How to Be a Birder

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What comes to mind when you think of “birders”? Fuddy-duddy types wearing canvas hats and toting binoculars? Well, you’d be partially right — fuddy-duddies can be found everywhere. Ha! But of course, anyone can be a birder. And if secretly you wish you were one, too, why not begin today? It’s that simple.

Birders are people interested in birds. To become a “birder” you need only to recognize that interest. Here’s how to start. Get a paper and pen or grab your laptop and begin by making a list of every bird that you currently are able to identify on sight. For many people, this list would probably contain the following birds:

•  Northern Cardinal

•  Blue Jay

•  Crow

•  Robin

•  Rock Pigeon

•  Hummingbird

Below are few strategies for being a better birder

Do some cursory research: Before you leave your home, spend some time doing a little preliminary research on the birds in your area

Wear dark or neutral colors: Part of being a good birdwatcher is blending into your surroundings so that you don’t disrupt the birds.

Learn the lingo: In the birdwatching community, there is a difference between a birdwatcher and a birder

Get some good binoculars: To be a good birdwatcher, you’ll need a solid pair of binoculars to help you spot those birdies from a distance.

Purchase a bird field guide: The field guide is important because it allows you to match what you’ve seen in nature to the accurate species.

Observe the bird: Once you spot a bird, spend some time observing it. Use your binoculars to inspect the bird without getting too close so you don’t scare it.

Make a list of birds you see: Keeping track of the birds you see is a fun activity for you as a birdwatcher.

Keep birdwatching regularly: As with any hobby, the more you practice birdwatching, the better you will become at identifying the various species

Birdwatcher’s Checklist

Some essentials for you–

1.    Binoculars

2.    Field guide on recognizing the bird

3.    Good walking shoes

4.  full-length trousers

6.    Mosquito repellant

7.  Bottle of water

9.    Anything in snack

10.    A notebook to take quick notes

Birding is fun. Birding sustains us. Birding keeps us going. Birding gives us great joy in this life. And that’s the whole point.

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