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Bird Watching is a recreation anyone can enjoy at anytime of the year
Do you ever have a day when you have nothing to do ?, You know them times when your on the internet in some chat room, and you type ' I'm bored ! ', or your flipping through the TV channels, and you say to yourself or out loud ' 250 channels, and nothing good to watch ! ', yes, you know what I am talking about. Now you have something you can do on them so called boring days, go bird watching.
No matter where you live you probably have birds of some kind, even folks in New York have central park and other places where they can go bird watching. There are three things you should have when bird watching, these are a pair of binoculars, a notebook, and a bird guide.
Binoculars can be purchased for under at most Kmart or Walmart stores. Binoculars with a magnification of 10 x 50 are perfect for bird watching. Don't think that a more powerful pair of binoculars like 20 x 60 or 30 x 80 are better, this is not the case. Stronger binoculars are fine if you are into star gazing, but they are horrible for bird watching. The higher powered binoculars need a tripod to use them without shaking, and even without a tripod, the powerful binoculars are larger and can be very heavy to carry around, the 10 x 50 ones are perfect for every occasion.
A small tablet or notebook can be purchased at most stores, don't get nothing expensive just a small spiral one will do fine. Now the last thing is the most important item when it comes to bird watching. If you are truly going to watch birds, you should know what type of birds you are looking at when you spot a new one, so visit your local book store or look in the birding section of an online bookstore, such as amazon, at the end of this article I have a website address that has some of Amazons best bird guides, videos, binoculars and more.
Ok, so you have your binoculars, notebook and pencil, and your bird guide, now let's go outside and go bird watching. I am sure you won't have to walk very far to spot a bird or two. I am lucky enough to currently live here in the country, all I have to do is open my door and I will hear the sounds of birds. If I step outside my front door, I can often see sparrows or finches, in the spring time the yard always has a couple robins hopping around, and crows flying around the nearby woods, high overhead I often see turkey buzzards soaring against the blue sky. One time I opened my front door and across the road in the top of a large tree a horned owl was sitting, it stayed there for about 10 minutes, turning it's head often as it looked around.
If you have any grassy, wooded or open areas with trees or bushes, you can usually find birds. One of the best things about bird watching is anyone can do it, even if your in a wheelchair, you can sit and watch birds. It's a great recreation for anyone that is alone, or for the whole family to do together.
When you go out, remember to take your bird watching items with you, your binoculars, notebook and pencil, and bird guide. When you spot a bird look in your binoculars too see all it's beauty in close detail, if you do not recognize the species of bird your seeing, get out your bird guide and look it up. When you realize the type of bird you see, write down in your notebook the following information; ' the name of the bird, the area where it was spotted, the date, and time '. The information in your notebook, helps you understand what types of birds frequent your area, it also is pretty neet being able to read back and see when you spotted a new or rare bird.
If you have a yard, tree or even a window you can attract birds by installing a simple feeder. Bird feeders are very inexpensive and they have feeders that can hang on a tree branch, or fence, or even stick to the outside of a window.
Attracting different species of birds often requires different types of bird seed and other food. Hummingbirds are attracted to red, pink and orange flowers, they especially like trumpet vines or other tubular-flowered plants, they are also very attracted to hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water or red sweetened kool-aid. Robins like mowed lawns, so in the spring and summer if you want to see robins, mow your grass, the birds come looking for bugs and earthworms that are more easily accessible because you cut the grass length. Goldfinches love thistle seed, thistle is more expensive then most common bird seed, but you cannot beat it if you want to attract goldfinches. Blue Jays are large and sometimes noisy, but if you want to bring them, put out a feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds. Cardinals are very neat looking, there is nothing nicer than looking out the window in the winter, and seeing a bright red cardinal sitting on a nearby tree branch or feeder. Cardinals are like Blue Jays, in that they both love a diet of black oil sunflower seeds. If you want to attract sparrows, a bag of plain mixed bird seed will do just fine.
There is Computer Software that is made just for ' Bird Watching '. The software is called: ' Bird Watcher Professional ', you can read the details and download a trial version of it for free at this website address:
Here is a website address that has some of the best Bird Guides (Books), Videos, Binoculars and other birding equipment that Amazon sells:
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2006
You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
About the Author: Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released software on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.