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

Friday, December 7, 2018

BIRD WATCHING in Arizona

Photo: Flickr
Bird watching in Arizona indefinitely 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.

The place is also perfect if you want to see rare kinds of birds such as seasonal species of kingbirds, chickadees, becards, gnatcatchers, titmice, 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 an 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 a 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 a 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 a 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. 



Monday, December 3, 2018

The Best BIRD WATCHING Optics

English: View of rocks from bird watching hide.
View of rocks from bird watching hide. - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The passion for bird watching starts with a simple idea of mere observation of the different kinds of such species. But as years progress and technology develop, more and more bird watching optics become available in the market and your aim is to find which one is the best.

The Idea
If you are interested to know how a person starts 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 a 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 bird feeders 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 a 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.



Thursday, November 29, 2018

BIRD WATCHING - Caring for Birds in the Winter

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

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 birdhouses 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.




Saturday, November 10, 2018

Top Ten Places to See BALD EAGLES With Your Binoculars

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

 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 or more of these locations that may be 'in your neighborhood' so that you too can view this amazing raptor.




Thursday, October 4, 2018

BIRD WATCHING Scopes

Boy-with-binoculars
Boy-with-binoculars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird watching is a popular hobby in the US with already more than 50 million members and this figure is expected to grow. Of course, you have to get close to them in order to see it which is why the hobbyist needs to have a bird watching scope. 

While some people use binoculars, hunting optics seem to be much better and if you want to know which of these are the best to buy, they are namely ATN, Bushnell, Leupold, Nikon and Swarovski.

So you know what species you’ve seen in your scope, you will have to refer to a bird watching book that is readily available at the store.   

But what if you want to see and take pictures of them at the same time? For that, you will need the digital camera binoculars. 

This type of bird watching scope allows you to take high-quality images.  These happen to be the latest innovation in technology that allows you to take shots even at night and then download it into your desktop or laptop. 

Very lightweight and compact, you can easily carry it no matter where you go. If you don’t like the picture you took, you can review it by displaying this on the LCD screen then deleting this image and taking a better shot. 

Another great feature of the digital camera binoculars is that you can record a live video for up to 20 seconds or more. It is very affordable and a great addition to those who want to take a bird watching to the next level. 

Some of the brands that sell this bird watching digital camera include Barka, Bushnell, Celestron and Meade. These companies are the best in the business and if you want to take more shots, you just have to change the flash card from a 64MB to one that can accommodate 1 GB.

There are two features you have to look for when comparing these brands. These are namely the objective lens size and the magnification power. Objective lens size will determine the field of view while the magnification power may be from 7x to 10x. 

Of course, don’t forget to check if the bird watching scope has a clear LCD display, good resolution and as mentioned earlier, the video capture option. Since it is hard to stay in one position for a long time, you should also check if your new toy can be mounted on a tripod.   

As much as we want to buy the best digital camera binoculars around, one thing that we have to consider is our budget. If some brands are beyond your price range, you can either wait until you have more money or settle for those that are within your reach. Once you have narrowed that, it is time for you to try them out. 



It should be durable, lightweight and water resistant because it has to withstand the elements. Speed is also another factor so you are able to capture the bird should it fly away suddenly and you are able to add this to your collection at home. 

Aside from checking out the merchandise, do some research and see what reviews have been written about the product. These bird watching scopes area also great for other activities like boating, hiking and hunting so get something that can be used all around in the outdoors. 



Monday, September 24, 2018

BIRD WATCHING During Spring Migration

English: Illustration of Northern Lapwings fro...
Illustration of Northern Lapwings
from Edmund Selous's Bird Watching
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bird watching during spring migration is an incredible treat for all birdwatchers, newbies and veterans alike. The month of May ushers in spring along with the largest influx of migratory birds that provides an unparalleled experience for expectant spectators. 

Hundreds of migratory birds fly in from different parts of the world which is why this season is much awaited in the bird watching scene. Many different bird species can be spotted and enjoyed during this time which makes it easy even for first-time bird watchers to sight even the often rare and difficult to sight birds. 

Different birds of different feathers flock together during this momentous time which is why much serious bird watching enthusiasts travel great lengths, often crossing continents to track and sight migratory birds during spring. Fortunately, one need not travel too far to enjoy this natural phenomenon. All one has to do to take part in this wonderful event is to track the migratory patterns of these birds through simple research and find out good places for sighting.

To do this, one may start by finding out the different local bird watching activities that usually culminate during International Migratory Bird Day. Take advantage of the interstate bird watching activities both for the bird sightings and also for the networking. These festivals often offer various bird-related activities that are not necessarily actual bird watching so there is something for everyone and you can bring your family along if needed.

Meeting and talking with other bird watching enthusiasts will help equip you with the necessary tips and tools to further progress in this worthwhile hobby of birding.  

If you’re willing to travel a bit farther up north during spring, you will be welcomed by a wonderful bird watching experience staged at the Canadian side of Lake Ontario at Prince Edward Point. 

The annual Prince Edward County Birding Festival is flocked by migratory birds and bird watching enthusiasts alike. In fact, if you are new at bird watching, you may want to put off visiting this area during spring migration for the reason that it will be very difficult to top the experience of birding here. After visiting Prince Edward County regular bird watching locations may begin to fall short of your expectations and if you aren’t a serious bird watching enthusiast yet, you may soon become one after this experience. 

To partake of this wonderful natural experience, you can opt to join established bird watching trips to this area. With an experienced guide and a group of other enthusiasts, you will be able to better appreciate the trip to one of the best staging areas of migratory birds. 



Be sure to book your trip and finalize your plans beforehand because you may be hard pressed to do otherwise. All the advanced preparations will be worth it anyway from the sheer amount of wonderful bird species you will be sure to see along with the invaluable camaraderie and networking you can do with other new and old bird watching enthusiasts alike. 

Whether you consider bird watching as a casual hobby or your life’s passion, remember that bird watching during spring migration is something that you must try, even if you only try out local haunts, to begin with. 

Be forewarned though that experiencing this kind of event may convert you into a serious birder whether you intend to be one or not. 



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Basic BIRD WATCHING Apparel - The Must-Haves

English: Sheena Harvey editor of Bird Watching...
Sheena Harvey editor of BirdWatching magazine,
at a bird-watchers' fair at Middleton Hall.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In anything you do, it is better if you are geared up for an activity before it even starts so that you'll be able to give your best once you are into it.  Same is true when it comes to bird watching.

Which One?
Are you a birdwatcher or a birder? The birdwatchers do such activity for fun. They are fond of the birds but they also want to enjoy the sights. They do their observation even without the help of any kit but, of course, they won't say no to a binocular but doesn't really mind its class or type. They are doing the activity to relax. And they can do such wherever they please, including at their own backyards.

The birders are serious about the activity. They don't merely want to observe, they want to learn and share that knowledge for the world to know. They study each and every movement of each and every species of the birds they encounter. They would go the extra mile to seek out new territories, to find out new kinds of birds and to study such further.

Between the two types of bird watching enthusiast, birders require the more apparel to them because of their purpose for doing the act. Those things that the birders need to have can also be used by the birdwatchers but they aren't really particular about such stuff.

Geared Up
The basic needs of a person involved in this activity are, of course, the binoculars, spotting scope would also be helpful especially the kind with a tripod, notepad wherein to keep their journal and field guides. 

The binoculars become so popular with bird watching activity that manufacturers even came up with the type that is intended only for this action. This tool helps one see the birds clearly. Although the good ones cost more than the simpler versions, it is advisable to invest on such especially if you are doing this activity with such passion and you feel the need to know more and more about the birds that you are observing or have already seen.

Purchasing a spotting scope with a tripod is like declaring the passion to a different level. Now, you're proving to be more serious about what you're doing and that you want to see more clearly than what the binoculars can do. Spotting scopes are actually telescopes, this is why its view can reach farther. This type is mounted on a tripod for the user's easy navigation.

The field guides can be useful for someone who's into the activity to know where to go, to ascertain where to look and to help them easily locate what they are looking for. They can keep as many depending on where they have been or where they plan to go.

A notepad is also a bird watcher's best friend. They can document on it, jot down their observation, list down the things that are bogging them and note what they what to find out in future research.

As days go by, the bird watching apparel available in the market becomes more and more complicated but likewise helpful for the enthusiasts. It is advisable to invest in good quality even though the cost is higher because, in the long run, you'll benefit more from such because it will last longer.



Monday, July 30, 2018

Basic BIRD WATCHING Clothing

English: Personal image. Sea bird watching nea...
Seabird watching near Big Sur, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In anything you do, it is better if you are geared up for an activity before it even starts so that you'll be able to give your best once you are into it.  Same is true when it comes to bird watching.

Which One?
Are you are a birdwatcher or a birder? The birdwatchers do such activity for fun. They are fond of the birds but they also want to enjoy the sights. They do their observation even without the help of any kit but, of course, they won't say no to a binocular but doesn't really mind its class or type. They are doing the activity to relax. And they can do such wherever they please, including at their own backyards.

The birders are serious about the activity. They don't merely want to observe, they want to learn and share that knowledge for the world to know. They study each and every movement of each and every species of the birds they encounter. They would go the extra mile to seek out new territories, to find out new kinds of birds and to study such further.

Between the two types of bird watching enthusiast, birders require the more apparel to them because of their purpose for doing the act. Those things that the birders need to have can also be used by the birdwatchers but they aren't really particular about such stuff.

The basic needs of a person involved in this activity are, of course, the binoculars, spotting scope would also be helpful especially the kind with a tripod, notepad wherein to keep their journal and field guides. 

The binoculars become so popular with bird watching activity that manufacturers even came up with the type that is intended only for this action. This tool helps one see the birds clearly. Although the good ones cost more than the simpler versions, it is advisable to invest on such especially if you are doing this activity with such passion and you feel the need to know more and more about the birds that you are observing or have already seen.



Purchasing a spotting scope with a tripod is like declaring the passion to a different level. Now, you're proving to be more serious about what you're doing and that you want to see more clearly than what the binoculars can do. Spotting scopes are actually telescopes, this is why its view can reach farther. This type is mounted on a tripod for the user's easy navigation.

The field guides can be useful for someone who's into the activity to know where to go, to ascertain where to look and to help them easily locate what they are looking for. They can keep as many depending on where they have been or where they plan to go.

A notepad is also a bird watcher's best friend. They can document on it, jot down their observation, list down the things that are bogging them and note what they what to find out in future research.

As days go by, the bird watching apparel available in the market becomes more and more complicated but likewise helpful for the enthusiasts. It is advisable to invest in good quality even though the cost is higher because, in the long run, you'll benefit more from such because it will last longer.



Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Importance of Keeping a BIRD WATCHING Life List

English: Birders using a tower hide at Halikon...
Birders using a tower hide at Halikonlahti, Salo, Finland.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The bird watching life list is a record kept by the birders. This also serves as a tracker device for the people involved in the activity and for those who are conducting related studies. And this is a very important tool for those who love the action and actually has the passion for such. 

Bird Watchers
The people that are being categorized as bird watchers are those who are only starting out. Everybody who is into this activity first become a bird watcher or just a mere observer. Their curiosity actually lead them to look and then look more until they've developed a habit of looking farther to see what the birds are doing and how they do it.

For such type, a journal would be fine. This is where they jot down their observations for the purpose of not forgetting. These notes would actually be helpful if they take their hobby to a different level, by being a birder. But for now, let the simple note taking do it for them. Theirs is a more simple task because what they see is far from scientific because they still don't have the equipment and the ability to see beyond what their naked eyes seem to tell them.

Birders
These are the more passionate people about the craft. They are not merely hobbyists, they do this to study and relate their observation with scientific research. This group would invest in materials to strengthen their claims. They are always on the lookout for the newest technology that could help them navigate more thoroughly. Birders go where the birds are.

Through research, they go the extra mile to travel where the birds that they haven't seen or haven't been seen by many are situated. The keep track of what happened on their journey. They take notes along the way. 

Life List
This is what the electronic or written records contain. Such things can be done by the birders. As they search for the species, the venues in which they could find more types, and looking out for yet to be discovered kinds of birds, they contain it all in a life list.

The information in a life list should include where a certain type of bird was seen, classifying the bird and the date when it was seen. Noting what the bird's usual activities are and how they went on about such is also part of this.

The birders have variety and a long list of this kind. It shows their history as an enthusiast of how far they have gone in terms of the activity and how much they have already seen and learned in the process.

They can always go back to this data to change or modify some information depending on their further observation. This is the reason why as days or years go by and as the number of life lists being made by a birder piles up the data gear more towards being scientific because more proofs are available when anyone tries to contest what was recorded.

Keeping a bird watching life list would also benefit people in the future. As the study about the different types of birds become more and more varied, people can always refer to the information provided by the birders on this list for further researches to become more and more accurate. 



Saturday, June 30, 2018

BIRDWATCHING For Beginners - Where to Find the Birds

English: Students watching birds at Nador Lago...
Students watching birds at Nador Lagoon  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The fascinating hobby of birdwatching can take you into a variety of beautiful, natural settings. As a longtime birdwatcher, I've often found myself drawn into such a blissful state while scanning the lovely scenery, that I almost forget to look for birds!

Buy yourself a field guide to the birds of your area and decide what kind of birds you wish to see. You'll find that the hobby of birdwatching encourages you to build up a Life List, which is a list of all the birds that you have seen. Various habitats provide different opportunities for birdwatching.
A woodland setting allows you to see sparrows, warblers. Woodpeckers, and songbirds. In spring and fall, visit forested areas for migratory warblers and songbirds. Summer offers a view of nesting birds, though the birds may be harder to see due to the foliage.

Meadows provide an open area for viewing hawks, vultures, larks, and many other birds in flight. The flora and insects in open fields attract a variety of birds. In addition, a meadow offers a wide field of view.

Birdwatching can be exciting when you visit wetlands because many of the birds you'll see in the marshes are large, dramatic creatures that are easy to spot. Go birdwatching in or at the edge of a wetland area if you want to see herons, egrets, rails, ducks, and eagles.

Large stretches of open water not only provide you with beautiful scenery but a vast array of birding opportunities. Gulls, terns, pelicans, and sandpipers are fun to watch. On ocean beaches, you can often see pelagic birds in the winder. Pelagic birds spend all or most of their lives on or above open water and rarely set foot on land. You can watch the amazing flights of gannets from your beachfront balcony.

And don't forget one of the best places to birdwatch - your own backyard. Provide food and water to attract a wide variety of birds that you can view from your window. Sparrows, cardinals, mockingbirds, robins, finches, chickadees, nuthatches, and smaller woodpeckers are fond of backyard bird feeders.



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.