Friday, January 19, 2007

The Many Pleasures of Bird Watching

Bird watching is a past time which may not be as popular as playing video games, going hunting or even playing chess, but you better believe it, bird watching can be fun. Now bird watching may not be something you have ever thought of doing but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing for you to try, it just means no one has every told you about until now!

What type of person likes to watch birds? Just like most hobbies, bird watching can be enjoyed by anyone young or old.

Essentially if you have an appreciation for nature, more specifically sitting outside watching the trees sway, the birds chirping etc, you may enjoy bird watching too.

A few other reasons why people like to watch birds are:

It's relaxing
You can get closer to nature
It's challenging
It's invigorating
It's good exercise
An excellent social activity

Now bird watching isn't for everyone but you will never know if you don't give it a go. The great thing about bird watching is that it's not an expensive hobby. All you really need is a pair of binoculars and a few other items.

The main item all bird watchers need is their own pair of binoculars. Sure you can share with a friend but you'll get much more out of the experience if you have your own. Binoculars are very useful in that they allow you to see better angles of a bird, they provide excellent clarity and will make it easier for you to identify a bird and take notes if needed.

As for which type of binoculars you should use, any pair is better than nothing. However if you want to get serious and get the full enjoyment out of bird watching, than having a good pair of binoculars is essential. A couple of reputable brands are Eagle Optics and Audubon Equinox.

If the thought of having a pair of "mini binoculars" which you can carry in your pocket and take everywhere you go sounds good, than you are in luck! Smaller sized binoculars are available which are called pocket binoculars. Pocket binoculars have a sharp and clear image, so don't let their small size.

Field Guide
A field guide is essentially a book which is packed with bird information and is the ideal resource for your bird watching expeditions. Some of the information provided is general knowledge on each bird, interesting facts and they're useful as they make it easy for bird watchers to identify a particular bird.

Having a notebook with you while bird watching is handy as it allows you to take notes on the birds you have seen. It's up to you what you decide to take note of, however most people take note of special details of the birds they have seen, the area which they were spotted and any other important details.

There are 2 main types of apparel bird watchers can invest in. First is a hat (any hat will do) The hat is mainly to do with protecting yourself from the sun, but believe me when I tell you that you wont be complaining if a bird decides to poo on your hat instead of your head!

The other item which is optional but very handy is a birding vest. You can place your binoculars and other equipment in the pockets.

The popularity of bird watching continues to rise and is definitely something worthwhile pursuing even if you have the smallest hint of interest. It's inexpensive, interesting, good for your health and you don't need to know anything about birds, so why not give it a go.