Children can easily see pigeons, sparrows, and swans since they are more easily visible than other birds

Equipments to Take

  • Many children find it difficult to use binoculars. Spotting scopes are also difficult to look through for kids. 
  • If your kid also has a problem carrying binoculars then tell your kid not to move and instead focus on watching bird and animal movements. In this way, children can learn about wildlife big and small by participating in bird watching. 
  • A number of robins build nests in the Midwest every spring, lay eggs, and raise young. You can observe mama birds caring for their young anywhere, and nests are amazing to see.
  • Furthermore, birdwatching is an excellent opportunity to discuss the larger scope of nature in addition to encouraging empathy for all living creatures
END OF PART THREE

Bird Watching for Teens

As children, teenagers also show great interest in Bird Watching. However, for having a successful bird-watching experience with your teenager, you need to know some general stuff.

How to Start?

  • Get help from an experienced bird watcher or bird guide who can share his/her passion, tips, and pointers with you while you’re getting started. 
  • In this way, the teens will be enthused to learn more about Bird watching after watching a professional.

Where to Take Teens for Bird Watching?

  • There are birds everywhere – in municipal parks, state parks, forest preserves, and in backyards too.
  • Find out if there are any bird hikes in your area or if you can join one at a nature center. Find more birds with the help of people who have experience bird watching. The more habitats you visit, the more birds you will see.
  • Your local Audubon society can give you information about the best places to go bird watching in your area.
  • Besides providing you with information on wildlife sanctuaries in your area, they can also recommend places to visit.

Benefits of Bird watching for Teens

  • It’s fun to watch birds. De-stressing, unwinding, and relaxing are also its advantages. Children benefit from being outdoors and connect with nature when they are outside.
  • Socializing with others can also be accomplished through bird watching. If you plan to go bird watching with your children, bring their friends along. Plan an outing for the group. 
  • You can invite a bird-watching guide or another border along with you. Meeting new people and making friends is part of what it’s all about. Your children and you will grow up watching birds together.
END OF PART FOUR

Bird Watching for Adults

Bird Watching is a great escape for adults who are stressed in their busy corporate life. This can quickly become your hobby and will give a great sense of satisfaction. You only need to put in some effort into it but it will surely be worth it

Start Identifying Birds

  • Your neighborhood is home to some birds that live there year-round. 
  • You will have a decent experience with watching birds if you learn to recognize their sounds and visuals and if you learn their habits.

Where to Go?

  • For starters, you can begin bird watching in your own backyard and then move to places where birds are likely to visit. 
  • If you can find a water and food source, you will have a higher probability of finding interesting birds.

Which Time to Go?

  • Dawn and dusk are prime times for birds to sing since cooler air and lower winds allow their voices to be heard more easily. 
  • These songs not only give you a pleasant listening experience but also a chance of seeing a bird you may not have seen yet. 
  • Owls and many other familiar birds become active at night as well as during the day. No matter what time you wake up, it isn’t that important as you will always find some species of birds.

Other Tips for Adults

  • Birders are known for not wearing white because white is considered unnatural. Keeping your presence and color unnoticeable will limit the scarcity of birds. 
  • As well as staying still is also important. A good place for bird watching is where birds come to you!
  • In addition to birds that sing continuously, there are those that are quieter and blend in more easily with their surroundings. 
  • You might find them when you stand still for a while and watch for movement. You should also be patient with yourself. 
  • Identifying birds is challenging, and that is one reason why many people enjoy the activity.
  • If you see birds, write down where and when you saw them along with the species. 
  • Keeping track of a logbook will help you anticipate bird migrations over time. The birds they have seen in the wild are recorded on a life list by some birders.
  • Practicing bird watching does not require you to actively look for birds. If you’re walking to work or to school, looking out your kitchen window, or doing other outdoor activities, pay attention to the birds you see and hear. Other things might catch your attention, too!
END OF PART FIVE

Birding for Seniors

The elderly will appreciate bird watching because it can be done from the comfort of the home with their health in mind or from outside as well if they are fit to travel.

Bird Watching from Indoors for Seniors

There are many seniors who face difficulty in moving around. They can still do bird watching from Indoors as well. Just help them out with these things.

  • Research the birds that inhabit the area, along with what they eat and what type of feeders they use. You should provide an area where the birds can feed since different birds eat different foods.
  • Install a Bird Feeder which the Birdwatchers should be able to see directly from their seats. When seated in a chair, a person should be able to see the birds easily. Alternatively, you can modify the heights of the bird feeders by installing hooks and chains or mounting posts.
  • Birdbaths, small decorative items, and flowers can all be included to add texture and color to the habitat to make it more interesting for bird watchers. Adapt them to the season to enjoy them to the fullest.
  • The furniture should be arranged so that the window is clearly visible to the person. A recliner can be placed directly in front of a window or it can be angled a little bit in such a way that it will not strain the person’s eyes.
  • Both the outside and the inside of the observation window should be clean. When watching birds, it’s easy to lose some of the enjoyment due to streaks, dirt, and view-obstructing shadings.

Bird Watching from Outdoors for Seniors

If you are seniors are healthy enough to move and travel with you then these are the things to keep in mind.

  • You should get a lightweight binocular. Lenses with wide fields of view are recommended. When you look at a subject from a point in the camera, you are considering the field of view. Birds are easier to see when the view is wider.
  • Wear clothes that aren’t brightly colored. The darker the shade of paint, the better. Examples of dark colors are camouflage, black and gray.
  • Start your day early. Sunrise attracts most birds because it warms up insects that act as prey for them. It is during this time period that one can observe a large variety of different birds.
  • Do not move suddenly or jerkily. In such cases, the birds will be startled, causing them to flee. Swing your binoculars slowly. Approaching a bird from a close distance requires quieter behavior.
  • A notebook is a good idea. As you observe birds and hear their calls, you will be able to jot down all the details about them. This information will enable you to accurately identify them.
  • Take your time! Birdwatchers need to be patient. The birds will arrive when the conditions are right, so do not lose patience while you wait for them.
END OF PART SIX

Main Gear Bird Watchers Need

1. Binoculars

  • Avid bird watchers use binoculars as their primary tool. A birdwatcher’s binoculars magnify views by up to eight times, making them ideal for identifying birds. 
  • Try before you buy because you need a birding scope that is comfortable in your hands, appropriate for your style of birding, and not too heavy to wear on your neck or in your hand. 
  • If you’re thinking of buying a pair of binoculars, festivals provide a great opportunity to try a wide variety of brands and models of binoculars for free. 

2. Backpack

  • There is nothing wrong with carrying a good quality point-and-shoot camera or a high-end camera with a lot of accessories in your backpack. Until the other things in your backpack roll around with it. 
  • That’s why you should have a backpack which comes with additional space for keeping your camera. 
  • You can now carry your camera in a backpack with integrated storage. Sturdy pockets with padding are perfect for storing binoculars as well. 

3. Bird Watching Field Guide

  • The frustration of seeing a tree full of beautiful birds yet not being able to identify any of them is beyond description for a birdwatcher. Field guides come in handy here.
  • There are field guides, which are books that describe all the birds living in certain areas.
  • An illustrated species page in the Field Guide includes a description of the bird’s plumage, its habitat, and a map of its range, along with an illustration of the bird.
  • Beginner birders who are new to a region where the birds differ from home, or even experienced birders who are new to a region where they are unaccustomed, will benefit greatly from field guides. 
  • Learn how to use the field guides and how to identify a specific bird once you are familiar with its layout. In no time, you’ll have a whole collection of bird guide books, just like other birdwatchers.
  • Almost every bookstore sells bird-watching field guides. Birds and bird watching often make up an entire section in large bookstores.

4. Bird Watching Checklist

  • Checklists are similar to field guides in that they list all birds inhabiting a certain area.
  • The list contains little information, except in situations where the bird population has been well studied. Each species’ status along with when it can be found on the list is also included.
  • A checklist can be very useful when tracking the birds you see during a bird-watching excursion. Field guides and checklists can be folded and stuffed into pockets. 
  • You simply take note of the bird you see and “check it off” after viewing the entry. Checklists are handy for most birders.

5. Hats 

  • While birding trips, the hat keeps you from getting too much sunlight. 
  • Most of the bird-watching trips usually take longer than anticipated, so this is important.
END OF PART SEVEN

How to Choose the Best Binoculars for Bird Watching?

Binoculars are one of the major equipment used by bird watchers. And guess what you cannot just buy a binocular for yourself after listening to anyone’s recommendations as we all have different visibility.

So, you have to make the effort of trying different binoculars to check which one is compatible with your eyes. Here are the tips which you can follow.

1. Size of the Binoculars

  • The decision-making process begins with this. Decide what size binocular is going to be most suitable for your needs based on the binocular’s numbers.
  • It is widely accepted that 8*42 is the best aperture for birdwatching. Wildlife is active during dawn and dusk when light levels are low. Its Viewing angles are best for those times.
  • Lastly, it is lightweight and not too heavy to carry on a hike all day. 
  • The binocular with the size of 10*42 will give you a little more power. An 8*32 would be a lighter choice.

2. Price of the Binoculars

  • When you have decided which size binocular is best for you, you should narrow the competition by deciding what price range fits your needs. 
  • Binoculars under $200 are perfectly adequate for starters. They provide decent performance and ample clarity to watch birds.
  • Between $300 and $400 is the price range of a good pair of mid-range binoculars. This pricing is considered the sweet spot since it offers the best value for the money.
  • At $500 to $600, you begin to see subtle visual improvements in brightness and clarity, and more noticeable improvements are observed at $1,000 and above. 

3. Features of the Binoculars

  • You will need certain features in your binoculars. The binoculars that have long eye relief are likely to be critical to you if you wear eyeglasses.
  • A buyer’s top priority may be quality. A close focus is necessary if you’re a butterfly watcher. 
  • Focus on the features you want and discard those that won’t fit your needs in order to choose the best binoculars.

4. Binoculars Must Be Easy To Use

  • To be functional, binoculars must be easy to use. Because starters frequently face problems while using a binocular.
  • Do you feel comfortable holding it? Do you have an easy time finding, locating, and adjusting the focus? These are the questions you need to ask. 
  • Ensure there is enough space between your eyes so the barrels of your binoculars fold close enough. Consider switching to a different model if the binoculars feel uncomfortable and clumsy.

5. How Long Will You Use it?

  • If you plan on using these binoculars over a long period of time, consider your investment.
  • The premium models are expensive, but if you’re buying your ultimate pair of binoculars for longer use then it’s probably worth it to invest more money.
  • Premium binoculars have superb optics, as well as great durability.

6. Will You Resell It?

  • Each binocular retains its value differently. Many birders purchase binoculars intending to use them as long as they are functional.
  • While some people use their binoculars for a while, they plan to sell them when it is time for a new upgrade or a larger size. 
  • Usually, well-known and expensive brands retain their value more than less expensive alternatives.
  • A secondary buyer can benefit from a binocular that offers a transferable warranty. This feature increases its value. 

7. How Many Do You Need?

  • The majority of birders buy only one pair of binoculars to suit their needs. In contrast, some look for a backup pair of binoculars or find that having a variety of magnifying options is useful.
  • Numerous birders own compact binoculars, which they keep in a glove box or handbag in case they experience a sudden birding opportunity. 
  • It’s also not uncommon for birders to have spare binoculars by a window or on a porch where they like to observe birds.

8. Which Brand to Buy From?

  • It’s important to consider what level of support you can expect after you make your purchase in light of so many options on the market at any given price point. 
  • Customers’ satisfaction and service are priorities identified by some companies as investment priorities. While others may concern themselves more with closing sales than providing service or assistance when you need it in the future. 
  • Look at the binocular’s warranty as well as the company’s reputation. Nowadays, binoculars typically come with lifetime warranties and some manufacturers also offer no-fault guarantees.
END OF PART EIGHT

Best Bird Watching Applications

1. Field Guide Apps

1. iBird Pro

  • The ingenious app comes with an interactive field guide for virtually each bird species found in North America and Europe, making it a great choice for birdwatchers traveling or birding near home.
  • Each bird is illustrated in full color with views of it alight and in flight, and a comprehensive search feature allows users to discover birds across many different categories, including species, flight patterns, size, shape, and song. 
  • You can also find range maps in full color within the app.
  • Birders of all skill levels swear by iBird Pro for its ease of use and 4.5-star average rating. 
  • Plus, this resource is lightweight and contains more information than many field guides would contain.

2. Song Sleuth

  • A list of the best birding apps wouldn’t be justified without a mention of this cool, interactive resource. 
  • Bird sounds can be recorded and matched by Song Sleuth. It is a free application.
  • Songsleuth features an integrated field guide that offers fascinating information about birds in addition to its automatic bird sound recognition features. 

2. Identification Apps

3. Peterson’s Birds of North America

  • The top-rated app by Peterson has mastered the art of the user experience. 
  • It contains over 800 bird species, more than 700 bird songs, as well as 500 photos of bird nests and eggs.
  • Similar species can be compared on a single screen, simplifying the process. You can easily browse and use the app. 
  • By using this app, birders can record sightings, take photos, create checklists, as well as upload their own ones.

4. Audubon Bird Guide

  • With Audubon’s app, beginner birders will have everything they need to get started. 
  • Over 800 different species of birds are included. Recordings of sightings can be shared among users.
  • This trusted app has been downloaded by over 2 million bird watchers. 
  • The Audubon app always contains up-to-date information, since the company updates the information regularly.

5. Merlin Bird ID

  • Avid birders all over the world enjoy this interactive app. 
  • There are bar charts for exploring migration around the world, and the lab’s filter function lets users narrow their search by location and date.
  • Bird sounds and checklists are easy to navigate, which makes them appealing to new birders. 
  • Its ratings and reviews also impress us. This application was almost always rated 4 or 5 stars by users.
END OF PART NINE

Best Ways to Record your Bird Watching Experience

A. Keeping A Journal

  • It is always a good practice of keeping a journal or a diary and jotting down the major events of the day.
  • You can keep a track of your bird-watching experiences by maintaining a diary and updating it regularly.
  • In this way, you will be able to keep a record of all the different species of birds which you have seen.

B. Recording Videos

  • If a text format is not enough then you can invest in a camera as well. This will help you in keeping a record of your favorite experiences in a video format.
  • The camera of your smartphone will also work up to an extent. All you need is a passion for bird watching.
END OF PART TEN

How To Identify Birds While Bird Watching?

1. The Appearance of The Bird

  • Color Pattern: When determining a bird’s species, people often glance at its color. Observe the color of the overall object as well as any unique markings or patterns.
  • Size: Comparing the size of mystery birds to familiar species may help in identifying them.
  • Shape: A bird’s shape varies from species to species. In order to determine which species an animal belongs to, it is particularly important to evaluate its shape.
  • Tail: Birds may have curved, pointed, or forked tails. The species may also be distinguished by its unique color or pattern on the tail.
  • Wings and Feathers: The length and color of the bird’s primary and secondary feathers, as well as its wingspan, often indicate the species of bird. Hence, the wingspan of a bird should be considered when trying to identify its species.

2. The Behavior of the Bird

  • An individual bird’s appearance may not be all that matters when identifying it. 
  • Observe its behavior to determine which species it comes from and determine whether it should be placed in one of the categories. 
  • When identifying a bird, pay close attention to its flight, walk, behavior, and feeding habits.

3. Habitat & Environment

  • Normally, you can easily identify birds by looking at the local field guide of the place which you are in.
  • Even though birds keep migrating still they can be identified based on the environment and the time of the year
END OF PART ELEVEN

Birding Ethics

When birds gather in their natural habitat, birders enjoy sharing their living space with them. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that the birders might unintentionally disturb or harm the animals.

There are few ethics that should be followed while Bird Watching.

1. Respect their Privacy

  • We can tell if a bird is agitated or upset by its behavior. 
  • Birds that show signs of agitation should not be chastised or invaded. We may suspect that you are too close to a bird if it flees or makes an alarm call.
  • Birds that nest may not always flee, but do distract displays when you approach their nest.
  • It is advisable not to disturb birds sitting in nests, as they may be reluctant to leave the nest but will become extremely stressed if disturbed.

2. Do Not Disturb Them

  • Flash photography and loud noise may easily cause birds to flee. Wet leaves, heavy footwork, and noises through leaf litter may also cause birds to flee
  • When on the field, try to minimize the disturbance of birds and wildlife. This needs conscious effort to be done.

3. Don't Dirty the Wildlife

  • Roadside and trail trash is not only unsightly, but it also causes harm to wildlife. 
  • Direct or indirect, it generally has a negative impact on the environment. Let’s keep it simple and don’t litter. Carry trash cans with you if possible.

4. Use Recordings Carefully

  • It is possible to draw shy rainforest birds in good view with recordings when they are used ethically.  The tool is nevertheless frequently misused.
  • Bird song and call recordings should be used judiciously, and not overplayed. As soon as the bird begins to respond, stop playing the call. 
  • When a bird doesn’t respond, stop playing the call, and repeating recordings at the same site over and over can cause birds not to respond at all. 
END OF PART TWELVE

CONCLUSION

You don’t have to become a professional birder to experience bird watching. This can be carried out as a hobby and it works great for people.

This gives us a tremendous opportunity to explore nature alone or with our favorite people by our side. This Beginner’s Guide to Bird watching must have given you enough clarity. We wish you the best.

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