Birding can sound complicated. But it’s a simple hobby you can take up, anytime, anywhere. And you can make as much or as little of it as you like: whether it is simply being a backyard observer or becoming an ornithology expert.
The benefits of birding are plentiful, no matter how involved it may be. Bird watching inspires us to spend more time outdoors and makes us feel more connected to natural spaces in our area. Not only that, but knowing about the birds and their ways offers gentle reminders that life continues.
So begin your birding journey: get to know their names, songs and behaviors; witness their springtime rituals of courtship and nesting; and watch the gathering flocks prepare for foraging and migration in the autumn season.
Here are some simple tips to get you started:
Maintain bird awareness
Birds can be seen and heard just about anywhere. Whenever you interact with the outdoors, whether sitting on the deck or hiking in your favorite nature preserve, make sure you pause for a moment to watch and listen for signs of bird life.
Find a trusted field guide
Find a resource that helps you identify bird species that are new to you. This might be a printed book or an app, two great resources that you can keep handy wherever you go. With your field guide in hand, you’ll quickly catch on to the “regulars” in your neighborhood, and how they behave. Keep it casual, or bump it up a notch and keep track of your sightings and observations in a journal.
For a trustworthy resource to help you identify the birds you see, we recommend the The Merlin ID App by the Cornell Lab.
Invest in a pair of binoculars
Viewing birds from a safe distance lets you quietly observe their behaviors and interactions. While this may be done with the naked eye, a pair of binoculars can help you get a sharper view. The key to zooming in on far-off birds is letting your ears be your guide. When you hear a song, soft chirping or calls, stay where you are, and follow the sound, scanning the ground and up in the trees — wherever your ears take you — until you catch their movement.
Share your sightings
While birding is often a solitary activity, it also bodes many social opportunities. Now, this doesn’t exactly mean bringing a bunch of friends to your favorite birding spot, as you may find your feathered friends to be a bit shy with such a crowd, but like any shared interest, bird watching offers another outlet to build connections.
Join a local club or share your photos on social media, and you’ll find friends among the birders across the globe. One great place to do that is Lyric’s Facebook page, where birders gather.
There’s no better way to start your birding journey than by setting up a bird feeder in your backyard! Make sure to fill your new feeder with the highest quality seeds for your backyard birds. Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix contains more than 50% sunflower seeds and nuts, and it’s blended to attract the widest variety of colorful species.