Many people enjoy the delightful chirping of birds in their area, but have no clue on how to identify which ones they most often come across. This is where bird watching comes in! Bird watching is a low-key, yet thoroughly enjoyable hobby that has long been popular in the US.
Bird watching, also referred to as ‘Birding’, can be enjoyed by people of all ages and one of the best places to start is right on the lake! Lakes are a great natural habitat not only for ducks and geese, but for a large variety of species of birds.
Join a Local Club
Consider joining a bird watching group or any other club or association. Learning from people with experience is the easiest and most effective way to learn the basics. It’s also a great way to get out and learn about your lake community and the type of birds in the area.
Get the Equipment
First and foremost, to start bird watching, you have to purchase some good binoculars. Birds won’t allow you to get close to them, and binoculars come in handy when identifying birds from a distance.
Since you are just starting out, it is advised to go for a simple pair, which has powerful levels of magnification and will not be too hard on your wallet, in case you decide that birding isn’t for you.
After purchasing the binoculars, you will have to get yourself a field guide to help identify birds in your area.
As the name implies, a field guide provides detailed information of birds you might find in your area.
There are many field guides available, however, it is recommended to go for one which is targeted specifically for ‘beginners’ or one that is geared to your area such as Birds of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
You can also consider looking at the online resources such as The Audubon Society.
A diary or notebook will help record all the birds you have sighted so far. As soon as you notice a bird in your area you can record the month, time of the day, the location and any other information you would like to keep, such as bird size, behavior, and sounds.
This information can also possibly help you locate this species or similar ones in the future. Through a birding diary, your personal birding experiences, thoughts about various bird specious, and notes can be documented.
Learn Bird Sounds
A birds chirp can be very distinctive and is an effective way to identify some bird species. Once you have grasped the concept of identifying different birds through sight, try focusing on learning bird sounds and songs.
Use your bird diary to take note of the sounds different birds make, then you can compare that to bird recordings online.
Birding is an inexpensive and easy pick hobby and one that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own porch overlooking the lake!