Birdwatching is not always easy and definitely not a suitable hobby for impatient people. It often takes a while to see a bird. A bird watcher usually has a brief moment to determine the species of a bird. Important characteristics for the identification of birds are the color of the plumage, the body size, the body shape, the voice, conspicuous behaviors and the habitat in which the bird has been observed. It’s a good thing that many of these features can be learned with a little practice.
You can do it at home, at the birdhouse as well as out in the field. Incidentally, many birds are found in cemeteries because it is quiet, with enough food and nesting possibilities. The beginners, however, are recommended to visit the parks first.
Bird watching is fun. Fellowship with other living beings and sensual enjoyment with eyes, ears and emotions – that’s birdwatching. There are no better reasons to go out into nature.
Here are our 15 actionable tips on bird watching:
Take notes from the beginning. Write down what species of birds you have seen in the forest or in the garden or in the open countryside. This gives you a sense of when and where to see specific species. Try to describe bird sounds. Compare your observations with the information in the books.
02.Search in the image section of a book
Always search for bird species in the image section of a book, never in the index section. This way you can quickly learn which families and orders they belong to. The kingdom of birds has been systematically organized by biologists. This system is based on relationships. Relatives are therefore together and usually relatives are similar to each other. The rapid mapping of birds to particular families or orders is the key to advanced bird identification.
The exact identification of birds requires some practice and does not always work in the beginning, especially for rarer species. Over time, knowledge such as finding a good viewing posture and observation experience develops on its own. Until then, patience and a little stamina is necessary.
The binocular should have at least an 8x magnification and a lens diameter of 40 mm. The light intensity should not be less than 3.5 (lens diameter / magnification). Then it is possible to watch the birds even when the sky is overcast.
One of the most popular binoculars for bird watching is Wingspan Optics Pioneer 8X32 Compact Binoculars.
- Spotting scope (monocular observation telescope)
- Binoculars (Binoculars / Binoculars)
- Dry cloth / cleaning cloth for cleaning the lens
- Bird identification book
- Photo camera
- Filter counter (if possible)
- GPS device (if possible)
- Weatherproof clothing (rain, cold or sun protection depending on the weather)
- Sunglasses + sunscreen
- High-energy food / snacks
If you seriously want to start bird watching, you will need a bird identification book to be able to identify the birds by their names. Books with drawings are preferable. I recommend the book “Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America” By Kenn Kaufman for beginners. It includes all the common species and you will not be confused by extreme rarities and exotics. In addition, certain guides, including those with photos, are useful for species groups (such as songbirds) or habitats (birds of the sea coast).
07.Find your area
Find an area that you visit regularly to observe the birds. This can be the way to work, the view from the office window, the jogging track, the daily walk, or just your garden. Write down the important incidents such as: first blackbird song, arrival and departure of the swifts etc. This gives you a good feeling of what to expect.
Make your garden or balcony or window sill bird-friendly. If you enjoy it, feed the birds all year round, but also make it more nature-friendly. You will find plenty of tips on bird-friendly gardens on the internet. If you can observe the birds closely, be sure to distinguish males and females. Do the young birds look different than the parents? When do they actually break into the adult plumage? This is how you get to know the birds better. The best thing is, if you can recognize birds individually so you have more share in their lives.
Bird Friendly Garden
Experienced birdwatchers hear more birds than they see. Beginners can learn from that! Get to the bottom of the calls and chants – that is, try to see the caller or singer. Try to reproduce the bird sounds in syllables.
- Special consideration applies to endangered or breeding species!
- The welfare of birds and nature always has top priority. Therefore, observe the respective regulations inside nature reserves.
- Disturbance or feeding of wild animals should be avoided.
- Since many animals react very shyly to humans, loud speech, hectic movements or the wearing of colorful clothes should be avoided.
- When carrying dogs, keep them on a leash
- Waste must be disposed of properly (everything that is brought is also taken back).
- Birding is a team sport. Always try to help team members when needed.
- Many birds only recognize each other through their singing, so in addition to a watchful eye, an attentive ear is needed.
Take the saying “There is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes” seriously. Although it is quite unwise to watch birds in continuous rain, warm clothes in sharp wind or frost prevent shaking and impatience. You do not need outdoor camouflage clothing because birds do not react to colors but to movement.
12.Cities are good
Bird watching as a pastime is luckily not tied to any location. Whether on the garden terrace, in native forests or on a distant island, birds present themselves everywhere. In particular, cities have recently seen a lot of “bird migration,” as no insecticides are used there.
13.Find the species list of your area
Even beginners’ guide books offer you bird species that are never or only rarely found in your observation area. Google it to find out which species you can expect in your area. The species lists of the areas will give you important clues about what to expect. Get in touch with other birdwatchers.
14.Bird watching with family members
Children are enthusiastic observers. Take your family on a bird excursion or a bird rally. You will be amazed!
Join a club or a group of birders. In this way, you can establish contact with like-minded people, exchange experiences and plan joint excursions.