It’s a busy time of year for our back yard birds as well all begin to gear up for the fall season. At this point of the year many of the flycatchers and warblers have already left town and those that might still remain will be leaving very shortly.
While many early migrants have already left us, there are still many species still hanging around along with our resident species who are preparing to brave the cooler temperatures.
As we kick off fall, now is a great time to spend some time in field, whether it be rural forested areas or urban parks and spaces, the following tips are bound to up your bird watching game this fall.
A staple for any avid birder is a good set of optics, allowing for an up close and personal viewing of some of our favourite bird species. One common mistake many birders make is heading out in the field without your optics properly dialed in for the terrain.
Each location requires different settings, so always be sure to pre-set the focus on your binoculars based on your location. Scan the treetops and take note of potential spotting opportunities and set your binoculars’ focus accordingly. This will save you time bumbling around with your optics when you finally spot that elusive species.
When birding with friends or a group of people, the temptation to chat can sometimes be overwhelming. Save the chit-chat for after your excursion, as the name of the game here is stealthy operation.
With that in mind, you will also want to pay close attention to the way you move through the woods. As bipedal species, we humans can make an amazing amount of racket while traversing through the woods. This is a definite red flag to birds and other wildlife, which will waste no time retreating when alerted to the telltale movements of a human being.
To increase your chances of sneaking up on a bird or other member of the animal kingdom, we need to move like they do. Do your best to take no more than four steps at a time and move extremely quietly. In performing these movements, you are replicating the sounds of other wildlife such as deer and, in most cases, allow you to sneak into a prime viewing location.
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