It doesn’t matter who you are, as long as your eyes are working properly, anyone can see a bird. All of us are familiar with wild birds and song birds in one form or another. Now you may not know all the names of the birds you see, as this requires practice in bird identification. However, bird watchers have developed some really cool ways to identify those feathered friends that inhabit your backyard networks, parks, lakes, open fields and the like. Every time you go on a bird watching outing, either by yourself or with a group of people, you want to make that trip successful every time! And there is no reason why it shouldn’t be if we keep in mind some simple tips that I would like to share with you today that will help you with your quest for spotting birds!
Noise Reduction: When you are spotting birds, you must remember to be quiet. Small song birds especially as well as other wild birds are easily startled by sudden movements and noise. This is something that you and your company need to keep in mind when embarking on your birding adventure. Because of a birds keen sense of hearing and seeing, it is next to impossible to “sneak up” behind a bird. Local park birds are typically a bit more friendly as they are used to being around people who are engaged with wild bird feeding, but you still need to be careful of any sudden noises when watching these song birds too. Another temptation that “new birders” do, is when they encounter a really cool looking bird, they tend to want to yell out to the others, “HEY, LOOK WHAT I FOUND – COOL!” That is a sure way to scare off the “cool bird” that you wanted everyone to look at. Birders eventually learn that they can whisper these same words to the rest of the party to reduce any and all noise reduction on the bird watching trip.
Movement Reduction: Making sudden movements when you are bird watching is a sure way to get those song birds moving. Just as a cat “stalks” its prey, you must learn how to “stalk” wild birds when you see them. Sudden, jerky, staccato-type movement startles birds, makes them nervous and will cause them to fly off. Even when you are pulling your bird field guide, like the Peterson field guides, out of your pocket or pulling your binoculars to your eyes can cause discomfort to the birds you are viewing and off they will fly. Just remember, the closer you get to the song bird, the slower and quieter you must be.
Avoid Bright Colored Clothes: Most of your wild birds don’t have the best vision when it comes to color; however, bright colored clothing, like fluorescent pinks and oranges, that contrast with the natural terrain of the environment you are in, will cause you to be more visible to the birds. I would encourage you to wear more browns, greys, greens, etc that are of a more earth tone color as to blend in more to the environment. Just be careful to watch out for any hunters in the area.
Try Spishing: What in the world is “spishing” or ask? Good question! This is something that bird watchers may do if all they have tried to do has failed. In other words, you have been quiet, patient, watchful, but the birds still don’t seem to be getting in a place to where you can get a good glance at them. Spishing is something that is done by kissing the back of your hand or blowing air through your front teeth to make a low whistled “spish” sound, of sorts. Smaller song birds and other small wild birds are interested in these sounds and by you “spishing” it should get there attention enough to where you can pull them out of the trees and bushes by whetting their curiosity. The way to do this is to either kiss the back of your hand, or clench your teeth, open your lips and whisper the word spish.
Whenever you go bird watching, it’s always good to bring along a group. The more eyes, the better. You may be looking at a Red Breasted Nuthatch and someone else may see a Solitaire that you didn’t notice. At any rate, bird watching is fun! The more you do it, the better you get. And for you beginners – don’t forget to bring along a mentor. They are worth their weight in gold! Happy Birding to you all!
For more information on how you can be ready for your next bird watching outing, simply visit the guys at The Birdhouse Outlet!