I am going to tell you how my bird watching hobby started.
I was a person who would never wake up early except when absolutely required. This meant that on weekends and holidays I would sleep more and wake up as late as possible.
It just so happened that on a Friday I was very tired and so I slept early. Next morning at 5:30 AM I woke up but stayed in bed for a while. I was feeling fully rested and fresh since I slept very well. I saw that it was still twilight outside. Then, I heard lots of chirping noises and I got curious.
They say curiosity killed the cat, but in my case it made me get up from my bed! I quietly got out of bed, since I did not want to disturb anyone else in the house. I tiptoed like a ninja toward the nearest window and peeked out. There were several birds on far away trees.
I wanted to see what was happening more closely, so I quietly rushed through my morning routine. Then, I quickly changed my clothes and stepped outside. The bird noises were even louder. It was nothing like I had ever experienced outside my home. I could feel the cool fresh air that was hitting my face. It was not too cold, just pleasantly cold, like the air in an air conditioned room. I could see the dew drops on leaves and on the grass.
Other than the bird sounds, there were no other sounds. No one else was around. There were no vehicles on any of the nearby roads. I walked a bit toward the trees and got closer to the birds. There were a bunch of sparrows on several trees, chirping and flying around. It was the most active group of sparrows I had ever seen.
I kept walking and came close to someone’s house. In front of that house, there was a huge section of flower plants. It was a delight to see the red colored Petunia, the towering yellow Sunflowers, the bright orange Cosmos, the white Cosmos and the white Lilies. Suddenly I noticed something hovering on one of the Petunia flowers. I realized it was some sort of bird. The bird was flapping it’s wings so fast that I almost could not see the wings. I realized that I was looking at a hummingbird. It had a beautiful red colored neck. It drank the nectar from the Petunia flower and then moved on to another flower. Shortly after that, the hummingbird flew away. This was my first sighting of a wild hummingbird.
I kept walking, taking a fresh breath with each step. After walking for some time, I saw a blue colored object in the trees. Upon taking a closer look it turned out to be a bird. I had never seen a blue bird near my home and I could not believe my eyes. Later on I came to know that I had seen a “Blue jay” and they are quite common in my area.
Going back home
I walked around for some more time and then returned home. When I returned home everyone else was still sleeping. So I spent some time preparing a surprise breakfast for everyone. When everyone woke up, we talked about my walk outside while enjoying a nice breakfast. No one had noticed that I had stepped out and were surprised to know about the hummingbird and the blue bird. This is the day I decided to continue bird watching.
Who can do it ?
Almost anyone can do bird watching. The only requirement is that you have to be able to go outside and walk around. So, anyone from kids to seniors can do it as long as they are fine with going out and walking. In fact, taking along kids gives them the opportunity to spend time outside and to satisfy their curiosity. Also, this is something one can do alone or with a group of people.
What equipment is needed to start bird watching?
To start bird watching no special equipment is needed. If you have a pair of old binoculars take them along. If you do not have them that is fine as well. You can take a small notebook, to note down what you saw.
Why I go bird watching and why should you?
I like bird watching because it gives me an opportunity and reason to go outside and enjoy nature. After all, it is better than sitting inside and watching television. It also gives me some exercise. I read that going out and walking is much better than running few miles on a treadmill.
Another reason I go bird watching is that I will be able to do this even at an old age. If I decide to do something else, for example, skiing or soccer, I won’t be able to do it as a senior citizen.
I like to try photography, so that’s one more reason I go bird watching.
Another reason is that I can do this with a group of other birders or just go alone by myself, either one works.
Plus my family likes it when they get a surprise breakfast prepared by me!
When is the best season to go bird watching ?
In my experience spring and early summer is the best time to go bird watching. This is the time when many birds build their nests, lay eggs, and feed their young. So, birds are most active during this time and it is a great time to go bird watching.
Some birds migrate in the fall, so that is another time to go bird watching.
If you do not have cold winters, then you can go see local birds anytime.
What time of the day is best to go bird watching?
In my experience if you are going around in your local area then early morning is the best time. This is when most birds come out or are more visible. Once they start seeing people they tend to fly away to areas where people do not visit.
Another time is late evening, this is when some bird will fly back to their home area.
Do you go for bird watching or as I like to call it “birding”?
How did you get started ?
Let me know in comments below –