A bird watching club can be a very enjoyable and helpful group to belong to. Many clubs provide group activities and many more benefits such as:
A birding club offers a new perspective on your bird watching hobby.
Birding in your backyard can be a pleasant way to spend a few hours and belonging to a club can enhance the experience.
The sharing of knowledge on how to identify wild birds by sound or by flight can be very beneficial in knowing who is visiting your backyard.
The information learned from other members can take you beyond the birdguides to a whole new bird identification process.
Bird watching does not have to be an expensive hobby. All you need is some plant life, (trees, shrubbery or flowers) and birds will visit your yard.
If you don’t have a yard then a bird watching club will be very helpful in helping you to locate the best bird watching spots.
Here is a list of supplies to consider:
Some groups may be fortunate enough to have nature photographers among them who can give advice on purchasing and the use of a wildlife camera.
Most cameras that are used for family picture taking, are not designed for long distance focusing which is needed when taking photos of birdlife.
When snapping pics at your backyard feeder, depending on how large your space is and how far away the birds are, may not require a long zoom.
A wildlife camera is designed to capture detail quickly at a distance, resulting in clear, sharp, colourful photos.
A steady hand is of course helpful in the backyard and out on a bird walk.
But if a steady hand is not at hand, ;-), and you think your arms may get tired, then a tripod would solve the problem.
Some birders carry a single pole, called a monopod which has a mounting plate attached to the top for the camera.
A monopod will double as a walking stick and when needed will quickly help the photographer to focus on the subject to take the shot.
Some tripods have a leg that can be detached to serve as a monopod.
The camaraderie of sharing your passion with other members of a bird
watching club is very worthwhile and will only serve to further augment
your enjoyment of the hobby that you love.
Learning from the group where to go to find particular species in your area can be an eye opening experience. Many bird watchers are surprised to discover the vast array of wild birds that co-habit their own territory.
If it is sunny and warm, the backyard patio, deck or lawn is a good venue to watch the wild birds in your backyard. But if it is raining, or the temperatures are freezing, you can still enjoy the birds, watching through the windows from the comfort of your home.
But when you belong to a bird watching club, there will undoubtedly be die-hard weather warriors that will venture forth in any conditions. They would likely enjoy the company of others to show them the joy of birding in inclement weather.
Many people enjoy taking a trip elsewhere during the snowy winter months when it is more difficult to take a local bird watching trip.
A birding club member may be able to make recommendations on birding tours and birding holidays.
Some members may have been on bird watching trips before and therefore will be able to give some guidance as to where to go and possibly suggest a reputable company.
A local tour guide or travel agency may be invited to speak to the group, to provide information about birding tours too.
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, Humble, Texas
Miles Hearn - leads 100 walks per year in the Toronto, Canada area
Nature London, London, Ontario, Canada