One of the best things about bird watching is that you can do it anywhere! You don’t have to travel further than your backyard or a local park, nature center or national wildlife refuge to glimpse birds in their natural habitat.
Most birds have specific habitat needs, and birds that migrate are generally found in certain places at certain times of the year. If you are looking for a particular species, familiarize yourself with its range, habitat and season of occurrence. One way to learn what to look for is to simply get out and explore.
Natural areas, such as national wildlife refuges, state and local parks, Important Bird Areas, Ramsar sites, and Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites are good places to visit. Many of these sites can be found within a short distance of where you live or work.
You can often attract birds to an area if you have the right habitat for them. Create a bird-friendly area in your yard, school, or community by providing food, water, and nesting areas. Make sure your bird friendly area is also free of threats.
Checklists are a great way to keep track of what you have seen, as well as give you suggestions as to what you might see in an area. Check out birding hotspots and range maps to give you an idea of what has been seen lately.
You can also enjoy birds and watch their behavior by tuning into a bird webcam. Many locations have cameras installed so that you can view webcams of nesting birds without disturbing the birds. Several organizations have research projects with tracking devices on birds so you can follow specific birds during their migration and foraging trips.
– From U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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