Bird watching will any day beat all other spectator sports in the world. More people are probably watching birds right now than football and hockey combined. And why not. You can see those goals and players anytime you want, but that beautiful bird with pastel colored wings is not to be seen every day. The best part about wildlife viewing is that you control the experience. Hence being prepared can be very rewarding. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your expedition to a bird sanctuary or a local creek that plays host to migrant birds.
1. Research and Plan
This might sound obvious, but many (esp. tourists) waste the majority of their bird watching time and energy on bad locations. Research and plan properly before you decide to visit any place. Many popular tourist places hardly have any unique birds or you might not know which time of the year is right to go. Research, plan and contact the authorities (if available) before you go. A good place to start is by googling “
2. Understand Birds
Know what species to expect before you pack your bags. Though recognizing every bird you see is nearly impossible, studying a bit about them multiplies the fun.
3. Have we met before?
It’s a good idea to maintain a Google Doc of species you have spotted, and if you are lucky enough, with pictures. Note down some basic details like name, species, wikipedia link, place you spotted, time, how etc. You might even want to share this experience with friends and family. And if you are keen enough, maintain a blog on birds you have met.
4. Be equipped.
Primarily there are just two things you need to go bird watching – Binoculars and a super-zoom camera. Spending time and money to get to the right place can be totally wasted when your equipment is inadequate. Or you may even go for binoculars with built-in digital cameras.
5. Practice makes a bird-watcher perfect.
Yeah, I am asking you to practice bird-watching. If you just got your pair of binoculars, just try spotting the moon through them tonight. Binoculars, cameras etc need practicing. Often birds are visible only for a few seconds, and if you waste that time trying to get your binoculars spot her, you have missed the bus. Go out and get friendly with your equipment. You will thank me when you see others at the location, struggling with their gear while birds pass by swiftly.
6. Go in a group of 3 to 4.
No, I am not going to say bird watching helps build bonds. Going in a group has a very obvious advantage when you go bird watching. Birds need to be spotted. More the number of eyes, greater the fun.
7. Be sensitive.
Be sensitive towards the birds. You are already invading their privacy and the last thing you would want to do is scare them away by getting over-excited, shouting, making noises or letting your kids throw things at them. A good bird watcher just watches.
8. Share your experience with us
Come back and let us know your experience. If you figured out some more interesting ideas about bird watching, share them with us through comments below.
Happy Bird Watching 🙂