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Bird watching is an exciting and ever-changing hobby. Based on your location, season, and habitat, you can expect to see a wide variety of wild birds. To get involved in the beautiful world of birding, all you need to do is venture out, look, and listen.
Once you notice a bird, begin making a catalogue of its characteristics. Note the basic shape and whether it is plump or more slender. Consider whether the wing shape is rounded or pointed. Take into account the size and shape of the bird's bill, as each different shape suits a specific purpose that will help you when it's time to identify the bird. Regard the tail shape as it also helps you narrow the possibilities.
Remember that it is better to spend your time observing the bird rather than listing its characteristics in a notebook or flipping straight to your field guide; you may only have precious few seconds with the bird in clear sight, but you can take time later to make a list or consult a reference. Though it seems that there may be too much information to remember at once, don't forget that you can identify most species just by their heads alone. The bill shape, and the colors and patterns of the markings on a bird's head, are usually distinctive enough to let you easily categorize the bird. A wide range of field guides exist to give you a bounty of information about bird identification and behavior. Use one to learn how to identify birds, see color photos or illustrations, learn what type of food and feeders each species prefers, and study maps of seasonal bird ranges and migratory patterns.
Bird calls and songs are also important factors to consider when bird watching. Many skilled birders identify unseen birds based on their sounds alone. Paying attention to the pitch, quality, and rhythm of bird sounds gives you insights into bird behavior and communication and gives you another bit of information for your identification process. If you're not familiar with various bird noises, try listening to CDs or tapes of bird sounds or practice making your own with a bird call or whistle.
Optic devices are not a necessity for observation and accurate identification, but they do come in handy. Choosing an appropriate pair of binoculars doesn't have to be intimidating. The first number refers to the power of magnification. A good range for birders is a 7 - 8.5, because these lower magnifications enable you to observe birds in motion better and are good for multi-purpose use. The second number refers to the size, in millimeters, of the larger lenses. A larger opening means more light gets in, so a good range for bird watching is 35 - 42. The weight of the binoculars is important for practical use in field study, but it should not be your sole consideration. A good birding pair weighs around 20 - 28 ounces. Try several sizes of various brands to make a comfortable and useful selection.
As you become more interested in bird watching, there are several things you can do to get more involved in your hobby. Many field guides include life lists to let you keep a running track of the birds you have sighted. You may want to keep your own birding notebook or use a software program to store your collected data. Consult with your local bird clubs or nature centers to participate in group outings or attain check lists of birds in your state or region. Join a conservation organization and begin participating in surveys and census recordings. There are plenty of ways to turn your casual observation into a more engrossing, even social, activity.
Whether you are a novice bird watcher or a seasoned professional, BestNest.com has a wide selection of products to meet your needs. Please visit us at www.bestnest.com. If you would like more personal assistance, please email us at email@example.com or call 877-369-5446.
The BestNest.com Giveaway Winner is Pauline P. Stanhagen!
CONGRATULATIONS to Pauline P. Stanhagen who just won a new Opus Top Flight Bird Feeder! To claim your prize, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your address information and telephone number. We may follow-up with a phone call to verify your address information and identity. Congratulations!
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As a subscriber to the BestNest.com Newsletter, you will be automatically entered into our drawing for free BestNest.com merchandise. Every issue, we will announce a new winner in our newsletter. The winner will be announced by First and Last name and must claim the prize within 30 days of notification. For more information about our giveaway, please visit http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/bnmail.asp .