10 Tips for New Bird Watchers According to Birding.com
1. Purchase a field guide with bird photos and tips for identification.Recommended: Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (3rd edition)
Peterson First Guide: Birds (for young birders) Stokes Field Guides
2. The best birders have the best binoculars. High quality binoculars allow you to identify birds from far away
3. Know what to expect. Many State and National Parks have checklists of birds seen in the area
4. Learn about the habitat each species prefers so you can find the birds (do they like to spend time in tree-on the ground-on a lake?)
5. Join a group. Birders are usually willing to share their knowledge. Everyone was a beginner once. Check out spacecoastaudoban.org
6. Take a trip or tour. Field trips can last half a day to a full day. Birding tours can take you all over the world. When birding wear a neutral color-not white.
7. Read about birds. You might like Birder’s World and Bird Watcher’s Digest
8. Bring the birds to you. The right flowers attract hummingbirds. Sunflower seeds will bring many new birds to your backyard. Learn about the National Wildlife Federation’s “Backyard Habitat” program at www.nwf.org/backyard
9. Record what you see. Keep a dairy. Make a list. Birder’s Diary, a computer-listing program, makes this easy.
10. Ask lots of questions and have fun
What to Wear
Although typically our coldest month, January temperatures can fluctuate wildly. Expect daytime temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s and nighttime temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s.
- Plan to layer your clothing.-It can be very cold at sunrise and then warm up during the day.
- It will be chilly out on the water during kayak and boat trips, so dress warmly.
- Be sure to bring rain gear if you are going on the pelagic trip-the wind will blow and spray will fly.
- The gym can be chilly too so bring a sweater or a jacket.