Top Tips for Birdwatching Beginners

Posted June 21, 2022 in Travel Guide - Last updated May 16, 2024

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Everyone needs a hobby. If birds fascinate you, then birdwatching can be a wonderful hobby. Plus, you don’t need to spend a whole lot of cash. You can do it for fun or keep a list. Many birdwatching enthusiasts maintain a list of all the birds they have ever watched. Spring and fall are excellent times to watch these fascinating feathered creatures. So, how do you get started? Let’s explore some tips for birdwatching beginners.

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Step outside for birdwatching

Birdwatching is an activity best done when you are outdoors. However, by outdoors, we do not mean that you need to go hiking or to a bird sanctuary. To start your avian adventure, you need to step into your backyard. Of course, you could peer out of your window, but what’s the fun?

If you want to attract more birds to your backyard, consider installing a bird feeder. You can also install a birdbath or a fountain, making your backyard more popular with the birds.

Get a bird book for birdwatching

For beginners, looking and watching is perhaps the best way to birdwatch. Every bird is unique, and it can be rewarding just looking at these exciting creatures. Even if you have never birdwatched, you may still be able to identify many species.

However, getting a bird book is highly recommended to identify more birds. You can read about various birds in your spare time, making your hobby more appealing. National Geographic’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America is a great bird book, offering information on more than 1,000 species.

Get a good pair of binoculars for birdwatching

Do you need binoculars to be a bird watcher? Not really. But you can’t deny that it makes birdwatching a lot easier. If you have a bird book, you may be able to identify many more birds than you could earlier. A good pair of binoculars can help you see birds in greater detail, making it easier to identify them.

If you are a beginner, don’t splurge on expensive binoculars. An excellent but affordable pair of binoculars will do just fine.

Try different locations for birdwatching

Your backyard can be a great place to watch plenty of birds eating from your birdfeeder. But if you stay in your backyard alone, you limit your range.

Different birds nest differently. Some prefer tall trees, while others like to build their nests in shrubs. Trying out different locations can help you see many more birds. So, should you head to a bird sanctuary? Well, you could because that would be an awesome vacation. However, you could also start with your local park. Birds are usually on the move during spring and fall. So, your park could be a great place to watch beautiful birds, maybe even rare ones.

Start journaling for birdwatching

Maintaining a journal of all the birds you see can help you learn more about them. Over time, you will notice patterns in how birds live and migrate. So keep a small journal and carry it wherever you go. Just note it down wherever you spot a bird, whether at home or on vacation.

Avid bird watchers go to great lengths to organize their journals. Some like to maintain a list by state, while others like to keep track by month. Naturally, you choose what works for you. Maintaining a journal will help you keep track of birds and share it with friends.

Join a club for birdwatching

Like many other hobbies, bird watching can be fun and social. You can find many birdwatching groups on various social media platforms. Join your local birdwatching club to watch birds, plan trips, or have fun. Meeting fellow birdwatchers helps you make new friends and learn a lot from each other.

Birdwatching can be a fun activity outdoors, especially with like-minded people. When others see you in parks with binoculars, they may also feel encouraged to take up birdwatching as a hobby.

Plan a trip

Plan a birdwatching trip if you are tired of watching birds in your backyard and want to take them to the next level. You have many options to choose from. National parks, state parks, and many others offer ample birdwatching opportunities.

Before planning your trip, do some research. When you plan to travel, check out the different birds you can expect to see in the region. You could also call a couple of parks for birdwatching recommendations. They may be able to suggest the best places, the best time of the year, and so on. They may also be able to suggest the best trails for birdwatching in their parks.

Birdwatching can be a great hobby, but it needs patience. When you are birdwatching, you will mostly be sitting quietly and observing. Besides being fun, it also helps you spend quality time with yourself.

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