Cozy Up on Your Sectional & Enjoy a Bit of Birding

Birding is an activity that is pursued with varying degrees of intensity and for different purposes. It is an observation and study of birds in nature, which can be done anywhere, from one's yard to a national park. Birders are people who seriously pursue birding and generally travel away from home to observe birds in their natural habitat. This travel may be a few short miles from one's home, or across the world. Bird watchers participate in birding for their casual enjoyment and may view birds at home in their yards or at local destinations.

Birding is a hobby that is becoming increasingly more popular with people of all ages. It is enjoyed by as many as 85 million people in the United States alone, although people from countries all around the world can be found bird watching, as well. Surveys conducted by the USDA claim that it is among the top 20 outdoor activities. It is an educational activity in which the hobbyist learns to identify various bird species and their activities. The thrill is in finding and viewing these birds in their element in the wild. Often, birders document what they see with words, sketches, or both. People interested in picking up the activity will need to purchase a good pair of binoculars, as birds are typically viewed at a distance when they are in flight, or to avoid disturbing their natural habitat and behavior. A field guide is also important, as it contains a wealth of information about birds, including images and detailed descriptions for identification. Carrying a notebook is useful for sketches, descriptions and details about the sighting. Because it is an active and predominately outdoor sport, birdwatchers and birders should put some consideration into their attire. For instance, they should wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking long distances on terrain that may be uneven, muddy, or hard. A hat and sunglasses are necessary for sun protection, and sunscreen should be regularly applied. Wearing a backpack or a vest can be useful for carrying any pens, guides, and notebooks. Some new birdwatchers may also feel more comfortable joining a birding club or group, while others may enjoy the more solitary aspects of birding alone.

Miscellaneous Resources for the Home

While birding is fundamentally an outdoor activity, it is possible to enjoy it casually and to a limited degree while at home. This can be a good thing for people who are ill or are for some other reason unable to participate in outdoor birding activities. Backyard birding may even be done from one's sofa or chair, if it is situated near a large enough window. There are certain resources that birdwatchers need for the home to make birding successful. The first, if not the most important, thing is a way to entice birds into one's yard for viewing. Bird baths for water, houses, and feeders are all useful and effective ways to attract birds. While each of these are effective on their own, having all three in the yard increases one's chances of attracting more birds. There are also different types of bird food that one can get to attract different bird species such as nectar, seeds, and nuts, for example. A pair of binoculars is as important to birding at home as it is out in nature as they allow the bird-watcher to watch without disrupting the natural behavior of the birds. Field guides are also necessary, although being at home allows people to utilize the Internet and its vast wealth of information about birds.

Return to MAIN PAGE