It’s in our nature. To improve, test our limits and grow each and every day. For many of us, we can equate these goals or needs to many areas of our life. Whether we want to run more, hit the gym more, learn more or spend more quality time with loved ones, we are always pushing the envelope to better ourselves and our life experiences.
The same can be said about birding.
Most of us set out with a touch of curiosity, a love for the outdoors and a desire for a closer connection to nature. We hang up our feeders, fill them with the very best seed available and revel in the results.
While we may never grow tired of admiring our backyard birds that now seem to come so effortlessly, many of us long for deeper connections with both nature and birds. We set out into the wild in search of different species, in an attempt to better our song-identifying skills and perhaps to grab a photo or two in the process.
With this in mind, here are five fantastic products any growing birder can use to better their birding game:
Most of us own one of these guides, but a surprising number of birders still go without one. These in-depth texts give us a reference point for a variety of bird species and you can often find guides specifically printed for your specific geographic region.
Already have one? There is nothing wrong with having an alternative guide. With unique points of view, information and geographical information, you really can’t just have one!
There is not much worse than squinting and guessing your way to a positive ID when a bird is just out of clear sight. As we move into the field, you might not always have the ability to get as close as you might like to your subject and a good pair of binos can certainly help. Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger and unfortunately, they old viewfinders might not be as sharp as they once were!
So you have binoculars and you still want to up your game? A high-end spotting scope might be just what you need. These scopes are extremely effective from long-range distances. In addition to spotting birds from a distance, either across an open meadow or high in a treetop, they can also give you a great peek at other animals you might spot along the way.
There is truly something special about reflecting on a past encounter, experience or feeling while reading something you wrote in the past. The same can be said for birding.
While many of us encounter hundreds, if not thousands, of birds in our lives, how can we truly preserve that experience? The use of a birding journal.
By documenting where, when and how you spotted a reclusive species can both help you locate and observe other species, but a journal also keeps that memory intact for years to follow.
Many of our equipped with smartphones these days and yes, they have the ability to take fantastic pictures. As our passion for birding grows, so does our passion for photography and visually documenting these special moments.
Many birders have turned to photography, utilizing DLSR cameras, lenses and other accessories to capture those truly special moments in the field.