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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. The codes are alphabetic (hence the name alpha codes)...
Using Bird Song Mnemonics

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. And sometimes, when those hidden birds finally do come into the open, it’s only for a brief glimpse before they drop...
Tips for Finding Owls

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. NOTE – Owls are very sensitive to disruptions in their daily routine or the presence of large...
Birding with Young Kids

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...
Keeping a Bird Checklist for Your Yard

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....
Quick Tips for More Enjoyable Birding Trips

Quick Tips for More Enjoyable Birding Trips

There are a number of things you can do to make your birdwatching trip more enjoyable. Or at least, less annoying when the weather turns foul or you are just having one of those days. Here are a few tips that seem perfectly logical when we are out in the field but we...
Where Can You go Birdwatching? Everywhere.

Where Can You go Birdwatching? Everywhere.

Some beginning birders seem to think that real birdwatching occurs only in state parks or national parks or at well known birding hotspots. But the truth is, birdwatching can done wherever you are. If you live in a city and are glancing out your front window, you may...
Tips for Novice Birders – Part 2

Tips for Novice Birders – Part 2

A few more tips which come in handy when you are just starting out in the world of birdwatching. Birds don’t always look like they do in the guidebooks! The image in the field guide was painted (or sometimes photographed) in perfect lighting conditions, using a...
Tips for Novice Birders – Part 1

Tips for Novice Birders – Part 1

The number of things to consider when preparing for a few hours of pleasant birding can be daunting for someone new to the hobby of birdwatching. And this is even before having to deal with trying to identify what seems like a million birds flying by. But like any...

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...

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...

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...

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, not to mention...

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...
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