The birds will have something that their observation fascinates more people every day. We don’t know what atrract people most. Is that their fragility, or its great diversity, or the beauty of its plumage, changing, colorful, cryptic …, or the expectacularity of its courtships, or its great voyages, or its ability to fly, (this without a doubt), or the mixture of all this, which arouses in us a feeling of admiration and a yearning for freedom, which lead us to look for them, observe them, want to know more about them and the more you know, the more you discover that you do not know … and thus this hobby ends up becoming your favorite. We hope that with the help of this article you will forget those frustrations and together let’s be better in this.
But before we begin…
A little history
The enthusiasm for this, let’s say for aesthetic purposes, arose in the late eighteenth century in Britain through the efforts of several English naturalists. This custom is then expanded by studying the natural history of birds during the Victorian era (19th century).
At the end of this century, there are movements and other organizations who advocated the protection and proposed that they be observed alive and in their respective habitats, rather than being hunted. However, it was not until the 20th century that this practice became widespread, mainly due to the birth of new science, Ethology (the comparative study of animal behavior), thanks to the contributions of many scientists, who based his theoretical premises on the study of the behavior of various groups in a free state.
The term first appeared in the British book published in 1901. This author strongly defended the need to protect them, since some species were on the verge of extinction due to the harmful practice of capturing them for display in cages or killing them to be embalmed or consumed as food.
In the past, identification was only possible through capture and death, but the development of better binoculars and the production of illustrated field guides allowed to be identified from a distance without the need to kill them.
And now we will present to you the essential equipment you need to have as well as technology which further enhanced equipment and whole expirience…
There are only two essential elements: a pair of binoculars and a field guide, these two elements make bird watching a relatively cheap activity. Binoculars are a basic piece of equipment. The most suitable for this activity are:
The first number indicates the power or number of amplifications of the image. Thus, binoculars that are 10×50 will magnify the image 10 times: if the object is 100 meters away, I will appear as if it were 10 meters away.
The second number indicates the diameter of the outer lens, which determines the width of the visual field and the brightness of the image. To choose your binoculars, you must consider the characteristics of the places where you will normally make your observations. A power of 10xes suitable for open sites such as beaches, meadows or deserts.
A lower amplification is optimal for wooded places where it is not possible to see very far and the lighting is less. 7x binoculars are recommended for beginners because of their wide field. If you are just starting out with these activities and are planning to buy your first binoculars or buy better than you currently have, Targetfrog.com has put together a detailed buying guide and reviews for you. There you will also be able to read about all the technological advances and innovations that new binoculars models have.
2. Field guide
There has been a real explosion in the publication of field guides for identification in recent years. Today, however, there are many specific field guides for certain regions of the country, as well as for certain specific groups of birds, such as raptors, shorebirds, seabirds, hummingbirds, ducks, sparrows, etc. However, beginners need to consider general guidelines at the beginning when they want to purchase their first field guide. It’s also no longer necessary to carry a bunch of heavy books with you and then search hundreds of pages. Technological advances have brought us smartphones and tablets, where we will have at our fingertips in the PDF version all the books we need and easily search them with various search options.
New, digital cameras allow you to save every moment you want quickly and in the highest resolution. Often, smartphones have more than enough quality cameras for all amateurs. However, if you are a hard core photography enthusiast, then some of the many models with different lenses will be the right choice for you.
4. Electronic Insect Repellent
What is inevitable while staying in nature are insects. And that can ruin your whole experience. Therefore, it is recommended that you have electrical insect repellents. These are handheld devices that repel insects without having to apply something to your skin. They are also great because they protect not only you but all the people you came with in the woods.
5. Portable battery
You no longer have to worry about running out of battery on some devices. With portable batteries, you can always top up your device anywhere and continue to enjoy your activities.
You no longer have to be a map interpretation expert. Just turn on the GPS on one of the devices and quickly and easily reach the desired destination.
With all these innovations, this already wonderful and healthy hobby will become even easier and more beautiful. So you see that you do not need much to get started, so on your next walk, whether it be through a nearby park, or some natural environment, open your eyes well, be careful or attentive, I am sure you will differentiate several different species.
And just to give you one tip, every time you want to see another new species and so every time you want to go further, and this hobby ends up taking you around the world and that is most beautiful part!