Imagine yourself first waking up in the morning. The rays of the sun are just beginning to come through your window. Along with the sun, you start to hear the first melodious chirps of birds greeting the beginning of a new day.
Have you ever wondered why they sing like that? What they look like? Or why they sound so close to your bedroom window?
Bird Watching – Beginners Welcome!
Bird watching is a hobby that has been around pretty much as long as people have. It is currently the second fastest growing hobby in the US, second only to gardening. You may hear some people refer to the hobby as “birding” and accordingly the people who participate are called “birders.” But whatever you call it, this hobby is all about a love and appreciation for the beautiful and fascinating creatures that we call birds.
People of all ages can enjoy bird watching. We can learn a lot from birds, where they roost and the songs that they sing. We can even learn more about nature and ourselves by studying the lives of birds.
Best of all, birding can be done anywhere at any time. Just look around you. There are very few outdoor locations where birds cannot be observed going about their daily activities.
So are you considering getting started with bird watching? Even if you are a bird watching beginner, don’t allow that to hold you back. Why not visit a local park or your own backyard and get started today!
The Sights and Sounds
I don’t imagine that anyone is familiar with the sights and sounds of nature quite like an avid bird watcher is. An experienced bird watcher is able to take a quick glance at a small, darting creature of black, yellow and white feathers or take in a few moments of chirping musical notes and instantly know exactly what bird has just come into view or hearing range. To the beginning bird watcher, this may seem an amazing feat.
Developing Bird Watching Skills
With over 900 bird species within the U.S., birders must learn to quickly process what they see and hear – color patterns, call notes, body shape, bill shape and more. If the bird is not immediately identified, the birder must know what attributes to key in on so that he or she can find and identify the bird from a field guide. The birds rarely wait around long enough for us to search through our guides to be able to compare pictures to living birds!
If you are a beginner to bird watching, you may feel that it is impossible to reach this level. If you’re like me when I first started out, attempting to identify even common birds can be frustrating at times. The key is to not give up. Understand that this all takes practice, and you will get to this point over time.
Imagine the skills you will be developing if you stick with it. You will be honing your senses and becoming a more observant person – not just as it relates to birds but with all of nature. Everyone starts bird watching as a beginner, but bird watching is so much fun that learning these new skills won’t seem like work at all.
One day soon, you’ll see that creature with black, yellow and white feathers dart by. Your mind will do the calculations without you even having to think about it. With no hesitation at all, you will automatically think, “American Goldfinch!”