More than 70 million Americans enjoy spending time birdwatching and it has become an increasingly popular hobby in the last decade. Birdwatching is inexpensive, interesting and will put you in touch with nature. If you too have been enjoying birdwatching, either locally or in your own backyard, you might be considering making a vacation of it. Going away for the weekend to camp and look for birds of different species is great fun for all the family and will get you out into the great outdoors.
Take some binoculars
If you’ve been watching birds in your neighborhood or in your backyard, it may be that you haven’t had the need to use binoculars, but for a trip it is worth investing in a pair. Using specialized birdwatching binoculars with a very high magnification, such as 16x might seem like a good idea, however you will need a tripod to keep them steady, or it is difficult to focus. 8x magnification binoculars are far easier to use if you are new to birdwatching, and will give you a wider field of view and better image stability. 8x binoculars are often a better choice too if you wear glasses, as they offer greater eye relief.
Use a field guide
A bird identification book, also known as a field guide, is an essential on your first birdwatching trip. Although you may be looking out for a particular species, there might be some birds that you have never seen before. There are several apps that you can use for bird identification, however if you are in the wilderness on your first birdwatching trip you might want to consider taking a paper field guide in case there is no cell phone reception.
Set your alarm early
There is a well known phrase, “the early bird catches the worm.” Birds are indeed early risers, being most active at dawn when the air temperatures are cooler and when there is less human activity. At this time of day you are more likely to hear birds calling to one another and feeding out in the open. On your birdwatching trip, set your alarm for sunrise and make the most of the day.
Taking a birdwatching trip will give you the opportunity to see new species out in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to write down your sightings so that you can keep a record and even share them with others.