Bird Watching Tips for Beginners

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 Bird watching can be a very fun and interesting activity once you are familiar with the thing that you need to know when doing it. The first thing that you need to familiarize yourself about bird watching is identifying the bird that you will watch.

This very task is quite challenging because it is not easy to identify them especially when they are so many feet away from the ground. Since birds are energetic and active animals, you need a clear and quick eye to be able to see as many details possible in such as very short period of time.

Aside from being too far away from you, other problems that you might encounter—especially if you are a first time bird watcher—is the dim light shaded by trees, the glint of sunlight that can affect your sight, and the hidden places where birds go to play. So, when you are into bird watching, it is always best to have a general knowledge on bird's attitudes and observe them carefully. You might not name them properly the first time but you definitely can the next time if you pay proper attention in observing them.

The following are just of the helpful tips that can help you in your very first bird watching session:

- Always keep on eye on one bird. Bird watching is more effective if one uses a binocular. When you are bird watching, try to spot only one bird that catches your attention. Once you have seen one, never take your eyes off it because it might fly to a place where you cannot see it.

In most bird watching centers, beginners are given a field guide in a form of a booklet or brochure so they can identify the bird once they have seen one. Once you know what is it, take time to observe its physical details as well as its behaviors and mannerisms. Make sure that you observe the bird's movements, markings, feeding habits, songs, color, and size so you can easily identify it the next time you see it.

- Make sure that you listen intently for the bird's calls and song. Although listening for a bird's song is easy, it doesn’t stay long in a person's memory. What you should do is to listen intently when the bird calls or sings and play the bird's song in your mind repetitively. Listening to a bird's call and song is important because it can help you identify the bird even without seeing it.

- Take time to estimate the bird's shape and general size. The average shape and size of the bird will give you a huge clue in finding out the family it came from. In bird watching, make sure that you assess its overall appearance and take note of its approximate size and shape. Once you can tell from the size and shape of the bird what kind is it, then you are doing good.

- Pay attention to the bill characteristics and facial markings of the bird in sight. This is one of the hardest things to do because the average of almost all birds are small. They also keep on moving so it will be hard to take note any unique markings on their faces. It is also equally hard to take note of characteristics of its bills because most birds keep on pecking all the time.

To get these details, spot a bird that doesn’t fly around that much. Once you found one, start observing it head by looking for any distinguishing hue patches or color strips. These can be present in their eye lines, crowns, napes, and arcs or in the rings.



 Peru Bird Watching

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Peru bird watching is one of the greatest things a bird watching hobbyist could ever experience. This is because the place provides a great background not only on magnificent bird life but can also present to you a landscape gifted with almost everything the nature has to offer.

Next to Colombia, Peru is the next country that has the largest variety of bird species available. Because of its unique topography and strategic geography, Peru offers a great habitat for so many birds in almost all parts of the world.

Studies show that there is almost 2000 bird species existing in Peru. Ornithologists—people who conduct scientific study on the life of wild and domestic birds. Investigate and record their anatomy, behavior, evolutionary development, ecology, classification, and species distribution—say that almost 19 percent of all the bird species in the world and almost 50 percent of neo-tropical birds can be found in Peru. The country also offers virgin forests that are perfect habitat for rare species of birds as well as animals.

The best places for Peru bird watching

Knowing how rich the variety of birds present in the country, no bird watching hobbyist can resist visiting the country. But before packing your bags and your binoculars, it is a must that you conduct a brief research first about the country so you can maximize your stay there. In your research, you should include the list of things that you need and the best places to conduct the activity. Here are some of the best places for Peru bird watching:

1. The Paracas National Reserve. This is considered as one of the most spectacular and convenient places to go bird watching in Peru. Located at Lima, this preserve in Paracas can be reached after almost 4 hours. The common birds that can be seen in the area include the Humboldt Current, the Pisco, Dark-faced Ground Tyrant, Peruvian Thick-knee, and Tawny-throated Dotterel.

2. The Lomas de Lachay National Reserve. You can reach this place if you traveling almost 100 kms. north of capital city—Lima. If you are into daytime bird watching, this is the ideal place for you because the place can only accommodate a small number of people. Although it is quite far, the trip will worth it because you will find rare species of Thick-billed Miner and Yellow-finches.

3. The Marcapomacocha. This area is almost five hours away from the capital city. But, the trip will really delight hardcore bird watchers because the place offers the view of some of the world's most rare bird species including different breeds of Andean species, Sandpipers, the beautiful White-bellied Cinclodes, and black-breasted Hillstar that is really popular in the country.

You can also enjoy the off road views in the Giant Coot located in the lake of Marcapomacocha, the Lake Junin, the Huلnuco, and the Carpish range. (TIP: Make sure that you bring lots of water when you go to these places because the weather can be so hot and cause you dehydration.)

4. The Huascarلn Biosphere Reserv. Located at Huarلz in central Andes, the reserve can be reached after almost 10 hours of driving. Before reaching the place where you can find the rare White-cheeked Cotinga, different kinds of finches, and Andean Condors, you will pass through breathtaking mountain ranges and lakes.

5. The Chiclayo-Cajamarca Circuit. Peru bird watching can never be complete without visiting this establishment because you can see the most legendary and rare species of birds that can only be seen in Peru including the buff-bridled inca finch, long-whiskered owlet, maraٌon crescent-chest, and the marvellous spatule-tail. 


Bird Watching During Spring Migration
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Bird watching during spring migration is an incredible treat for all birdwatchers, newbies and veterans alike. The month of May ushers in spring along with largest influx of migratory birds that provides an unparalleled experience for expectant spectators.

Hundreds of migratory birds fly in from different parts of the world which is why this season is much awaited in the bird watching scene. Many different bird species can be spotted and enjoyed during this time which makes it easy even for first time bird watchers to sight even the often rare and difficult to sight birds.

Different birds of different feathers flock together during this momentous time which is why many serious bird watching enthusiasts travel great lengths, often crossing continents to track and sight migratory birds during spring. Fortunately, one need not travel too far to enjoy this natural phenomenon. All one has to do to take part of this wonderful event is to track the migratory patterns of these birds through simple research and find out good places for sighting.

To do this, one may start by finding out the different local bird watching activities that usually culminate during International Migratory Bird Day. Take advantage of the interstate bird watching activities both for the bird sightings and also for the networking. These festivals often offer various bird related activities that are not necessarily actual bird watching so there is something for everyone and you can bring you family along if needed.

Meeting and talking with other bird watching enthusiasts will help equip you with the necessary tips and tools to further progress in this worthwhile hobby of birding. 

If you’re willing to travel a bit farther up north during spring, you will be welcomed by a wonderful bird watching experience staged at the Canadian side of Lake Ontario at Prince Edward Point.

The annual Prince Edward County Birding Festival is flocked by migratory birds and bird watching enthusiasts alike. In fact, if you are new at bird watching, you may want to put off visiting this area during spring migration for the reason that it will be very difficult to top the experience of birding here. After visiting Prince Edward County regular bird watching locations may begin to fall short of your expectations and if you aren’t a serious bird watching enthusiast yet, you may soon become one after this experience.

To partake of this wonderful natural experience, you can opt to join established bird watching trips to this area. With an experienced guide and a group of other enthusiasts, you will be able to better appreciate the trip to one of the best staging areas of migratory birds.

Be sure to book your trip and finalize your plans before hand because you may be hard pressed to do otherwise. All the advanced preparations will be worth it anyway from the sheer amount of wonderful bird species you will be sure to see along with the invaluable camaraderie and networking you can do with other new and old bird watching enthusiasts alike.

Whether you consider bird watching as a casual hobby or your life’s passion, remember that bird watching during spring migration is something that you must try, even if you only try out local haunts to begin with.

Be forewarned though that experiencing this kind of event may convert you into a serious birder whether you intend to be one or not.


Finding A Good Pair of Bird Watching Binoculars


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A good pair of bird watching binoculars is definitely a must if you are into bird watching. This is because this will help you view and observe birds better. For beginners, a good pair of binoculars is really one of the basic tools they need in order to get the hang of the activity. Aside from helping them see birds closely and clearly, a pair of bird watching binoculars will also help them to adjust in viewing moving birds.

Buying a good pair of binoculars

Bird watching is one of those activities that entail patience and keen observation. This is because you don’t need to do anything but to watch avian creatures in the horizon and do the thing they love the most—flying.

If you are new into bird watching, the first thing that you need to pay attention to is having a good pair of binoculars. In buying binoculars for bird watching, the major consideration should be the quality of the lens installed in it. The lens should provide you the best quality of image possible, no any distortions in the viewfinder, and should present the best color of the object being observed.

The average cost of a good pair of bird watching binoculars is around $500 to $1000 depending on the brand, size, and quality of lens installed in it. For starters, you really need not buy so expensive binoculars. To help you get the best binocular for your bird watching, here are some helpful tips for you:

1. Consider its magnification. This is very important because it will enable you to see the birds clearly. When looking for a pair of binoculars, choose those that have minimum magnification of 7x35. But if you can afford to buy binoculars with larger magnification such as those with multiples of 8x, 9x, up to 10x, it is better because these can definitely give you a larger image of the bird being watched.

Always keep in mind that a larger lens gets more amount of light, thus, can provide you an image that is sharper and clearer. (TIP: Binoculars with higher magnification tend to be heavier. It is best to look for a pair of binocular with high magnification but made of light materials so you can carry it.)

2. Check its flexibility. The flexibility of the binoculars can be tested if you move its barrels. This is very important so you won't have difficulties in holding it the way you want to. Make sure that the barrels are not tight so you don’t have to worry that it will break easily.

3. Test its focus. Most binoculars will not focus clearly when you test it inside the store because the environment tends to be dim. If you want to make sure that the binocular can focus clearly, try focusing it on a bright side of the room. If it has good focus, it will easily focus on the subject in sight. While checking the focus, you should also check if there are distortions in the image. If there is, don’t buy it because it is of poor quality.

4. Pay attention to its exit pupil. This should also be a major consideration because this will determine if you will see things clearly. The exit pupil refers to the diameter seen on the image once it leaves the lens' eyepiece. The exit pupil should always be bigger that the eyes of your pupil because the image will appear dark. The basic exit pupil should at least be 4 mm or higher to get the brightest image possible.

1 comment:

  1. This is well stated, when starting bird watching as a newbie the routine sometimes get borring and your feel likely quiting. As a person gets started you need to have an identification book, look for a book guide to help in the features identification, with this you'll learn as many birds as be possible

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