Some people want to try bird watching but hesitate for several reasons. They think that bird watching is an expensive hobby, one that would require costly gear and equipment. Hence, they miss out on an enjoyable and sometimes wondrous experience. But you do not need fancy equipment just to enjoy nature and observe colourful feathered creatures. Here are a few things you should know if you are thinking of starting bird watching as a hobby or even just as a leisure activity.
Clothing should suit the weather in which you are going bird watching. If it is the cold season, then of course you would have to venture out in thick clothing. Wear layers of warm clothing, gloves, socks, a scarf, anything that can protect you from the cold. Remember that sometimes you would need to watch and wait for quite a time to spot a bird or wait for one to come near you. So, preparing for the kind of weather you might find yourself bird watching in would not be a terrible thing to do.
Another tip is to wear camouflage clothing. Wear clothes whose color blend in with the surroundings, such as green. But you need not overdo it and look like you had just come out of a military exercise. You can also blend in by not wearing bright or shocking colors that will alert birds of your presence. Keep any sparkling or shiny items as well.
Another essential item to bring with you while bird watching is a notebook and a pen. This is where you record your observations; you can even do some sketches of the birds you will see.
Of course, there is the guidebook, which contains information on the different kinds of birds you can possibly encounter. Choose a guidebook that is small and lightweight since you will be bringing it with you out in the field.
Bring a camera that is lightweight and which has an optical zoom of at least 4x magnification. Don’t settle with your digital zoom. Digital zoom is practically useless since what it does is not actually magnify the image but rather creates pixels to make the magnified image smoother or less pixelized.
A good thing to bring during bird watching trips is a sound recorder. This is to record bird sounds or bird calls. Eventually, when you’re good enough, you can identify the birds by their calls alone.
Looking for place to go bird watching is not that difficult. If there are wooded or open areas with trees or bushes, you can go there and see birds. If you have a yard, you can set up a bird feeder to attract birds. Bird watching is essentially a waiting game so be patient. All you need to do is sit and wait.
To give you some tips on the proper baits to set up to attract the most varied kinds of birds. Hummingbirds, for example, target red, pink and orange flowers. They particularly like the trumpet vines or other tubular-flowered plants. Or if you lack the flowers, a bird feeder containing water and sugar could attract these fast flying birds.
Even if bird watching is relatively tame stuff compared to other hobbies, it is still vital that you learn the basics. Bird watching 101 should not only about the joys of bird watching but rather would help prepare for the tasking yet fun-filled day.