Saturday, April 15, 2017
INTERESTED IN BIRDING? WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
It seems as though interest in birding is growing every year and, with the spring birding season now underway, lots of people would like to start on this fascinating and often lifelong hobby but are not sure exactly what equipment is needed.
Basically speaking, all that is required is a usable pair of binoculars and a good field guide.
The people at The Audubon Society have posted a guide to buying binoculars that provides a good overview of things to consider before purchasing as well as a shopping guide that covers options for every budget.
Another well researched resource for learning about binoculars is Jason Whitehead's Birding Binoculars Guide. It is comprehensive, up to date and also offers "best value" purchase suggestions.
There are many field guides available that cover birds in our region. Probably the best printed guides are the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America and The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. They are easy to find at most books stores or from Amazon
Many birders are now using smartphone apps, one of the best and easiest to use being Ibirds Pro North America available for Android and IPhone. (Incidentally, both of the printed field guides referenced above are now available as apps).
A good mid-range pair of binoculars that is being talked about these days is the Athlon Midas 8 X 42. There are a number of favourable online reviews that emphasize their excellent value for money. A few FOSS members have recently purchased them and are pleased with their performance. They are available from Amazon Canada and are definitely worth checking out.