Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birding as a Hobby

One of the most fruitful hobbies you can cherish is Birding (commonly known as Bird Watching). Not only will you be satisfied with it, you will enjoy each and every experience. It can be indulged in your free time, or over the weekends. In fact, you can watch birds everyday (or, anytime) right from your door.


What you will need for Birding


Most birders are ‘freshers’ to the hobby. All they know is this: stay quiet, spot a bird, observe it, take a pic, get help IDing it, post the pic on a social network, etc. This is more than sufficient for a beginner. If you really want to get into birding, you need to invest in some items to enhance your experience.


A good pair of binoculars is essential. You don’t need a very expensive pair, but something that you can afford and that has a good range of view. It can become very difficult to spot birds with the naked eye, especially when they are at an elevation or hidden away among the leaves and branches.


A camera. While you may invest in a point-and-shoot (p&s) camera that can help you take instant pics of birds, getting your hands on a DSLR camera with a good telephoto (between 300-600mm) lens will make you a serious birder. Here’s why: the p&s camera will require that you go very close to the bird if you want a good shot. That is sure to spook the bird out of sight. The telephoto lens will enable you to take pictures of the birds from a distance without intruding into their comfort zone. Most professional photos are taken with a minimum zoom lens of at least 600mm.




Tripod or monopod. This is an essential equipment to carry along if you want rock-steady un-blurred photos of the birds you’ve spotted.

A local bird guide book. This acts as a handy reference and a great complement to your hobby.





Where to go Birding?


Perhaps, you’re thinking you need to travel far to the mountains (or hills), forests or lakes to find birds. You will find them; but, you will also find them right in your backyard! The best time to go birding is early in the morning between 5:45am and 7:30am. This is the time all birds are awake and alert. They’re waiting for the sun to come up so that they can warm themselves up for a while. That’s when you can spot them. Their merry chirping will almost always lead you to find them.


If you’re done with your local area, you could visit a nearby lake or shrub area. Scout around. You can find birds on large campuses, wooded areas, compounds with trees, lake shores, electric wires, and some urban dwelling.


Join a birding group in your city; you will be able to get a lot of information from fellow bird watchers. Keep this hobby alive. It will draw your mind to the creator who has carefully thought out all the patterns, designs and colors for the birds you see around.


Keep visiting this blog for information about where you can go Birding in Bangalore and what birds you can expect to spot.

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