Six Basic Supplies For The Birder

3 minutes

Birding was something I never thought about until a friend of mine showed his bald eagle pictures at our local photography club.  Birding could be an educational and entertaining hobby for anyone, and it’s a hobby that will get you outdoors.  Here are six items that you will need if you are thinking about getting into birding.

  1. Field Guide Book – Field guides will describe the appearance, such as color, wing shape and distinctive markings of birds.  This is crucial for identifying various birds. There can be field guides that are specialized for a particular type of bird, such as raptors or water birds.  They can also be specialized for specific regions, such as mountains, coastal, wetlands or desert.
  2. Binoculars – You will definitely need a good pair of binoculars to conduct your birdwatching.  The Nikon 7294 Monarch Binoculars are widely used by birders everywhere.  I even wrote a product review about them.  The binoculars you choose should have sufficient magnification to see small details on the bird as well as a sufficiently wide field of view to follow the bird as it flies around.  Your binoculars should be waterproof, since you will be outside doing your birdwatching.  They should also be light weight.  You don’t want something heavy hanging around your neck while you are hiking along.  A good neck or shoulder strap is also essential to your comfort.
  3. Digital camera – A digital camera is an accessory that you should consider.  It is helpful to take pictures of the birds that you spot.  If you’re not sure exactly what kind it is, you can always do more research when you get home, if you have a picture of the bird.   Plus it’s great to have a digital record of the birds you have identified.  Make sure you have a camera that has a zoom that is sufficient to capture the detail that you want in identifying a particular bird.  You also want a camera that will perform in low light situations.  Many of your pictures could be taken in the woods or at dawn or twilight.  So be sure to choose a good quality camera.
  4. Journal – A journal can be a plain notebook and pencil,  or a special journal made especially for birders.  You will want to jot down the details of your observations, including the bird’s appearance and behavior and where you located it.
  5. Hiking boots – These are a great help when you are doing field observations.  Birds rarely stick to paved trails and I can bet that you will be traipsing off into the woods or swamps to follow that particular bird.
  6. Field bags – A field bag with lots of easy to access pockets is essential for carrying birding supplies.  Make sure it has a comfortable strap and don’t forget to take extra water and snacks if you will be gone for any length of time.

These are some of the basic supplies that you will need to start on your birding adventure.  Enjoy yourself in the great outdoors.

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