How To Get Started With Bird Watching
By Ronnie Booth
One of the great things about having a garden is getting to watch all the birds that flock to it. You'll only be able to see so many types of birds this way though. To get the most out of your bird watching, you need to go where you'll see the most types of birds.
One easy place to find lots of species of birds is your local park or nature reserve. You may also have a bird sanctuary near you - there are roughly 500 National Wildlife Sanctuaries in the US alone.
Another way to see some new varieties of birds is to research the local birds before going on any kind of trip. There are over 900 species of American birds, and they can be found in many different places. If you're going somewhere new, it pays to do a little research first so you'll recognize new birds you might see.
Binoculars are probably the most important piece of equipment for bird watching. You don't have to break the bank buying a pair, but you'll want to get some that can handle the weather and the terrain where you'll be.
Your binoculars should have some kind of stabilization built into them, especially if you'll be bird watching from a distance. They should also be able to work in low lighting, without fogging up.
Tracking birds while they're flying requires skill to locate them and track them quickly. The only way to get good at this is to practice so it's a good idea to do some practicing when you're not in the field. You can use your dog or your kids as a fast-moving practice.
Partnering up with someone else who enjoys bird watching can make it much more interesting. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and they might spot birds that you would have missed, and vice versa. They may also recognize different species than you so you can pool your knowledge.
Ronnie Booth writes about bird watching and other birding related topics for The Birding Guide website. Read more and sign up for the free newsletter at http://www.thebirdingguide.com
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