Getting Started With Birding: A beginner\'s guide with specific, actionable advice

New York City, NY

I recently got my girlfriend into birding, but I was surprised by the lack of quality beginner's guides online; every one I found was too ambiguous to actually help.

So, I decided to write my own guide! I made sure that it was centered on specific, actionable advice so that even without a mentor, anyone can get started with our favorite hobby.

Here you go!

Getting Started With Birding
An easy, comprehensive 3-step beginners guide to birding.

What is Birding?

Birding: The observation of birds in their natural habitats as a way of life hobby.

In this guide:

Step 1: Learn Birds Near You

Use the Merlin Bird ID app to study locally common species

Step 2: Gear Up

Acquire, adjust and practice using binoculars.

Step 3: Binocular

Find best binocular to watch birds to see their motion clearly.

Thumbnail by FredMWaston123
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We have three feeders on our front porch. I am very poor at identifying them. We have many Blue Jays, 3 kinds of woodpeckers & many small birds of varying colors.
Once in a while a Cardinal will show up.
No snow this winter so birds can find a lot to eat. We live on a farm with lots woodlots & also shelter belts in our 4 acre garden.
Pictures are from November 11, the last time we had & it now gone.
My cat likes to do birding, too.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I would add that when choosing binoculars, a mid range magnification, say, 8x32 is fairly suitable for birding—Field of view is not so small and magnification is not so strong that the picture jiggles from holding it in your hands. Also consider weight of the binocs—you don’t want to carry around heavy binoculars. If u google “birding binoculars” you will find many recommendations in all price ranges. I have Nikon Monarchs.

Krakow, Poland

Also, usually every country has a birding club or an online birding forum. The good news is that normally birders are happy to share information. They will help you discover what birds are in your area and direct you to different locations. I would personally reccommand "PRZYRODA", the best bird watching forum in Poland.

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