The Internet is a rich source of information, along with Audubon groups. And learn how to listen.
Ready to try birding? Here are 10 basic “how-to” tips.
2. Download tools. Apps can help identify birds and report your sightings. An online game, Larkwire (larkwire.com), even teaches bird calls.
3. Research birds and birding locations. The Audubon Society’s Great Washington State Birding Trail maps are available in both print and digital app formats (wa.audubon.org/great-washington-state-birding-trail).
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4. Know when to go. Birds are most prevalent in spring, when hordes of them fly north for the summer along the Pacific Flyway. Birds are often most active and sing more in the early morning.
5. Join an Audubon chapter. You’ll learn about birds, but you’ll also meet people. Chapters host outings ranging from a local morning scan to overseas trips.
7. Note conditions. Clear, dry days without much breeze are best for seeing and hearing birds.
8. Learn to be quiet and still. Listening is one of the most important tools in a birder’s repertoire, since you’ll likely hear a bird before you see it.
9. Equip yourself. Along with the essentials for any outdoor adventure, including water and layered clothing, bring identification tools, including books or apps, and binoculars or a scope.
10. Volunteer. If habitat disappears, so will birds — and birds eat bugs and pollinate plants as well as looking pretty. Projects such as the Sagebrush Songbird Survey are the first step toward protecting habitat crucial for preserving species.
Listen: The American Robin