Birdwatching is a fun hobby for people of all ages. It’s also one of the best ways to become acquainted with local wildlife and just enjoy nature in general. Birdwatching for beginners will allow you to explore a world you’ve never noticed before. And it’s a really easy hobby to break into, as long as you have some basic knowledge of birds, and the right resources including the Leica 8 to 12 x 42 Duovid Binoculars, and guides you can refer to in order to identify your local species of birds.
Birdwatching for beginners is fun, easy, and educational. All you need as a new birder is a few field guides that will teach you about the birds in your neck of the woods, a birding journal to keep track of the different birds you sight on each outdoor adventure, and a pair of birding binoculars that will allow you to catch even the smallest detail. As a beginner, you can begin by setting up your backyard to attract birds, or you can go to your local park and practice your bird identification skills. Fortunately, this is a very beginner-friendly hobby and one that’s very affordable and a great choice for people of all ages.
As you can see, you don’t need much to start birding. With the right gear and a little patience, you can easily sight and identify a wide range of bird species, right in your own backyard. Read on to learn how to get started on your first birding adventure, today.
What’s Birding All About?
Birdwatching involves observing different species of birds and how they behave in their natural habitat. Anyone can take up this popular hobby. Many birders love simply identifying and spotting birds, while others will take a more academic approach and carefully study the birds. Most birders will document their sightings and keep track of the different behaviors, activities, and appearance of each bird they sight.
People will take up birding for a variety of reasons, but many do so because it gives them a reason to explore their environment. Birding can also be an extension of other outdoor activities that people enjoy, such as camping or hiking. Once you find yourself immersed in the great outdoors, then you’ll notice many things you simply different before and for many, the natural behaviors of wild birds is nothing short of fascinating.
Birding also invites the opportunity to meet people who enjoy nature as much as you do. Often, you’ll find active birdwatching communities and groups that organize events, so it’s also a great way to bond with your neighbors and the other people in your community.
How to Begin Birding
This hobby doesn’t require much gear. But in order to get started, you’ll need to pick up some gear including birding binoculars, a birdfeeder that will attract birds to your yard, a journal, and a species sheet that you can reference when you’re birding and want to keep track of the different species of birds you encounter on your outing.
Using a field guide will help you to learn all about the birds you see in your neck of the woods. Just make sure the guide you buy is specifically designed for the state you live in.
Before your first adventure, set some birding goals. if you’re planning on taking this hobby seriously, then you should opt for a pair of high-end binoculars designed specifically for birding. However, you can also find lower priced binoculars that will offer a decent performance, yet they’ll most likely fail to provide the type of detail needed for birding.
Set Up Your Yard for Birding
Birding in your own backyard can be a great way to get your feet wet, while also attracting plenty of beautiful and interesting local wildlife. In order to attract birds to your yard, you need to consider a bird’s needs, which include shelter, and food and water. Make these important resources readily available and you’re sure to find plenty of different species of birds in your yard in no time.
If you decide to purchase a birdbath, make sure you keep it in a sheltered area. Bird feeders should also be placed in a sheltered area. Keep in mind that it can take time for birds to feel comfortable feeding in your yard. Place a variety of feeders in your yard, but make sure you keep them close together. Choose spots near your house, or in an area where the birds will feel safe and sheltered.
For smaller spaces, use basic bird feed options such as black-oil sunflower seeds. This type of feeder will attract sparrows, cardinals, and finches. Offering a variety of foods can help to attract a wider variety of bird species such as hummingbirds and flocking goldfinches.
Setting Up for Your First Birdwatching Adventure
Whether you’re staying close to home, sitting inside the house and watching the birds that explore your yard through the kitchen window, or hiding out in the brush at the local park in the hope of seeing local wildlife, make sure you’re prepared and have the right gear with you. When you’re birdwatching, you have to be very patient and try to avoid making any sudden movements. The closer you are to the birds, the more careful you have to be not to startle them and cause them to fly off. Some birders can spend hours in the brush waiting for a particular species. In the beginning, start off slow. Plan to spend at least an hour sighting birds and make sure you bring along a journal so you can keep track of which species you sighted, the time of day, the location, their behaviors, and note any vocalizations. You may also want to keep track of the plumage of the birds and how they interacted with other birds in their flock or different species of birds.
What Information Should I keep Track of When Birding?
Most seasoned birders will keep track of the species, the gender, the time of day the bird was sighted, the bird’s behavior, what the bird did and what it ate, and the location in which they sighted the bird. This type of information can be used if you want to learn more about a particular species or if you want to pinpoint the best times of the day for birdwatching. To learn more about documenting your sightings, click here to read our article on how to make birdwatching journal.
How Much Should I Spend on Birding Gear?
If you’re new to this hobby, then you may want to opt for a cheaper pair of binoculars in the beginning. If you’ve tried birding and find that you enjoy it, then you can invest in a good pair of birding binoculars for around $200. Other gear will include field guides, a messenger bag you can use to store your gear, and a foldable camping chair that you can use when you’re traveling to a local birding hotspot. To learn more about popular birding binoculars, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
Birdwatching for beginners is a great way to explore your environment, spend some time in nature, and learn more about local wildlife. And fortunately, this is one hobby that’s perfect for people of all ages. All you need is the right birdwatching equipment, some guide books that are designed for your neck of the woods, and plenty of patience.