“Bird watching in a wild, pristine area has a new dimension... You have the feeling of being part of it all and the added excitement of coming across big game while on foot makes the experience all the more special”
 
Susmita Ghose
Birding and bird watching- Is there a difference?
Birding and bird watching mean the same thing- the activity of observing wild birds. Birds in cages or any form of captivity don’t count!


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What do people do when they go birding?
Birdwatchers observe wild birds in their natural habitat. bird watching involves learning to identify the birds and understand them. Wherever you live, you will find at least 100 species that are easy to find in your area. Life suddenly gets more interesting when you become aware of the varied bird life all around you!


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Where do you watch birds?
Birding is something you can do in your own back yard, the local park, absolutely anywhere you travel. There are also trips that you can take to see birds that live in certain environments such as forests, wildlife parks, mountain ranges and islands.


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Who watches birds?
People of all ages watch birds. It’s an activity you can keep doing all your life, in any part of the world.


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How can I learn more about bird watching?
Join a local bird club and go for a walk with other birdwatchers! Subscribe to a magazine devoted to bird watching. Order some DVDs or videos on bird watching. Don’t spend too much time watching the TV screen! Get outside and look at the actual birds. By all means, get your hands on a good bird book (also known as a field guide).Most importantly, start noticing the birds around you.


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Why birds?
Birds have always delighted people all over the world because of their beauty and their power of flight. Historically, they used to be considered omens. The ancient Romans believed that the flights and calls of birds could foretell the future. Today, modern science still uses birds as a kind of oracle. Changes in bird populations can reflect the health of the environment. The knowledge of birds can help us plan a better, more sustainable relationship with nature.


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What’s in it for me if I start birding?
Fun- A connection is made with the immense beauty of nature. Satisfaction- Birding invokes our primeval hunting instincts. It delivers all the satisfaction of the hunt, even though the prey itself escapes unharmed. Health- Birding gets you outside and walking. But it’s effortless, because your attention is on the birds. Family- Birding unites people across generations. By taking up birding, parents or grandparents can introduce their children to an interest in nature that will stay with them all their lives. Companionship- Birding is the ideal social activity. A birder need never be lonely. Nearly every community has a birding club of some sort. Birders love to share their knowledge and newcomers are always welcome. Solitude- Birding is also the ideal solitary sport. There’s a special pleasure in going out alone to bird. Your mind settles down, your senses open up, and nature seems to become your friend.


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Does birding matter to science?
Birding also fulfils another basic instinct- the quest for knowledge. Birding is about acquiring knowledge. Not just about birds’ names, but also about their songs, their behaviour, and how they relate to the rest of nature. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a unique human pleasure—the successful exercise of lore. Amateur birders often get to make real contributions to scientific knowledge. Today, much of what ornithology knows about birds has come from the observations of ordinary but dedicated birders.


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What do I need to start birding?
A pair of binoculars, a field guide, a hat and a little notebook!


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What kind of binoculars do I need?
You can start with whatever you have. Then you can go opt for the advanced ones.


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Can I share binoculars with a friend?
You can! But every birder really needs his/her own binoculars. Sharing means one person doesn’t get to see the bird before it flies away. This is hard on friendships!


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What’s a field guide?
A field guide is a little book that’s packed with information about birds. It describes and shows pictures of the birds, and it tells you which details of each bird to look for.


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What kind of hat?
Any old hat will do… Birding is not a fashion contest. However, the hat should shade your eyes and not interfere with using your binoculars.


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What’s the notebook for?
For your birding field notes! It lets you record what you see. It actually helps you to see, because when you try to write a description of a bird, the notes encourage you to observe carefully.


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Is birding expensive?
Compared to other sports, birding is not expensive. A notebook, a field guide, and binoculars—all together will cost less than a good pair of athletic shoes. And they'll take a lot longer to wear out. We assume you have a hat…!


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Anything else?
Yes. Birding is a quest. You set out to see birds - but the prize you come back with can only be described as happiness. Learning to bird is like getting a lifetime ticket to the theatre of nature!


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