Showing posts with label Bird watching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bird watching. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2018

The CARDINAL

Patience Pays Off
Photo by “Caveman Chuck” Coker
Many backyard birdwatchers love to watch the Cardinal. It is the state bird of Kentucky and beloved by many. Also known as the 'redbird' it really spices up the scenery with a beautiful bright red color that is offset by its bright yellow beak and black around the eyes.


This is the male Cardinal we are talking about. The females have a more brownish color with hints of red. This enables them to blend in with their surroundings while sitting on the nest.

The Northern cardinal really stands out against the green and brown backdrops of the summer months. They stand out even more against a fresh sheet of new white snow. They winter within the U.S. and have a tendency to move North to Northeast when during late summer or early fall.

Cardinal Eggs
They are known for breeding in residential areas as well as in thickets, undergrowth, and dense shrubs. Redbirds are monogamous breeders with eggs that can be in a variety of colors. Some eggs are bluish, some grayish, and some a greenish-white. The eggs are marked with purples, grays, and browns.

They lay these eggs in a nest that can range from well lined to scarcely lined. The nests can be compact and firm or quite flimsy. They will use many building materials for their nests like-

• Leaves and Interwoven Paper
• Weed Stems
• Pliable Twigs
• Hair
• Fine Grass
• Bark Strips
• Rootlets
The chicks will develop from an Altricial state (helpless, blind, and naked). The Cardinal diet consists mainly of insects, seeds, and fruits.


Additional Information For Back Yard Bird Watchers

It was in the 50's when feeding birds out in the backyard became popular. It has been estimated that the annual expenditure for feeding birds out back in this country is over a half billion dollars. Nearly one out of three households contribute an average of 60 pounds of bird food yearly.

This might make it seem as if some species were dependent on us for their existence. While we are able to help in areas of need scientists believe that no species would become extinct if our handouts were to stop tomorrow. They foresee no drop in populations either.

The Northern Cardinal along with some others like the-
  • • Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  • • Tufted Titmouse
  • • Mourning Dove
  • • House Finch
Have all been the beneficiaries of range expansions due to human supplemental bird feeding. Some birds like the Mourning Dove have found migrating no longer a necessity with so much food being readily available. The rest of the bunch are still working their way Northward every year.

The generosity of backyard bird feeding individuals can sometimes pull a few weak birds through the tough times of winter. After a heavy snow or an ice storm, natural foods can become inaccessible.
Bird Watchers will notice their birds increasing their visits to the feeders during harsh winters.



Studies have shown certain small birds like chickadees can actually add around 4% more fat when they feed on sunflower seeds rather than their natural diets of berries and conifer seeds.

The drawback to the feeding stations is when they attract weakened birds that are carrying disease. Aspergillosis is a potentially deadly infection found in some molds on bread or damp grain. When birds inhale the mold that has been infected with Aspergillus fumigatus it can result in death.

Mating Displays
The male and female will stretch out their necks. With erect crests, they will begin singing softly and be swaying back and forth from one side to the other. The Cardinal is truly a backyard bird watcher delight.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

BIRD WATCHING - A Hobby with A Cause

Birders at Caerlaverock, watching Britain's fi...
Birders at Caerlaverock, watching Britain's fifth White-tailed Lapwing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird watching as a hobby has long been contested by the birders, saying that the two are not in any way the same. While birdwatchers do such as part of an activity during recreation, birders are into it with intense dedication. 

The Birders
May it is in the UK or in the United States, birders say that what they are doing is far from just a pastime or a relaxation thing. For them, they do such to study not only the species of birds but also their patterns. They don't base their analogies on mere observation and they invest in the latest optical equipment to strengthen their claims. 

Instead of going where the birdwatchers usually go, the birders are always on the lookout for new and unexplored sites, hoping to find more information. They would even allow a budget for travel, however far it will take them, just to expand their knowledge and to discern a lot more about the subject that they are most interested in, birds.

The Birdwatchers
These people go about bird watching by only observing with their eyes. They may also opt for binoculars but aren't really focusing on the technology. They wouldn't care if their apparels are not the latest in the market, they can even go about without those gadgets. What's important is that they get a sense of fulfilment from what they are doing, they get to relax, see the birds and enjoy the sights.

The birdwatchers couldn't care less where they do their stuff. They would even do it in their own backyards or just go to nature reserves nearest to them. If they happen to be on vacation, they can do it wherever they are, whenever they please to do it. These people have the love for the birds but don't really want to take that feeling further by going the scientific route, because by doing so, they might miss out the fun that they intend to have.

The Right Time
Bird watching on regions that have temperate weather are most active in the spring and fall migrations. During such time, the widest array of birds could be seen as these birds relocate northbound or southbound in trying to find nesting sites.



For the hobbyists and professionals, it is advisable to do the act in the early morning where the birds are looking for food. This way, observation can be done at a lengthier time and you can see them easily while they are onto their task.

This type of bird watching is for people who would go near coastal areas to find watchpoints like the headland to be able to see the birds flying over to the sea. The birds that can be observed from such are called the pelagic kinds. The pelagic species of birds can also be observed when one is aboard a seagoing vessel.

Proper Etiquette
Whether you're a birder or a birdwatcher, you should always look out for the well-being of the birds and also have some positive notes on what you are doing. You can lead the way to promote cleanliness of the environment so that the natural habitat of this kind wouldn't be harmed. Also, you should be vigilant about the latest technology when you use them as part of the activity, that it won't affect the birds in a negative manner.

Bird watching may just be a hobby but one that must be done with passion and concern for the birds and their welfare.



Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bird Watching Tips for Beginners

English: Bird Watching Hide
Bird Watching Hide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bird watching can be a very fun and interesting activity once you are familiar with the thing that you need to know when doing it. The first thing that you need to familiarize yourself with bird watching is identifying the bird that you will watch. 

This very task is quite challenging because it is not easy to identify them especially when they are so many feet away from the ground. Since birds are energetic and active animals, you need a clear and quick eye to be able to see as many details possible in such as a very short period of time. 

Aside from being too far away from you, other problems that you might encounter—especially if you are a first-time bird watcher—is the dim light shaded by trees, the glint of sunlight that can affect your sight, and the hidden places where birds go to play. So, when you are into bird watching, it is always best to have a general knowledge of bird's attitudes and observe them carefully. You might not name them properly the first time but you definitely can the next time if you pay proper attention to observing them.  

The following are just of the helpful tips that can help you in your very first bird watching session: 

- Always keep on eye on one bird. Bird watching is more effective if one uses a binocular. When you are bird watching, try to spot only one bird that catches your attention. Once you have seen one, never take your eyes off it because it might fly to a place where you cannot see it.

In most bird watching centers, beginners are given a field guide in a form of a booklet or brochure so they can identify the bird once they have seen one. Once you know what is it, take time to observe its physical details as well as its behaviors and mannerisms. Make sure that you observe the bird's movements, markings, feeding habits, songs, color, and size so you can easily identify it the next time you see it. 

- Make sure that you listen intently to the bird's calls and song. Although listening for a bird's song is easy, it doesn’t stay long in a person's memory. What you should do is to listen intently when the bird calls or sings and play the bird's song in your mind repetitively. Listening to a bird's call and the song is important because it can help you identify the bird even without seeing it. 

- Take time to estimate the bird's shape and general size. The average shape and size of the bird will give you a huge clue in finding out the family it came from. In bird watching, make sure that you assess its overall appearance and take note of its approximate size and shape. Once you can tell from the size and shape of the bird what kind is it, then you are doing good. 



- Pay attention to the bill characteristics and facial markings of the bird in sight. This is one of the hardest things to do because the average of almost all birds is small. They also keep on moving so it will be hard to take note any unique markings on their faces. It is also equally hard to take note of characteristics of its bills because most birds keep on pecking all the time.

To get these details, spot a bird that doesn’t fly around that much. Once you found one, start observing it head by looking for any distinguishing hue patches or color strips. These can be present in their eye lines, crowns, napes, and arcs or in the rings. 



Friday, April 27, 2018

The Best BIRD BINOCULARS

Birdwatchers in Central Park, New York City
Birdwatchers in Central Park, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To get the best out of bird watching you want decent bird binoculars. Birding can be somewhat ruined when you can't see the birds you are trying to view with the level of clarity and detail that you would want to. An unclear image means it is hard to tell the difference between one bird and the next with some bird binoculars not really helping you see much more than you can see with the naked eye.

The quality of the optics in bird binoculars is exceptionally important if you want to ensure maximum enjoyment out of the sport. In recent years the cost of bird binoculars with high-quality lenses has decreased and with the wider availability of affordable quality, binoculars have come to an increased interest in bird watching.

There are some great 8x32 and 8x42 bird binoculars around and the Canon 12x36 IS binoculars are increasing in popularity as they offer the option of high powered binos without the distortion that is experienced when high magnification non IS binoculars are handheld.

At the top end of the market, you have some serious bird binoculars such as the Swarovski 8.5x42 EL's or the Leica Ultravid 32 or 42 series. Some critics say that they aren't worth the price (at £1,000 +) but in reality, it really is a matter of opinion and it does depend on how serious you are about birding. As you head up the price range the added benefit between bird binoculars begins to decrease so it just depends on what value you place on certain extra features that make binos particularly special.

If you are looking at the top of the range check out the Leica Ultravid 8x42. The weight and balance is superb, you could use these for hours and they would still feel comfortable in your hand. As for the quality of the optics, just try them and see! If you can afford it they are well worth a look.

If you want something a bit cheaper then the Pentax DCF SP 8x43 or 8x32 make excellent bird binoculars. They come with phase-coated prisms and fully multi-coated lenses with a sophisticated optical design, they are waterproof, nitrogen filled and sealed and have a water repellent coating on all exposed lenses. A great buy at less than £400.

Steiner makes some brilliant bird binoculars such as the perfectly balanced 8x44 Steiner Discovery which comes with a comfortable balance system, high definition optics, Steiner Nano Environmental protection and fast close focus. Or, if you want something smaller and cheaper then the Steiner Wildlife Pro is an immensely popular bird binocular, particularly the mid-size 8x30 which has a wide field of view making it ideal for following fast moving objects.

Image stabilizing is an excellent feature to have for many applications. Some find the Canon 10x42 IS binoculars rather heavy at1030g with many birders opting for the more powerful but lighter and cheaper option of the 12x36's (660g but not waterproof and they don't have the L series lenses that are featured in the 10x42's).



Another great bird binocular is the Nikon High Grade, with advanced lens and prism construction which produces exceptionally clear, sharp images and excellent color reproduction. Every model is waterproof and is made with environmentally friendly materials. Prices start at around £300 up to around £1,000 (available in both full size and compact binoculars).

If you are looking for something in a lower price bracket then the Nikon Monarch is a popular choice, with multi-coated lenses, phase correction coated prisms, high eyepoint design with long eye relief (ideal for spectacle wearers) and lightweight body. They are waterproof, fog-free and shock resistant, all for around £200. Just don't compare them against the Swarovski or the Leica's!



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Try BIRDWATCHING - 6 Key Reasons People Are Flocking Into This Hobby

English: People birdwatching on the Barrier Is...
People birdwatching on the Barrier Island area of Indian River County.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Friendship, companionship and sheer pleasure, these are some of the benefits to be gained from the hobby of Birdwatching or Birding. In this article, I review six key reasons why birdwatching fascinates around 70 million Americans and countless more people around the world.

Fitness and health. Birdwatching promotes health and fitness in a number of ways. First is t
he simple advantage of being outdoors and breathing fresh air. Secondly, getting to good sites for birdwatching often involves walking or hiking and hill climbing, all good for the heart, lungs, and circulation. Another significant plus point is exposure to sunlight. This promotes the production of vitamin D. Due to our modern lifestyle; many of us are deficient in this essential vitamin which helps strengthen teeth and bones. Sunlight has also been shown to combat depression and help protect against disease.

Companionship. The public image of birdwatching is that of a solitary birdwatcher spending the day in the field then returning home to a lonely supper. As with any hobby, there are some people like that - but not many of us. The majority of birdwatchers are friendly, convivial folk who love to go out birding with each other. There are popular birdwatching clubs in just about every part of the world. Companionship plays a central part in the attraction of birdwatching.

Pleasure from nature. Birding brings us back in touch with a more natural way of life, one that we can lose sight of in our urban homes. We are struck by the vitality of nature, the rhythm of the changing seasons and the beauty of the landscape. We can see and feel all of this firsthand, not via images on a TV screen.

Family. Many family members go birdwatching in pairs or larger groups. A father teaching his son or a grandfather showing his grandson the tricks to tracking down that rare bird. Or showing him the basics of identifying and naming our more common visitors. All of this goes to strengthen the bond between generations and knits families more closely together.

Finding that elusive bird. Wired into our genes, particularly those of men, is the desire to hunt. This gives us the thrill of the chase, the satisfaction of finding our prey. Birdwatching is the civilized expression of these feelings. It provides us with the emotional charge while preserving, indeed prizing, life. It is no coincidence that many birdwatchers strongly support efforts to save the environment.



Friendship. Valuable friendships are made from striking up conversations with fellow birdwatchers. We already have our hobby in common so breaking the ice is much easier than with other people. Keeping in touch with news of sightings, our successes and failures and our plans all help to maintain and develop our birdwatching friendships.

In summary, there really are lots of positive reasons to be a birdwatcher. If you already are one, congratulations on being part of our family. If you are thinking about becoming a birdwatcher, you can start small. Observe your local birds; begin to identify them and their songs. Above all, start now - you'll find birdwatching to be an exciting and rewarding hobby.




Sunday, February 25, 2018

Peru BIRD WATCHING

Hoazin in Peru - Photo: Wikimedia
Peru bird watching is one of the greatest things a bird watching hobbyist could ever experience. This is because the place provides a great background not only on magnificent bird life but can also present to you a landscape gifted with almost everything nature has to offer. 

Next to Colombia, Peru is the next country that has the largest variety of bird species available. Because of its unique topography and strategic geography, Peru offers a great habitat for so many birds in almost all parts of the world. 

Studies show that there are almost 2000 bird species existing in Peru. Ornithologists—people who conduct a scientific study on the life of wild and domestic birds. Investigate and record their anatomy, behavior, evolutionary development, ecology, classification, and species distribution—say that almost 19 percent of all the bird species in the world and almost 50 percent of neo-tropical birds can be found in Peru. The country also offers virgin forests that are a perfect habitat for rare species of birds as well as animals. 

The best places for Peru bird watching 

Knowing how rich the variety of birds present in the country, no bird watching hobbyist can resist visiting the country. But before packing your bags and your binoculars, it is a must that you conduct a brief research first about the country so you can maximize your stay there. In your research, you should include the list of things that you need and the best places to conduct the activity. Here are some of the best places for Peru bird watching: 

1. The Paracas National Reserve. This is considered as one of the most spectacular and convenient places to go bird watching in Peru. Located in Lima, this preserve in Paracas can be reached after almost 4 hours. The common birds that can be seen in the area include the Humboldt Current, the Pisco, Dark-faced Ground Tyrant, Peruvian Thick-knee, and Tawny-throated Dotterel. 

2. The Lomas de Lachay National Reserve. You can reach this place if you traveling almost 100 km. north of the capital city, Lima. If you are into daytime bird watching, this is the ideal place for you because the place can only accommodate a small number of people. Although it is quite far, the trip well worth it because you will find rare species of Thick-billed Miner and Yellow-finches. 

3. The Marcapomacocha. This area is almost five hours away from the capital city. But, the trip will really delight hardcore bird watchers because the place offers the view of some of the world's most rare bird species including different breeds of Andean species, Sandpipers, the beautiful White-bellied Cinclodes, and black-breasted Hillstar that is really popular in the country.

You can also enjoy the off-road views of the Giant Coot located in the lake of Marcapomacocha, the Lake Junin, the Huánuco, and the Carpish range. (TIP: Make sure that you bring lots of water when you go to these places because the weather can be so hot and cause you dehydration.)



4. The Huascarán Biosphere Reserv. Located at Huaráz in the central Andes, the reserve can be reached after almost 10 hours of driving. Before reaching the place where you can find the rare White-cheeked Cotinga, different kinds of finches, and Andean Condors, you will pass through breathtaking mountain ranges and lakes. 

5. The Chiclayo-Cajamarca Circuit. Peru bird watching can never be complete without visiting this establishment because you can see the most legendary and rare species of birds that can only be seen in Peru including the Buff-bridled Inca Finch, long-whiskered owlet, marañon Crescent-chest, and the marvelous spatuletail.  



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Prince Edward Island - A Must for Bird Watching Enthusiasts

Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island - Photo: Wikimedia
The Prince Edward Island holds the same name as the Canadian province where it is located. The national park is a haven for many bird species and a delight for bird watching enthusiasts.

Such natural beauty this place has that birds and people flock around to enjoy what the site has in store for its visitor. The rolling hills, untouched forests, ocean coves and its red soil is what makes this place stand out for its beauty. You could only wonder in amazement that such place exists.

Prince Edward Island, the Province
Its government is now trying to enact laws to be able to preserve the place and prevent further damage from happening in the area which was brought about by the lack of zoning and planning for land use within the province that has resulted to some unpleasant aesthetic development in recent times.

Did you know that the author of the classic novel entitled "Anne of Green Gables," Lucy Maud Montgomery, got her inspiration for the settings and backgrounds of the story from the Prince Edward Island? It was done during the Victorian era. What was envisioned in the book can still be felt now? This island seems to be waiting for artists to draw their inspiration from its captivating beauty. Not only that, the place is now a favorite for tourists for relaxation activities like going to the beaches, golfing, eco-tourism experience, while enjoying all the sights and seeing on the cultural events within its local communities.

The slow-paced kind of life in the place rural areas is really what draws in more tourists as they can enjoy their vacation and truly relax in the process. This factor gives the impression of something like an old world flavor for most of the tourists that frequent it.

Most communities in the rural areas of the Prince Edward Island get their living through the small-scale type of agriculture. The reason for this is that the size of the farm areas in the vicinity is indeed small especially if you compare it to the other areas in Canada. Although today, industrial farming is slowly being adopted in the area as the old farms become consolidated and likewise modernized.

The Coast of Prince Edward Island 
This is the frequent stop of bird watchers in the area. The island's coastline has long beaches, dunes, and cliffs made out of sandstone. Rolling hills can be found along its landscape. And it has a lot of bays and also harbors.

The Islanders take their responsibility as guardians of the precious nature surrounding them. They only give back for whatever the place has also bestowed them through agriculture, abundant fisheries and, of course, tourism.

There are said to be about 333 kinds of birds that can be found in the area. There is really something for everyone to enjoy here. The bird watchers will have a feast with what's in store for them at this paradise.

Bird watching is only one of the many things that a tourist can enjoy at the Prince Edward Island. It is really a must-see place to experience such oneness with nature. Don't forget your binoculars and a heart set out for nature once you've had the chance to check it out.



Friday, October 20, 2017

BIRD WATCHING for Children

English: Illustration of a tit from Edmund Sel...
Illustration of a tit from Edmund Selous's Bird Watching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird watching for children is one of the activities that can help instill the value and love for animals on their young minds. Aside from teaching them the importance of taking good care of animals, bird watching for children can also be great for spending quality time with them. This activity is also great for children because it can teach them to become nature-wise and can teach them to teach them good manners such as respect for animals.

What you need

Before you go bird watching with children, make sure that you yourself have had a first-hand experience of the activity. What you can do is search on the Internet what are the best places to bird watching with children. Once you found the best one or the nearest one in your area, take a time off to visit it before bring your children there.

Check if the entire area is safe for children. If you are having doubts about children safety, it is best to talk to the administrator of the park or the preserve to make sure that they have enough facilities to take care of kids. Also, ask what are the things that you need to bring when going there.

Also check how much are the fees, how many kids are allowed to bird watch, and what are the ideal ages for bird watching. When everything is done and you are confident that your child will be safe while bird watching, book a tour date while you're there.

On the date of the bird watching activity, make sure that you bring the following:

1. A good pair of binoculars for kids. This is very important because the center might not have enough binoculars for the visitors. To ensure that the kids can use something, grab a good yet cheap pair of binoculars when you are in the department store.

2. A bird book or field guide. Although most of the bird parks offer booklet that contains information on the birds that can be seen there, it is best to bring a book guide on your own just in case they don’t have one. The book guide can help your kids identify the common birds in the area and can help them in describing the birds based on their appearance, color, size, and shape.

3. Bottled water and snacks. Since kids tend to get hungry often, it is best if you bring lots of bottled water and handy snack packs just in case no convenient store is near the area.

4. First aid kit. This should always be a must whenever you go out with your kids because they can be so accident-prone. Make sure that you include a first aid kit in your child's backpack to make sure that you can tend to the wound or scratch immediately.



5. A camera. This is also a "must" when going out with kids because it can preserve the memories with your kids. Having a handy camera can enable you to take as many pictures of your kids during the tour. You can also ask your kids to take as many photos as they can of the birds that they see.

6. A notebook or sketchpad with pens or pencils. One of the benefits of bird watching for children is that it encourages them to jot down their observations. These can also be helpful to artistically-inclined children because it can encourage them to draw the birds that they see.



Monday, September 4, 2017

BIRD WATCHING Tips for Beginners

Bird watching can be a very fun and interesting activity once you are familiar with the thing that you need to know when doing it. The first thing that you need to familiarize yourself about bird watching is identifying the bird that you will watch.

This very task is quite challenging because it is not easy to identify them especially when they are so many feet away from the ground. Since birds are energetic and active animals, you need a clear and quick eye to be able to see as many details possible in such as a very short period of time.

English: Bird watching hide.
Bird watching hide.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aside from being too far away from you, other problems that you might encounter—especially if you are a first-time bird watcher—is the dim light shaded by trees, the glint of sunlight that can affect your sight, and the hidden places where birds go to play. So, when you are into bird watching, it is always best to have a general knowledge on bird's attitudes and observe them carefully. You might not name them properly the first time but you definitely can the next time if you pay proper attention in observing them. 

The following are just of the helpful tips that can help you in your very first bird watching session:

- Always keep on eye on one bird. Bird watching is more effective if one uses a binocular. When you are bird watching, try to spot only one bird that catches your attention. Once you have seen one, never take your eyes off it because it might fly to a place where you cannot see it.

In most bird watching centres, beginners are given a field guide in a form of a booklet or brochure so they can identify the bird once they have seen one. Once you know what is it, take time to observe its physical details as well as its behaviours and mannerisms. Make sure that you observe the bird's movements, markings, feeding habits, songs, colour, and size so you can easily identify it the next time you see it.

- Make sure that you listen intently for the bird's calls and song. Although listening to a bird's song is easy, it doesn’t stay long in a person's memory. What you should do is to listen intently when the bird calls or sings and play the bird's song in your mind repetitively. Listening to a bird's call and the song is important because it can help you identify the bird even without seeing it.

- Take time to estimate the bird's shape and general size. The average shape and size of the bird will give you a huge clue in finding out the family it came from. In bird watching, make sure that you assess its overall appearance and take note of its approximate size and shape. Once you can tell from the size and shape of the bird what kind is it, then you are doing good.



- Pay attention to the bill characteristics and facial markings of the bird in sight. This is one of the hardest things to do because the average of almost all birds is small. They also keep on moving so it will be hard to take note any unique markings on their faces. It is also equally hard to take note of characteristics of its bills because most birds keep on picking all the time.

To get these details, spot a bird that doesn’t fly around that much. Once you found one, start observing it head by looking for any distinguishing hue patches or colour strips. These can be present in their eye lines, crowns, napes, and arcs or in the rings.


Monday, July 24, 2017

BIRD WATCHING Gifts for the Enthusiast

Bird Watching (magazine)
Bird Watching (magazine)
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Bird watching is a great hobby.  You get to meet people get close to nature and know the difference between each species. If you know someone who is into this, you could surprise them on their birthday by buying them a bird watching gift.

What do bird watching enthusiasts want as gifts? To answer that, you have to know what they bring a long every time they had out into the woods.

Probably the most affordable and easiest to get is a hat. This will prevent their hair from blocking the eyes at the same time prevent them from getting sun burn in the face.

The next item could be a pair of cargo pants that has a lot of pockets so they can put snacks and other items on their sides.

A bird watching vest is another cool item to get because it has more pockets than the cargo pants. They can put their mobile phone on one pocket, snacks, water, map, and insect repellant and more on the others making it within arm’s length instead of taking this out of the back pack.

If you that their back pack is already worn out, perhaps you get can them a new one. These come in different sizes and you don’t have to get a large one because these hobbyists are supposed to travel light.

Perhaps the most expensive thing to buy for the bird enthusiast is a pair of binoculars.  This is because of the lens that allows the user to see farther and wider. There are even some models that allow the person to interchange the lens while the more high tech ones allows you to see in the dark, capture photos and videos.

A bird watching journal is also a nice gift to get because the hobbyist records what was seen and how many they were. In the years ahead, they will surely write more birds down and they would need another booklet to record this down.

Another great idea is to get the person a one year subscription to a bird watching magazine. This is published monthly or on a quarterly basis and they will be able to see pictures of birds in places that they have never been before like the Antarctic, the Amazon, Africa and somewhere in the Atlantic or Pacific.

If you think that buying bird watching gear as a gift is all you can buy, think again. Those who can spare some cash can send the person off on a bird watching vacation perhaps up north in Canada or down to South America. You have to remember that there are hundreds of bird species and not all of them can live in the climate in the US.



So which one should you buy first? Well, you have to talk to the person first and see what they don’t have or where they have never gone. A small conversation will already give you several ideas and you just have to pick the right one that is within your budget and meaningful to the recipient.

Who knows? It’s possible that during the course of your shopping, you might learn to appreciate the hobby. Instead of supporting that person, you soon join them on excursions. That is perhaps the best bird watching gift to ever give anyone because you are able to do something together.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

BIRD WATCHING in Arizona

Bird watching in Arizona in definitely a must for those who are into this kind of hobby. This is because the place offers a wide variety of birds perfect for observation such as the common ones including black and gray hawks, owls of different species such as whiskered screeches and elves, various species of hummingbirds, nightjars, trogons, flickers, woodpeckers, flycatchers, and pewees.

Photo: Flickr


The place is also perfect if you want to see rare kinds of birds such as seasonal species of kingbirds, chickadees, becards, gnatcatchers, titmouses, sparrows, tanagers, and warblers. 

If you are planning to go bird watching in Arizona, always make sure that you visit the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve which houses almost 300 different species of birds. If you want, you can make a schedule online and avail of the guided tours on Saturday mornings. The preserve has almost 3-mile long trail that gives you a breathtaking beauty of nature along with various species of birds nearby. 

Things you need before you go bird watching in Arizona

In the United States, Arizona is one of the best places for bird watching because it has hot type of climate, which invites a vast species of birds. Because of the number of birds seen in the place, birding has become a source for recreation and tourism. 

Before you get captivated its wonderful bird life and its breathtaking landscape in this side of the state, make sure that you prepare very well the things that you might need. If you are planning to conduct bird watching in Arizona, make sure that you bring:

- Bring a bird watching guide. This is very important especially for first-time watchers because this will serve as a reference for you. The guide usually contains basic information about the place or the preserve, list of birds that are usually seen in the area, brief characteristic of common birds that can be seen in the area and tips for the first-time watchers. 

- A good pair of bird watching binoculars. Although some centers provide binoculars for the viewers, it is best if you bring your own pair. This is to ensure that you will use a good pair of binoculars when coming to Arizona for bird watching. If you're planning to buy a pair of binoculars before going there, make sure that you buy a pair that has good magnification, clear lens and focus, and good exit diameter. 

- High SPF bottle of sunscreen. Since Arizona has hot weather, it is best to protect your skin especially from sunburns. In Preservation centers, you are usually asked to go on a trail that has no shade. If you want to protect your skin against too much ultraviolet rays, it is quite important to apply lots of sunscreen with high SPF. 



- A notebook with pen. This is a good option especially if you want to record your observations about the birds. When you have a handy notebook and pen, you can easily jot down the characteristics of the bird and other notes about the Center easily. (TIP: Choose a notebook with plastic cover so you can protect your notes from getting wet.)

- A big bottle of water. To keep you well hydrated during bird watching in Arizona, it is best to keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Having a handy source of liquid at hand is very crucial especially if stay out in the sun for a long time in a place with hot weather. 



Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Best BIRD WATCHING Optics

The passion for bird watching starts with a simple idea of mere observation of the different kinds of such specie. But as years progress and technology develops, more and more bird watching optics become available in the market and your aim is to find which one is the best.

English: View of rocks from bird watching hide.
View of rocks from bird watching hide.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
The Idea
If you are interested to know how a person start to become an avid bird watcher, first, they have the love for nature and curiosity about birds that they would go out of their way to be able to see some and then see some more until the hobby becomes passion.

A person can start on his own backyard, observing the birds that fly through their vicinity. Then they could start feeding the birds so that the latter would stay longer within near distance. The idea of birdfeeders and bird baths start from this same cycle. To protect the welfare of the birds, trees are planted as well as shrubs and also provide for nesting areas.

Not hooked yet? You can also watch the birds near you, whether on the road or a busy street. Just be mindful of your own safety when performing such task.

The optics
Now that you already have the habit, you can look into the available optics in the market to see the birds more clearly and to make your observation gearing towards the scientific route.

Binoculars are usually the first gear that birders invest on. The more expensive ones, of course, are better. Usually those come with thicker glass, better vision, coatings, precise configuration and alignment and easy to navigate controls.

Although with so many types available in the market these days, you might find yourself confused about what can be a good purchase. If trapped in this dilemma, all you got to do is ask. Ask the people who've already been doing the hobby for longer periods than you do or if you can't find somebody, search the Web. The Web actually has all the information you need to know about birding and bird watching and the gears and optics that you must have in order to become successful with the venture.

Look closely at the features of the binocular before purchasing one. Choose the right weight by holding such. Remember that when you already have to such it, you have to hold it most of the time for it to serve its function. Also, try to see through it when you are still in the store to know if it is the perfect fit for your eyes. Look at the lenses closely, navigate through the control. You could also ask what are the accessories available to see your options. This way, birding would be much easier and fun now that you have a gadget with you.



The scopes are for the advanced users. This is bought along with a tripod. The idea for the proper placing of such develops the more frequent you use it. The lenses would be your utmost concern when it comes to this. Inspect those before you buy one. 

There's a lot of other optics available that you could try once you've mastered the use of binoculars and scopes. It varies from night vision, infrared, illuminating appeal, tools to photograph or record the observation on video among many other choices.

The best bird watching optics is there to help you find the right view, the right angle. When you are already geared up with such, all you need to be mindful about is where you could find the right spot.



Monday, May 29, 2017

BIRD WATCHING - Caring for Birds in the Winter

The needs of wild birds in the winter are different than their needs in warmer weather. Also, in the winter, birds may be arriving to feeders individually or in flocks. Consequently, their human friends need to provide birds with options.

English: Birds around a bird feeder made from ...
Birds around a bird feeder made from a Coke bottle in Johannesburg, South Africa. From left to right, a male Southern Masked Weaver, a male Cape Sparrow, a female Cape Sparrows, and two male Cape Sparrows. It is midwinter, so the birds are in on-breeding plumage.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Feeders should be placed near cover but in such a way that would allow birds to watch for danger. For ground feeding, one should find an area near cover but with a clear view of the surroundings so that danger can be spotted easily by the feeding birds. Feeders should be placed out of the wind. The east or southeast of the house is an ideal spot away from the wind. A perching spot such as a bush or tree should be found near the feeder. Trees and bushes provide safe refuge from the elements and predators.

To entice birds such as juncos, sparrows, brown thrashers and pheasants seeds can be put into a ground feeder. Even tree dwellers such as red=bellied woodpeckers will eat from ground feeders. Cardinals, chickadees, wrens, jays, and titmice prefer platform and hopper feeders. Because hanging feeders blow in the wind they are, generally, used by birds able to hang on while feeding such as finches, nuthatches, titmice and chickadees.

A great seed to offer during the winter is the sunflower seed. It has a high calorie per ounce. It, also, has a high fat and protein content and is thin shelled. The thin shell makes less of a mess when discarded by the birds.

Suet is great for feeding birds in the winter. It is a high-energy food with a pure fat substance which is invaluable for birds in the winter when insects are scarce and birds need more calories to keep their bodies warm. Suet can be fed in a variety of feeders ranging from suet cages to wooden feeders that offer protection from the elements.

Peanuts are another food that is good for birds in the winter. Peanuts have a high fat level and are often used in suet products. Peanuts provide a good source of protein for birds.

As at any other time, birds need to have a source of water. Bird baths are a great source for water and should be heated to prevent the whole bath from freezing. If bird bath de-icers are used, the bird baths should be able to stay out all winter with no problems.



Lastly, birds need some form of shelter in the winter to protect them from the elements and natural predators. Roosting boxes or natural covers are ideal. It is imperative to clean bird houses to help reduce the possibility of parasitic bugs that are able to survive the winter.

By following these simple, common-sense rules, anyone can see how rewarding bird watching can be, even in the winter.





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Top Ten Places to See BALD EAGLES With Your Binoculars

A threatened species whose numbers are improving and our national icon, these raptors are simply awesome. There are many great locations across the country where folks can view these large birds. Although the eagles live throughout the continental United States, Alaska, with about 50,000 eagles, has the most. 

American Bald Eagle fall mating ritual
American Bald Eagle fall mating ritual
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

 Here are the top ten National Wildlife Refuges for viewing:

  1. The Klamath Basin Refuges - Tulelake, CA, hosts the largest wintering concentration in the lower 48 states, often up to 1000 birds. Each year during the month of November, the birds begin to appear en masse on their Klamath Basin wintering grounds.
  2. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge - Basom, NY, Named for the Iroquois Indians, eagle watching is among the refuge's most popular activities.
  3. Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge - Woodbridge, VA, On the banks of the Potomac River, lies an 8000 acre peninsula, and the home of the first refuge established specifically for the protection of bald eagles.
  4. Patuxent Research Refuge - Laurel, MD, is the nation's only refuge established to support wildlife research. The 12,750-acre refuge, which supports a wide diversity of wildlife, is managed to protect native and migratory bird species.
  5. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - Cambridge, MD, Eagles are here in droves from the fall through the summer, taking advantage of the mix of marsh, forested uplands and some farm fields.
  6. Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge - Crystal River, FL, From October through April, many bald eagles winter and nest on the banks of the Chassahowitzka River. In fact, frequently, visitors will be greeted by a pair of bald eagles in a tree at the refuge entrance.
  7. DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge - Missouri Valley, IA, This refuge has become an important wintering area for up to 120 bald eagles.
  8. Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - Mound City, MO, Visitors can attend Bald Eagle days at the refuge this year on December 1 and 2 featuring live eagle shows and guided tours of the refuge's 2-300 bald eagles.
  9. Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge - Zimmerman, MN, is a particularly good spot for eagle viewing; an extensive network of shallow lakes that freeze and grow short of oxygen in the winter mean a seasonal fish kill that provides easy feeding in the spring, when groups of eagles descend to eat their fill.
  10. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge - Ridgefield, WA, Ridgefield is home to four nesting pair of bald eagles, but dozens more drop by in the winter, feeding on waterfowl and fish from the nearby Columbia River.

Bald eagles are simply amazing. The phrase "eagle eye" describes their highly developed visual ability, which can spot a moving rabbit almost a mile away. An eagle, flying at 1,000 feet altitude, can spot prey across almost 3 square miles. With wingspans of six to eight feet, these raptors can fly about 65 miles per hour and soar to altitudes of 10,000 feet, staying aloft for hours using natural wind currents and thermal updrafts. I encourage you to grab your binoculars and visit one of more of these locations that may be 'in your neighborhood' so that you too can view this amazing raptor.

    By James A. Dixon
    [http://allaboutbinoculars.com]
    Please visit my website for more information all about binoculars.
    Article Source: EzineArticles