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Birdwatching for Beginners – Lessons and Insights

We all love watching birds; bird watching is a healthy hobby and an introduction to our natural environment. We can watch birds with the naked eye or through binoculars or telescopes.

It is a recreational activity and modern bird watching became possible due to the evolution and availability of optical aids, i.e. binoculars. It enabled people to see and study birds without harming them.

Birding, often called bird watching, is very popular in countries such as the United States of America and Britain. The best time to watch birds is during spring. Many birds sing and build nests to raise their young. A good pair of binoculars helps to see birds that are far away, clearly! Using a telescope, you can see the birds even more clearly.

Following are the steps for bird watching for beginners:

Use a bird identification app/book

It is very important to have a handy bird identification book/application for anyone just starting out on their bird-watching journey. If you are passionate about birds and interested in learning about them, go for an application for when you can identify or research a bird species when you stumble across one.

On the other hand, if you want to pursue watching birds as a hobby, you can carry a book with you that has every bird species enlisted in detail.

Categorization of birds

Learning to categorize birds is one of the first skills you can learn. This step is a crucial one as it simplifies the process of identification of birds. As you delve deep into the field of bird watching, you become more and more experienced and encounter more species of birds.

Recognizing and identifying birds by their names is a skill most bird watchers develop after they watch birds consistently. You can use an array of bird identification applications from time to time.

Do you need binoculars for bird watching?

We can see birds through our naked eye. However, the most vital piece of birding equipment is a binocular! Every person would like a close-up of the bird they come across, and every intricate beauty of the bird is revealed in its close-up.

A binocular will always satisfy you and provide the bird’s subtle details. It’s not compulsory to have a pair of binoculars while birding.

However, it will make the experience worthwhile the effort! Some parameters you should consider for choosing a pair of binoculars are finding a balance between weight, magnification, the quality of optics, durability, and the value for money!


Many people are adding a camera to their bird-watching arsenal. You can substitute binoculars for a camera which has a decent zoom lens.

The camera adds an edge to your bird-watching experience, allowing the watchers to study the photographed bird with great precision. Thereby, one will be able to get accurate information about that bird.

Owing to the recent developments in technologies, many cameras are now GPS-enabled. Thus, the images you take can be tagged with location data.

How to get started with your birding life list?

A birding life list is a list of all the species of birds that one has come across in their entire life. You should keep track of birds you have yet to see. The very first time you see a species of bird, it will be a moment to remember.

Moreover, the list can also be a source of enlightenment as it can be used for discussing certain bird species and debate identifications.

What do you learn from bird watching?

  • Bird watching is the best and most noteworthy experience of your life. You not only get to watch and study different species of birds, but you also get a reason to explore the world! Bird watching and exploring new places go hand in hand together! Birding expands new horizons and gives you countless possibilities to explore this beautiful world!
  • Bird watching gives you a chance to roam around with like-minded people. You will see people from all walks of life coming together and pursuing the hobby they are passionate about!
  • You learn to cherish the small things in life, and birding inherently makes you live in the moment. Birding makes you appreciate life’s small stuff and helps you find balance in your heart and your head.

What are the health benefits associated with bird watching?

Bird-watching encourages mindfulness

It has been proven that practicing mindfulness through bird watching has been scientifically proven improve one’s mental health. When you listen to birds chirping, it brings you peace of mind and recovers you from ongoing stress issues.

When you immerse yourself in birding, you automatically shift your mind away from all the worries of the world.

It keeps you physically active

Birding is an outdoor activity, and in the quest to locate and learn about birds, you end up hiking on different terrains.

One simply doesn’t need to exercise if one goes out on an expedition to watch birds. It releases endorphins or happiness hormones, which help you boost your mood.

It keeps you social

You can go bird-watching all by yourself or with a set of people. When you go out with a thriving community of like-minded individuals, you end up meeting new people who share the same passion for birding.

It keeps you alert

Bird watching can be daunting sometimes. You might end up in terrain that is rough or weather conditions that are unprecedented.

Thus, bird watching can be challenging sometimes, and it does keep you alert. You end up learning to tackle setbacks and hurdles and become a stronger person in the process!

Final words

Many studies have shown that bird watching can decrease stress levels, increase kindness, and make you happier. Bird watching will also provide you with real moments of awe!

Some things you should remember while bird watching are protecting their habitats while following your passion. One more thing you should be mindful of is not disturbing the birds or the ecosystem just to get a perfect picture of the bird. There are certain bird protection laws that one must abide by!

Written by Emma Parker

Hi, I'm Emma Parker, a passionate outdoors enthusiast and blogger. I love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors and sharing my experiences with others.

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