How to Get Started With Birdwatching

So, you’ve decided to take up a new hobby, and birdwatching is one of the hobbies on your list of possibilities. Great! Birdwatching can be a wonderful hobby.

Many people find it relaxing to simply watch the birds fluttering around. Others find it exciting to spot new species of birds and identify them. Others enjoy going on hikes to track down specific species of birds that can only be found in certain locations.

Getting involved with birdwatching is a great way to connect with nature and learn about the world around you. And it isn’t all that hard to get involved with birdwatching. Here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you get started with your new hobby.

Make the birds come to you

The easiest way to get started with birdwatching is to make the birds come to you! Instead of having to worry about tracking them at the local park, you can enjoy the birds from the comfort of your own porch. However, you’ll first need to add some features to your backyard.

Get started by adding bird feeders throughout your yard. You can put seeds, nuts, and other tasty treats out for the birds to enjoy. Birds also like foliage and shallow water. Soon, you’ll have plenty of birds in your backyard!

Get the right materials

Once your backyard is bird-friendly, gather your birdwatching materials. You’ll want a good pair of binoculars. This will allow you to keep your distance from the birds, but still see them up close through the binoculars.

You will also want some sort of field guide to help you identify birds. While you can use your phone in a pinch, many people find it easier to flip through pictures in a field guide to identify birds. You can also use a field guide even if you’re out in the woods without service.

Learn to identify birds

While some people simply enjoy watching birds, you might find yourself curious about the different species that are in your yard. To identify a bird, make note of how it looks, what size it is, what color patterns it has, what behavior it is exhibiting, and where you found it.

You can then use your field guide to identify what type of bird it is. The more time you spend identifying birds, the easier it will get! You may start to identify birds without seeing them because all birds have unique songs.

Make note of what you see

As you start learning about the different types of birds around you, you might enjoy keeping a binder or notebook of what birds you’re seeing. While not everyone finds record-keeping enjoyable, some people enjoy finding patterns of what birds they’re seeing.

Or, you could decide that you want to learn how to take photos of birds. Some people enjoy having a record that they can look back on, year after year, to spot seasonal trends. Others enjoy having a record of notes that they can share with other people that birdwatch.  

Visit different habitats

As you get better at identifying birds, you might decide that you want to learn about other species that are not typically seen in your yard. To do this, you’re going to need to start visiting other habitats, such as the parks around La Plata! Grab your binoculars and get traveling!

Look for local parks around you, where you might see a different variety of birds. Or, consider going on a nature hike in nearby woods. Or if you’re hoping to see a specific species of bird, do online research to learn where it can be found.

Find a friend

As you continue your birdwatching journey, you might want to find a friend to chat about what you’re seeing! Birdwatching isn’t something you have to do by yourself. You might enjoy finding a friend to visit different parks with, to see what birds are found there.

Or, you could decide to have lunch with them every so often and compare notes on what birds you’re finding in your yards and what food you’re using. Or, you could look for an online community, where you can share photos and discover birds from around the world.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a new hobby and enjoy nature, birdwatching could be just the thing for you! From adding new features to your backyard to make it into a haven for birds, to learning how to identify birds by song, you’ll soon discover that this hobby has plenty of ways to keep you busy!


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