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Bird Watching: Getting Started

Birds are the most visible form of wildlife, they are found in every part of the world that is not permanently covered by ice, and you can see them in any weather, any time of day or night, anywhere you go. Whether you live in the country or the city, there are birds nearby, 835 species of birds spend at least part of the year in North America. You can go out looking for birds or attract them to your home. Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities all around the world. The Verb ‘To Bird' would serve as an excellent jumping off point for a feature, which highlights the growing popularity of birding. More than 70 million Americans are feeding and watching backyard birds.

Success in bird watching is, to a large extent, based on location, either by venturing to locations or habitats where birds are plentiful, or by devising ways to attract birds to your own back yard. Birds seen at a distance may be enjoyable to watch, but the true excitement of the hobby is greatly enhanced when you can see the birds up very close. Some of the most useful tools that enhance your bird-watching experience are those that makes birds easier to see in striking detail.

There are numerous ways to participate in the hobby of birding. Aside from simply viewing birds in nature, avid enthusiasts engage in numerous other activities. Some of those may include: feeding birds, providing nesting sites or birdhouses, growing specialized plants and gardens to attract birds, traveling to nature sanctuaries and other bird-watching locales, keeping lists and notes on birds seen in the wild, making diagrams and sketches and spending hours trying to snap the perfect photograph of a favorite bird species.

In order to enhance your beautiful experience of bird watching in winter one can learn bird’s song. Birds’ strongest senses are sight and hearing, and they have evolved ways to communicate and to recognize their own species by using signals based on those two senses. Because we are also creatures of sight and sound, we can tap right into all the fascinating distinctions of color and shape that birds embody, and just as naturally we can appreciate the sounds that are so important in their lives.  As you begin to recognize bird songs, your own backyard will become a much more interesting place. For me, it was like gaining supernatural vision, being able to see through the leaves and around buildings. I was amazed at how many birds were all around me and how much I had been missing out on.

To broaden your bird-watching experience beyond your own backyard, consider incorporating some bird-rich locales into your next vacation. Serious bird enthusiasts actually plan trips around visiting bird sanctuaries, nature parks and other natural locations where they can view birds in large numbers, in diversity of species and in their native habitats. Traveling to a region of the country other than the one in which you live will allow you to see species you may have never seen before for e.g.

  • The southeastern Arizona Mountains known as "sky islands" and in particular the Chirachua mountains are home to many impressive species such as the acorn woodpecker
  • One of the most distinctive attractions in this area, however, is the diversity of hummingbirds. As many as 14 different species may be observed here. The large magnificent hummingbird can only be found in the Southwest.

Some Basic Tips for Bird Watching

  • Try to observe the birds so they don't know you are there. Move slowly, make as little noise as possible, and keep your distance.
  • Going too close to a nest or repeatedly scaring a bird off its nest can cause the parents to abandon their nest leaving the eggs vulnerable to predators. Do not touch the eggs or young birds.
  • Avoid trampling fragile natural areas to get a closer look. Stay on paths and trails.
  • Don't litter.

Now once you have started out on your bird watching hobby it is a good idea to your own build bird house in your yard. Start leaving a little bird food out all year around, and provide water either through a bird bath or washing up bowl full of water - especially in extremely hot weather. By taking these few simple steps,  the birds will be attracted and should keep coming back to your backyard year after year.


Bird Watching Couple birding