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Birdwatching

Bird Species Alpha Codes

Often times, experienced birders use a specialized code when taking notes about the various bird species they have seen. This code may seem confusing to novice birders but there really is a logical system at work.

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Using Bird Song Mnemonics

If you’ve spent much time in deep woods or around wetlands, you will know that it’s common to hear many more birds than you can see. At times like these, the birdwatcher’s best strategy is to rely less on visual cues and concentrate on the sounds made by the birds. Just like their plumage is unique to each species, so are the songs they sing. Being able to identify a bird by their song allows you to identify the species you can hear but cannot see.

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Tips for Finding Owls

Owls are solitary birds and for the most part, do not like being disturbed by humans. So they can be a bit tricky to find. Here are a few tips to help you locate owls.

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Birding with Young Kids

The arrival of a baby entails many lifestyle changes for new parents. Sleepless nights are in; early morning bird trips are out. The sight of endless flocks of shorebirds has now replaced the sight of endless diapers. But fear not, there is definitely birding after baby, it’s just different than what you are used to.

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Keeping a Bird Checklist for Your Yard

One of the best ways to nurture a budding interest in birdwatching is to keep a bird checklist. A checklist is simply a list of birds recorded in your area and “keeping a checklist” is using that checklist to keep track of all the birds you have seen.

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Glossary of Birdwatching Slang

Every hobby develops its own slang, the language by which the hobbyists most easily communicate with each other. Birdwatching is no different. In fact birdwatching may have more slang than most past-times due to both its popularity and the fact that birders come from every social, economic and cultural group. Here are some of the more colorful and commonly used slang terms in birdwatching.

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The Art of Pishing

Even if you have the best binoculars and field guides that money can buy, they are useless if that bird not only won’t come out of the bushes, but it also refuses to sing. And getting only occasional glances at the grayish-brown blob as it slips quietly through the dense branches is not very conducive to easy identification.

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Code of Birding Ethics

No matter where you are birdwatching, you are participating in an activity which affects a wild animal, whether it be the sparrows in your backyard or a rare warbler in a remote, old-growth forest. In either case, it is incumbent upon the birdwatcher to realize that there is the possibility that their actions may have a negative consequence on the birds they are watching.

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How to be a courteous birdwatcher

There are no rules in birdwatching, no laws, and no commandments. It is simply a hobby that you can practice anywhere, and at any time. That being the case, there are some guidelines which everyone should follow in the interest of courtesy and civility.

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What are bird checklists and why are they so useful?

A bird checklist is a list of all the different bird species which occur within a specific area. It’s called a checklist because it has evolved into a standardized format in which the order of bird species on the list follows an industry standard and each species can be checked off as you see them.

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