Birders may be the perennial butt of jokes, but that doesn’t detract them from the wonderful life-enriching hobby of birding. Birding is worthwhile for so many reasons. For one, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to pursue, and unlike fishing or other outdoor hobbies, once you buy the kit you’re good for life.
Birding gets you out of the house and into nature – it bestows all of the “gotta’ catch ‘em all” delight children experience playing Pokemon onto adults or people who don’t own a Nintendo DS. Unlike other animal orders, birds can be found anywhere and they don’t much care about your presence; they’re happy to go about their day knowing you are very low on their threat index.
There are also almost 1000 bird species in North America, a great deal more than there are mammals; so the variety is much more satisfying. Every environment, whether it’s desert canyons, riverways or meadows contains different species, so there’s always a reason to get out into a new area. Parrot Essentials is the best store where you can easily buy essential stuff for your bird.
Once on a birding trip you also have the added benefit of being out in the bosom of nature – available for all of the beauteous and random productions that bountiful world heaps upon those who visit it. Here is everything you need to start birding.
A good pair of binoculars is obviously an absolute must, as well as the basic barrier of entry for the brand new birder. I recommend BNISE and their bright orange 8×32 pair. They are light enough to wear around your neck and shoulder without feeling the strain and to hold to your eyes for a while without tiring. They are made of durable material and can withstand a fall, and most importantly they produce startlingly clear vision of faraway tree branches.
2: A Guide
One of the great pleasures of bird watching is the identification process. Is it a wren, a finch? What color was its cap? What color were its shoulders? A good field guide is a must, and you can’t particularly go wrong with a Peterson’s Field Guide. Peterson’s has set the bar for many years. If you only really plan on birding in one particular North American region, consider buying Person’s for that specific region, you’ll get more region-specific information like morphs, and more precise ranges and time of year presence.
3: An App
One of the most satisfying things about having seen a bird you can identify is adding it to your lists! The two most traditional lists are what you saw that year, and your “life list,” which is especially exhilarating to fill up because it’s sort of like your Pokedex (Ask your child if that doesn’t make any sense). The Audubon Society App is fantastic as you can customize your own lists, it has a downloadable field guide (though a book is really recommended) it has a big database of birdsong, if you need to fill in that extra piece of the ID puzzle, its Bird ID feature is great for beginners.