A Brief Beginner’s Guide To Birdwatching

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Marleny Hucks
Marleny Huckshttp://MyrtleBeachSC.com
Marlene (or Marleny as she is known in Spanish) is a mentor, teacher, cross-cultural trainer, storyteller, writer, and for those who have been under her leadership or simply sat across the table from her, she is a mirror of destiny. Her love of word and image were formed early on by one of her heroes, Dr. Seuss. If you asked those who know her well, they would describe her a compassionate, funny, wise, curious, honest, real, strong, sensitive and totally human which comes out as she teaches and writes. She sees all of life, even the most mundane, through faith and believes that who we become as we live this side of the veil is what matters not the journey itself or our circumstances. Marleny Hucks has spent her life crossing bridges. She comes from a diverse background of ministry roles and contexts as well as has transitioned in and out of the business world. Having lived outside the country as well as traveled extensively she has a fascination with culture causes her to live her life within a global mosaic no matter where her feet are planted. Marlene currently lives in South Carolina with her husband David, who owns a news company but who she says is a “crime fighter”, bringing light into darkness in their systems of their city. Marleny currently works as a content management specialist covering Myrtle Beach News for MyrtleBeachSC News.

Once you have started birdwatching it can become a truly addictive hobby. You may make a list of all the birds you want to see alongside those you hope to glimpse. From there, it can be a case of simply biding your time. Make sure you have the right equipment and head outside but to find the most Popular Bird Species, check our website. 

Know How To Identify Certain Birds

While birdwatching should be a hobby, it helps if you know how to identify certain birds. There are specific apps that can help a beginner but also a bird identification book. The apps can be convenient to have the information at your fingertips, even when you are not birdwatching.

For more detailed information, ensure that you have a specific bird identification book. One should give you more information, such as their habits and when you should see them.  You may even end up adding more books to your collection. Try to find a field guide for your specific region too to make the information more tailored.

Use Binoculars Or A Camera

Binoculars can become a vital part of your birdwatching equipment. You will want to stay pretty far away from the birds but still see all that subtle detail. There can be plenty of intricate beauty that you simply will not see without a bit of visual help. These binoculars should provide a balanced combination of durability, magnification, weight, and field of view.

If you do opt for a camera, make sure it has a good zoom. Again, you will not want to approach the birds but still want a way of capturing that detail. When you get home, you can analyze the photos in more detail. 

Some cameras will be more expensive than others so it may depend on how passionate you are. If you see birdwatching as a hobby you want to spend time in then a pricey camera may be a worthwhile investment. 

Start A List Of Birds

Some birdwatching may simply be ticking off a list of birds. Go through the field guide and bird identification books to find out the birds you are most likely to see. Note down the birds you want to see too and add them to the list. As you spend more time birdwatching, it can be so rewarding to see your list be reduced to just a few birds.

Due to adverse weather conditions, you may find it easier to make a list online. Certainly, if the weather turns then your paper list may disintegrate while you are birdwatching. Get organized and create a list on your computer or smartphone. You could get very organized and create a spreadsheet that lists the species of birds with the area you saw them and the date/time.

Join A Birdwatching Club

There is a certain safety in numbers and that’s certainly the case when you join a birdwatching club. There will be members who have been birdwatching for years and you can certainly learn more from them. You can also make friends with fellow birdwatchers and make plans to birdwatch together. Do your research and there may be a birdwatching club already set up in your area. 

Get Outside

The final tip is simply to get outside and go birdwatching. That sounds simple enough yet it helps to have the right equipment, including clothing for the conditions. Certain birds will only come out at certain times of the day and of the year. It could even be a case of heading out more than once a day if you want to see how the birds vary in your area.

Remember, you can start birdwatching at any time and pretty much anywhere. Find yourself a vantage point and that could even be in your backyard or on a balcony if you live in a built-up area. While that may not sound as adventurous as stepping out into the countryside, you can still see some local birds. You may even get lucky and spot a particularly rare one, from the comfort of your own home. 

Should you prefer to do your learning visually then there are documentaries that you can watch. Try to find one that is based in your region so you have an expectation of what you may see. Perhaps you can read a birdwatching novel or an educational book when the weather is not as hospitable. Then again, there is nothing quite like getting outside, setting yourself up for the day, and keeping your eyes open.

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