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So you want to learn to bird watch

There are many ways to identify a bird species. An experienced bird watcher will be able to identify a specific bird species simply by looking at its field marks. Field marks are characteristics such as size, shape, behavior, voice, and habitat. In order to become familiar with certain species, you should watch the birds in your yard, at a local park or anywhere you will be able to view the bird from a distance. To learn the species, you should watch the bird and try to remember as many of the field marks as you possibly can in the amount of time the bird remains in your sight. After you have studied the bird and noted its characteristics, you can then go to your field guide and identify the species.

I've got the basics, Now what?

The best times to look for birds are in the early morning until around 9:00 a.m. Once you become familiar with the species you are watching, you will want to go out with other people and bird watch. After you have a bird in your sight, you want to get a closer look. To aviod losing the bird, you should keep your head still and bring the binoculars up to you so that you don't lose the placement of the bird. Now that you have looked at the bird through your binoculars, you want to show others the beautiful bird you have spotted. In order to pinpoint the position of the bird to another person, the easiest way is to use a clock as a reference. Keeping in mind a clock as you describe the location, try to give as much information as possible so that others will be able to see the bird. Give reference points such as trees or other objects, and use the clock method to point out your bird.

Backyard Birding

There are a number of different places where you can watch birds. The most comfortable, however, is your very own backyard. Backyard Birding is something that you can do from the comfort of your own home at any time.

Using birdseed to bring the birds to your backyard is a good way to get a number of birds into your backyard. Some seeds are more popular than others when it comes to feeding. Sunflower seeds have a number of admirers including birds such as blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, as well as many others. To get a complete list of bird seed popularity, visit Backyard Bird Feeding.

After birds visit your bird house or your bird feeder, they may end up staying close by and nesting in a nearby tree. Different birds prefer different nesting situations.

For example, if you want to attract purple martins to your yard, place a house near a water source such as a pond which has open space around it. These birds need a lot (aprox. 40 ft.) of room around their houses to fly. To get the martins to nest, make sure that you have a large house with at least four large rooms since they nest in groups. The rooms should be at least six inches tall with a 2½ hole for them to enter through.

To get tips about how to attract a number of other beautifully interesting birds to your backyard, visit Homes for Birds and get great information about how to produce houses for different types of birds.

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Informative Bird Sites

Bird IdentificationBird BandingU.S. Bird Checklist
Build a Milk Carton Bird FeederIntroduction to Bird Watching
Backyard Bird FeedingDirectoryBird Articles

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Bird Watching: the basics of bird watching
Problem Birds: General Problems that come with birds
Bird Problems: General Problems that birds have
Bird Ethics: The Code of Birding Ethics

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