Bird watching is a thrilling and fulfilling hobby for the young and old alike. There are no cultural or age-related boundaries when it comes to bird watching, and people from all lifestyles are actively involved in spotting birds. The focus of bird watching is to see the birds in their natural habitat, going about the tasks of their lives on a daily basis. This is far more thrilling than the alternatives, which are television programs and zoos. Neither of these will offer what the hobby of bird watching can. This is coupled with the fact that there are over nine hundred species of birds in the United States alone. No matter how you stack it, that number means that the hobby can take you to far off locales and be exciting for a lifetime.
The basics of bird watching are simple. There are two considerations and both of these are equipment-based thoughts that you will need to work with. The first important decision will be choosing the binoculars you will use. This is probably the most important piece of equipment that you will buy for the hobby. Without a good pair of binoculars then bird watching is nearly impossible, to say the least. Not only should you consider the quality of the binoculars. You should also make sure the comfort level matches your personal preferences.
Binoculars come in many styles, shapes, sizes, and quality levels as with everything that is sold on the open market. The style of binocular that you choose depends on how involved in the hobby you plan on being. The norm would be a full pair that offers zoom to a few inches and no overlap. This would be the type for a person who is planning to be deeply involved with the hobby. Designed for up close and personal, this type of binocular will serve well on long trips and be most comfortable throughout the day. Most of the quality units that you can find will last a lifetime and bring you as close to the action as you could imagine. The cost is nominal considering how long the binoculars will last and the enjoyment their use will provide.
Pocket binoculars are more suited to the casual hobbyist. Designed to be lightweight and compact, the pocket style binoculars are the take anywhere and whip them out when you need to style. Not as effective and long-reaching as the other types, the pocket binoculars are still a very suitable buy if you choose the quality constructed models that are designed for bird watching.
A field guide is the other main consideration. What good is bird watching if you cannot identify the birds you are looking at? This is why it is best to invest in a full color and comprehensive field guide. The guides will have photographs or paintings of the birds to help in the identification. The issue is getting the proper guide. If you get a full guide to all birds then you are going to spend a lot of time trying to identify the bird among all the others. It is best to find the guides that are specific to the areas that you are watching in to make it easier. Remember there are over nine hundred species of birds in the United States alone and that can make a lot of page turning with a full guide to birds.