Birds are aware of your presence long before you have a chance to see them. So, talk & walk quietly.
Take extra care when in a potential or active nesting area. Itís hard enough for birds to compete with each other for mates & space; human interference causes more stress.
To help with identification, learn to quickly assess its general size (in relation to a sparrow & crow), its shape (especially its beak & tail), and its distinguishing physical markings. The colour of plumage varies not only between sexes, but also between seasons and between adults & juveniles.
Often youíll hear a bird before you see it. Use your ears to detect where it is. Follow the sound with your eyes. Walk quietly up to tree or ground where the bird song or sound is coming from. Donít go too close or the bird will fly away. Try to see the bird with your eyes before using your binoculars.
Get binoculars with a sufficiently wide field of view to be able to locate the bird and follow its movement, but also sufficient magnification to be able to study it. 8X35 is a good choice, but try it before you buy it. A field guide & checklist are also useful.
For some birds, youíll need to look up. But donít forget about poison ivy and other park users.
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