Birding is a very enjoyable past time that takes as little or as much as you want to put into it; for example many people enjoy feeding birds. Each year in different parts of our yard we get hummingbirds, woodpeckers, junkos, purple and golden finches, rose breasted grosbeaks, nuthatches, cardinals, bluebirds, and an occasional indigo bunting. Of course we also get wild turkeys and a couple squirrels coming to visit as well. As you may have guessed it we do live in a rural area. Having the colorful birds in the yard is a lot of fun. Depending upon whether you live in a rural or more urban setting will of course impact the variety of birds in your yard.
Taking the next step in the birding world would be to visit local green belts, parks, or nature preserves. Natures theater will not disappoint you and most importantly, you do not have to be a trained ornithologist to enjoy it, however it is much more enriching when you have a minimum amount of equipment, namely a good pair of binoculars and a field guide. There are also public webcams that often times provides a peak right into the nest of birds like ospreys and eagles.
My first birding experience was at a local birding festival near Lake Andes, South Dakota. Going to a birding festival is great because you learn so much from other people that share the same interest as you do. At that time about the only birds I could identify were robins and sparrows.
Often times the festival will have guides that will point out different birds as the group treks down the trails of the reserve. The local weekend festival sets up a pre-festival meeting on Friday evening, where a local professor of biology from USD comes and speaks. He will review the plan for the weekend and provide some background information as well as a list of probable bird sightings that are in store for the group. I would strongly recommend that for anyone. I have to say that participating in a birding festival is totally different than visiting an aviary at a zoo somewhere. I found that festivals are much more enjoyable, birders are very sociable and eager to share their love for the sport. As noted earlier there is not much gear that is needed. Get a great pair of birding binoculars and a field guide.
For those birders wishing to take their experiences and memories a step further, we suggest the method of capturing wonderful images of birds using digiscoping. This is a simple connection of a camera with a spotting scope. Find out more about digiscoping.
Check out nature observation for more great places to experience the wonders that our great country has to offer. Equally important is a concern for conservation
To really get the most enjoyment out of Birding you should invest in a good pair of binoculars and a birding guide for the area of the country that you live or visit.
Birding Links. There are many sources out on the internet and it is not the intention of RCS Optics to reinvent the list, but rather to provide a few links that will provide quality information and be a great resource for our customers and friends. Birding resources
National Wildlife Refuge Association Birders Community E-Bulletin
A monthly bulletin published by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
Developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon
Created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
North American Rare Bird Alert
Birds of North America -Online
The forum for wild birds and birding.
www.NatureMonitoring.com offers biodiversity surveys in Europe and guiding for birdwatching and wildlife photography trips in Bulgaria. Amongst the most prominent clients and partnerships of Nature Monitoring are the BirdLife Partner in Norway, Nord-Trondelag University College in Norway, Swarovski Optics, national tour operators and environmental consultancies.
A resource that helps the traveling Birder connect with Guides around the world.