Birdwatching is becoming a very popular outdoor activity all around the world. There are 835 species of birds in North America only and more than 70 million Americans are either feeding or watching birds. Birdwatching can be done in two ways: You can actually go to a location where there are a lot of birds; you can go by yourself or find a birdwatching tour in your area, or you can make the birds come to you, to your own backyard by some means. In order to really appreciate the excitement of birdwatching, you need some tools to enhance your vision, tools that enable you to see everything in striking detail.
There are also some other ways to participate in the hobby of birding: You can feed the birds, provide them nesting sites or birdhouses, you can grow special plants and gardens to attract birds, travel to nature sanctuaries or birdwatching areas, keep notes on birds you see in the wild, make diagrams or sketches or snap the perfect photograph of your favorite species.
Another way to enhance your birdwatching experience in winter can be learning bird’s song. Sight and hearing are the birds’ strongest senses and they use special signals to communicate and recognize their own species. You can turn your backyard into a much more interesting place by beginning to recognize bird songs. You will be able to see through the leaves and around buildings which will give you a feeling like you have supernatural vision. You will be amazed to realize how much you had been missing out on.
As you get more experience in birdwatching, you will want to broaden your vision beyond your backyard and to travel to some bird-rich areas. There are birdwatching tours planned by serious bird enthusiasts to some bird sanctuaries, nature parks and other locations where birds can be found in large numbers, in their natural habitats. You will have the chance to see some species you have never seen before by traveling to a region other than the one in which you live. For example, you can find many impressive species like acorn woodpecker in the southeastern Arizona Mountains, especially in the Chiricahua Mountains. Another attraction in this area is the diversity of hummingbirds; you can observe as many as 14 different species. But you can find the large magnificent hummingbird only in the south-west.
The following tips are useful when birdwatching:
- You have to make as little noise as possible, move slowly and keep your distance. The important thing is that the birds don’t know you are there.
- Do not go close to a nest or scare a bird off its nest. This can cause the parents to abandon the nest and the eggs will then be vulnerable to predators.
- Avoid touching the eggs or young birds.
- Do not leave the paths and trails to get a closer look.
- Do not litter.
The easiest way to attract birds is to build a birdhouse and start feeding them, providing them water all year round, especially in extreme weathers. This is the best way to keep birds coming back to your backyard.