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Birding Basics

More than just a hobby, birding connects you with nature in a fun, inexpensive and educational way. Through these birding basics, you will learn the history of birding, discover the type of birder you are and learn how to get started on your way to a fulfilling and rewarding connection with wild birds.
  1. Bird and Birding Book Reviews (49)
  2. Birding Tips for Specific Birds (14)
  3. Birding for Kids (13)
  4. Ethics and Etiquette (5)
  5. Getting Birding Help (7)
  6. Holiday Birding Fun (7)
  7. Life Lists (8)
  8. Seasonal Birding Tips (20)

Get Started Birding
It can be easy to get started birding, and these five steps can help anyone interested in birds begin to build their life list, learn to identify birds and discover what fun birding can be.

What Is Birding?
Birding is more than just a hobby, it is good exercise, a popular activity for all ages, and a great companion to many other hobbies.

Birdwatching or Birding?
From birdwatchers to birders, we all share a love of birds - but who's who? Learn the difference between birders and birdwatchers and decipher clues to decide which one you are.

How to Go Birding
Birding is more than taking a walk and seeing birds, and these tips can help you plan how to go birding to maximize the birds you see and minimize any problems.

When to Go Birding
When you go birding can make a great difference in the birds you see, and these tips can help you choose the best time to go birding every day in every season.

Make Time for Birding
No matter how busy your schedule is, you can always make time for birding. Learn how to make more time for birding and how to make the most of every minute you have with the birds.

Types of Birders
What type of birder are you? There are six major types of birders and many hobbyists fit more than one category.

10 Biggest Birding Mistakes
What might seem like a simple mistake can have a big impact in the field. Avoid these top birding mistakes to make the most of your birding opportunities.

Qualities of a Good Birder
Anyone can pick up a field guide and identify birds, but a truly dedicated birder has certain qualities that allow them to appreciate this hobby to its fullest. If you share these qualities of a good birder, you’re more likely to become an accomplished and expert birder while thoroughly enjoying the experienc

12 Tips to Be a Better Birder
It can be easier than you think to improve your birding skills, whether you want to identify birds, attract them, feed them or just enjoy them. These 12 tips can help you be a better birder, one step at a time.

Safety Tips for Birders
Accidents and injuries can happen even on a simple bird walk, and these safety tips for birders can help you be prepared for unforseen situations while birding.

5 Ways to Share Your Love of Birding
How to share your love of birding and bird watching with friends, family members and your community.

John James Audubon
One of the most famous names in ornithology and bird artwork, John James Audubon was a celebrated naturalist whose work is still popular with modern birders.

What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird
Tips for how to help a baby bird, including when to know that leaving the bird alone is the best option for its health and survival.

Birding Acronyms
Explanations and a list of birding acronyms useful for field notes, texting reports and filenames, including bird species acronyms and other popular birding acronyms.

How to Keep a Birding Journal
Tips for how to keep a birding journal for more detailed observations, including what type of journal to buy, what details to record and how to use your journal to become a better birder.

How to Count Birds
How many birds are in that flock? If you know how to count birds, you can be confident in your answer. Learn different techniques for counting birds and why accurate numbers are important.

What Is Backyard Birding?
Tips for getting started as a backyard birder, including how to make your yard meet birds' needs, how to keep your backyard flock safe and how to enjoy your backyard birds.

Pishing
Pishing is common among birders, but do you know what it is and how to do it properly? You can attract a wide range of birds with pishing, but doing so isn't always for the best. These guidelines can help you decide to pish or not to pish.

Protect Pets From Birds of Prey
Tips for protecting pets from bird attacks from hawks, owls or other raptors. Bird attacks are rare but do happen, and these tips can help pet owners keep their pets safe.

Bird Ranges
Discussion of what a bird range is and what factors affect bird ranges. Includes descriptions of different types of bird ranges.

You Might Be a Birder If...
Every birder has that story that shows their dedication to birding, a colossal identification mistake, a glorious rare bird sighting or just a fun birding time. Now is your chance to share your "you might be a birder if…" tales to show just the type of birder you are!

Top 10 Bird News Stories of 2010
Birds are always making headlines, and these are the top 10 bird news stories of 2010.

Top 10 Bird News Stories of 2011
Birds made headlines in a number of ways in 2011, and this recap covers the top stories of interest to birders.

Top 10 Bird News Stories of 2012
What birds made headlines in 2012? These top news stories kept our feathered friends in the spotlight all year long.

New Year’s Resolutions for Birders
There is a lot you can do for birds in the new year, and these birding New Year's resolutions can help every birder make a difference to help birds all year long.

Plan a Big Year
Make the most of 12 months of birding by planning a big year; these tips can help you get started.

Winter Birding Gear
Tips for appropriate gear for winter birding, including suitable clothing, optics hints and emergency supplies for winter birders.

How to Dispose of Dead Birds Safely
Tips for disposing of dead birds safely, including when it is necessary to contact authorities.

Help a Trapped Hummingbird
Have you had a frantic hummingbird stuck in a garage, shed or even your house? These tips can help you safely get the bird to the nearest easy exit.

2011 Mailbag Monday Reader Question Archive
2011 archive of Mailbag Monday reader questions, including links to detailed answers.

Rare Bird Ethics
Rare birds require special consideration of birding ethics to keep the bird's best interest at heart. These rare bird ethics guidelines can help birders decide if they should report the rare birds they see.

Mailbag Monday
Submit your birding and bird-related questions for Mailbag Monday!

Unexpected Birds
There are many types of unexpected birds that can show up in the field or backyard, from unusual vagrants to feral birds to escaped pets. These tips can help you recognize unique birds, identify them properly and react responsibly when you see them.

Mailbag Monday Reader Question Archive
2010 archive of Mailbag Monday reader questions on all birding topics, including feeding, behavior and identification.

Free Online Bird Games
If you can't be in the field seeing real birds, take advantage of these free online games about birds for a bit of birdy fun. From educational games to identification challenges to jigsaw puzzles to crazy arcade bird games, it's fun to play these completely free games!

Bird Phobias - Ornithophobia
Can someone be a birder if they're afraid of birds? Ornithophobia is very real but can be overcome, and there are many other phobias that may also affect birding.

How to Twitch
Do you have what it takes to be a twitcher? Learn about twitching and use these tips to add even more birds to your life list.

Bird Holidays
Find reasons to celebrate birds all year long with this comprehensive list of bird-themed holidays.

Volunteer Opportunities for Birders
Use your love of birds to help your community with these volunteer opportunities for birders - even if you don't think you're that good a birder, your help will be welcome!

Birding by Bike
Grab your bike to see birds, but first make sure your bike is safe and the route you choose is ideal for birding by bike.

What Not to Do if You Find a Baby Bird
Don't make these mistakes that can endanger baby birds. Learn what you should never do when you find a feathered baby on your lawn!

Birding By Yourself
Would you be a better birder by yourself? Learn how birding alone can help you improve your birding skills and confidence.

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