Handy Bird Watching Tips
Bird watching may not be as popular as other mainstream pastimes such as watching sports, playing video games, or watching hot new TV shows, but for many people, it’s a treasured activity. It should come as no surprise that we’re bird fanatics at the Feathered Friends Club, and we could talk all day about how one could benefit from bird watching.
In this age where it’s becoming harder and harder to find activities that separate us from screens, there are more people turning to bird watching as a recreational activity. Now that we’re in the throes of spring and we’re being greeted by chirping melodies every morning, the time couldn’t be better to get started with bird watching.
If you’re new to bird watching, there are a lot of little tricks you can do that will make it a more compelling experience. Consider doing these things in your next bird watching session!
Invest in Good Binoculars
As with any hobby, it’s prudent to not spend a ton of money unless you know it’s something you’ll be invested in for the long-term. So if you’re using cheap binoculars for now, it’s not the worst thing in the world. But if bird watching is definitely something you’re going to stick with for a while, you’d be surprised at how much better the experience can be when you’re using a great pair of binoculars.
Buying from a reputable brand such as Nikon is a good choice, and once you’re using a pair of lenses with eight powers of magnification, you’ll never want to go back to those $30 binoculars you bought from a gas station.
Bring Bird Treats
While it’s great watching birds from afar, there’s nothing that beats being able to see them up close — especially if they’re feeling brave enough to eat from your hand! However, you won’t be getting many birds close to you unless you have some good wild bird food with you.
If you’re in your backyard, it’s great to have feeders which are stocked up with quality bird food, such as Armstrong wild bird seed. After a time, birds will start to recognize your feeder as a reliable dining location, and you’ll eventually be able to observe them up close fairly easily! But you can still benefit from bird treats in the wild — by bringing wild bird food, you can tempt certain birds to get fairly close to you, giving you the thrill of feeding them, and you’ll know that you’re not harming them as you would if you were feeding them bread.
Take Advantage of Your Smartphone
Smartphones have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives that it’s easy to forget how valuable they can be as a resource for, well, anything. Bird watching isn’t exempt, and you’ll find that with just a quick search on the app store (whether you’re on Android or Apple), you can find countless field guides. This will give you all the valuable birding info you need, and many apps even simulate the sounds of various birds so you can know exactly which ones you’re looking at!
We have nothing but the highest levels of appreciation for the experts who have compiled exhaustive guides on bird watching, but the reality is that these thick books can be cumbersome to carry around when you’re actually observing. Apps make the experience more streamlined, allowing you to focus more on the birds, and less on combing through pages!
Meet Fellow Birders
Birding can be a fulfilling pursuit if you go solo — many people find the experience to be deeply therapeutic, and love the connection they feel with nature when they go out and experience the great outdoors all on their own.
However, it’s also not uncommon to feel a need to share the things that bring us great joy, and you’ll find that birding can be even better when you’re doing it with fellow enthused practitioners. Birding together not only allows you to build strong bonds and make new friends, it’s also a way to enhance your experience as a beginner, as fellow birders will likely have all kinds of useful tips and tricks that you can carry into future sessions. You’ll learn a lot about birds, and you’ll likely be able to demo their equipment, such as expensive binoculars.
Of course, the odds are slim that your coworkers are birdwatching fanatics, and you’ll probably have to go out of your way to find them. For this, the internet is a boon. There are various birdwatching communities online such as Bird Forum and Birding Buddies, and on these sites, you’ll be able to connect with people in your region.
Be Responsible and Follow the Rules
Finally, there’s something that needs to be said about responsible birdwatching. Despite the fact that birding is a wholesome activity, there are many who are content to ignore local rules and regulations, and others still who recklessly endanger the health of the birds that they proclaim to appreciate.
First off, respect boundaries. Birding is often best in the wild, but you shouldn’t be intruding onto private property to do it, or venturing into areas of public land which are gated off. There are reasons why certain natural areas are prohibited from the public, and you’ll give birding a bad name if you ignore those rules.
Secondly, we can’t stress the importance of bringing healthy and wholesome wild bird food. The right bird treats will attract avian friends and keep them healthy, but if you bring bird “junk food” such as bread, you may actually be dooming them to death, even if it seems like they really enjoy what you’re feeding them. At Armstrong, we carry countless blends of wild bird seed, and if you go to your local retailers, you can pick one that’s perfect for your needs.
Birdwatching is a lovely activity that will bring you a lot of joy. By respecting the birds, the earth, and fellow birders, everyone wins. Got questions about our wild bird food? Contact us today!