What does it take for one to be considered a birdwatcher?
Simply put, birding is a hobby entailing the conscious awareness of birds within the observer’s vicinity. It requires an acknowledgement of feathered creatures and a curiosity to want to know more about their characteristics and behaviors. This often involves recording of observations made.
1.Why should you take up bird-watching?
So you want to become a birder? You have definitely picked up a great hobby. What better way to spend time than appreciating nature’s bountiful beauty while learning a thing or two along the way? It is fun with just the right amount of art and skills needed to make it an enjoyable ride. Birds are everywhere and every venture outdoors, even a simple one like picking up laundry, would be another opportunity to indulge your hobby. It requires little effort and can be done even at the comfort on your own home and will open you to a large network of like-minded individuals where more information can be sourced from.
2. First step
Bird-watching, just like any other hobby requires that there be interest in the subject matter. If you have stopped to look at a bird perched in a tree or wading on the lake and taken a mental note of, say, its features and call, you may consider this a first step towards being a birder. The best way to cultivate your skill-set would be to go out into the field. Do arm yourself with print and online field guides that will make initial identification easier for you, especially those customized to your area. It would also be a great idea to join online bird-watching platforms and social media groups where help and suggestions can quickly be offered from fellow hobbyists.
What tools does a birder need? With sight being essential, a good pair of binoculars goes a long way and may be the only major investment made. Take your time before purchasing one. Turn to fellow birders for guidance on what works best and do go through online reviews before settling on one that suits your needs and pocket. Once bought, do give your binoculars a test run before taking it with you on your birding excursions.
Another very helpful aid would be an online birding guide or phone app to enable you effectively record your observations. Konkoit is one such tool. The reliable online and app features are aimed at making your bird-watching experience as enjoyable, efficient and effortless as possible.
These are enough for a standard birder. You may add more equipment to your arsenal as you progress on. Photography lovers may consider purchasing better cameras to improve quality of images taken within short and long ranges.
4. Go out
Take it easy at first. Just like any other hobby, you need time to get accustomed. It is a good idea to begin with common birds in your own background before graduating to lesser common species.Start by taking note of bird’s key features such as the size, color, beak, tail, head and feet. Have your guide at hand to narrow down the type of bird observed.
Be patient and remember that practice makes perfect.