A Birdwatching Beginner’s Guide

Birdwatching is a hobby that gives you a chance to get outside and enjoy the beauty found in nature. To be a good birder, you need to be quiet enough not to disturb the creatures you’re hoping to observe. However, you can bring a companion on these outings and enjoy low-key conversations as well.

Birdwatching Equipment

Much of the equipment you need for birdwatching is exactly the same equipment you need for hiking. A sun hat, UV protection, good hiking boots, and bug repellent can make your birding experience more enjoyable. Fleece and rain jackets will help to keep you warm and dry. You will also need a backpack to carry your gear. If you’re thinking about bringing cameras or other electronics, investing in a waterproof backpack cover is a good idea. Be sure to try out a few spotting scopes, and don’t forget to pack a field guide.

Community Engagement

If you’re new to an area and would like to check out the local natural environment, birdwatching is a great way to start. It’s also an excellent option for anyone who needs a fresh look at their local community. If there’s a public aviary in your area, that’s a great place to go to get information about birdwatching groups near you. Check out the many birdwatching forums and Facebook groups online, too. Birdwatching is a very popular hobby that can be enjoyed with a small investment. You may be surprised to learn that over 52 million people are birdwatchers, resulting in a $6.9 billion dollar per year industry. You can find others who enjoy time in the great outdoors, get some fresh air and explore your community as a beginning birdwatcher.

At Home or Away

You don’t need to travel to distant spots to enjoy birdwatching. There may be wildlife refuges in your area that attract many species of birds. You may also be able to locate bodies of water near your home that offer plenty of viewing options. Finally, don’t forget to keep your back yard bird-friendly. There are many commercially built bird feeders that you can install in a small backyard or on a patio to invite local birds to dine. Bird food with millet is as popular as they are sweet, and bird food blocks with suet can help birds survive the winter. Remember that dawn and sunset are usually when birds are most active, so keep an eye on your feeders then. Alternatively, you can certainly make a trip for your new hobby.


Birdwatching is one of the few hobbies that can be as complex or simple as you like. With feeders in place and an eye on your schedule, you can learn the feeding habits and times of local birds. If you enjoy travel, you can do some research on birds common to the area you’re about to visit and bring your spotting scope and field guide.

Ready to get started on your journey? Read What Is A Good Spotting Scope? A Beginners Buying Guide To Spotting Scopes next!

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