Are you a birder without knowing it?
You see them floating, soaring, migrating, or perching. You hear their chirping, singing, honking, or quacking. They draw your attention with their brilliant coloring and you wonder what kind they are and all of a sudden you are a bird watcher. Not the kind with big binoculars but maybe you look for them along the roadside and notice a variety that you have not see before and it gets to be a pastime.
More people take part in this hobby than is apparent. In many homes you will find a book about local birds, a bird house or feeder. And when a colorful or exotic bird chances by most people do take notice. In the Daily Press list of Top 10 Hobbies, they list bird watching as number 4 on the list. One source stated bird watching is second only to photography.
What stops most people from considering themselves birders is the daunting task of identifying and naming the birds that you see. But you don’t need to get hung up on this. Start identifying common birds and you will see you know more than you think. See the slideshow for some commonly seen birds such as blue jays, cardinals, robins, red wing black birds, crows, hawks and eagles.
You can get a field guide of birds that are common to your area, get an audio guide, or set up a bird feeder and entertain yourself for hours. When traveling cross country you can start a list of birds you see, take some pictures, or play a game of “I spy.”
One of the keys to identifying them is the habitat where they live. The country changes as you travel and are able to see a wide variety of type and kinds of birds. Watching them in large flocks as they migrate to their feeding or mating grounds is a thrilling experience and birding is a hobby that fits into any budget.
So take notice of the birds around you and like most things, the more you know about it the more fun you will have.
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