Bird watchers come from all walks of life. You don’t need a fancy pair of binoculars or expensive telescope to participate. Nor do you need to read tons of books, websites, and articles before you can call yourself a bird watcher. All you need are keen eyes, an ability to slow down and use your senses to take in the world around you, and a natural interest in our feathered friends.
Birds are all around us. There are so many amazing varieties of birds in trees, flying, on the ground, and living near dwelling places, and yet so many people fail to notice them. We have only to go out, meet them, observe them, and get to know their names to realize the great abundance of birds that exist in our world, in just about every climate.
Some people watch birds because they are fascinated by their beauty, their songs, and their stories. Where do they come from and where do they go? Others enjoy the identifying and collecting nature of bird watching, keeping track of which birds they have seen and identifying any new birds they have come across. Others enjoy photographing birds and sharing their photos with others online and in print form. Many others enjoy the health benefits of bird watching because it entails being outside, walking around, and getting fresh air. Others enjoy the social aspect of bird watching, while some prefer watching birds in solitude where birds are easier to spy on without the noise of other people around. Whatever the reason, bird watching can be a very enjoyable educational and social activity.
You can buy a good pair of binoculars or telescope to help you see birds up close, but you can also just use your eyes to see birds that are closer. A good long-range camera can also help you to see birds up close and capture them for identification purposes later. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and type of environment you will be in. Wear plenty of sunscreen for sunny days and bring a good coat or windbreaker for colder days. Some people think that all birds fly south during the winter, but you might be surprised at the number of birds that stay in northern parts, for all but the harshest of winters. Another great way to identify birds is by their sounds. You can find many bird sounds online. Professional bird watchers memorize bird sounds and use them to identify and count the various bird species in the wild. This web page however, is not meant for the professional, but rather amateur bird watchers in the UK.