How To Get Started On Birding
The joy of birding is allowing nature to take over as you wait patiently to witness these beautiful winged creatures in their natural habitat. India’s diverse flora attracts a number of seasonal and permanent birds to different parts of the country. For beginners, a good pair of binoculars and a patient disposition is all you need to get started.
As a recreational activity, you can attract birds to your garden by sprinkling bird feeder in strategic places or you can visit different parts of your state to watch them in the wild. For instance, if you are from West Bengal, the foothills of the Dooars are home to species of Egret, Heron, Pelican, Stint and a variety of ducks and geese.
Kutch in Gujarat serves as the annual winter abode for the Grey Hypocolius, White-naped Tit, Syke’s Nightjar and other exotic and migratory birds. With over 370 different species found here, Kutch is easily the ultimate birdwatcher paradise.
In order to recognize and document the birds you spot, a well-researched field guide is a must. Hugh Whistler’s Popular Handbook of Indian Birds offers a straightforward description of birds and their habitat in the country. The Book of Indian Birds by Salim Ali is a must have for both amateurs and serious bird watchers.
Birdwatching has grown in popularity and a number of tours, for both amateurs and experts, are available nowadays. Whether you visit the Eastern Himalayas to find the recently-discovered Bugun Liocichla or trek to Pangot (Uttarakhand) for the elusive Cheer Pheasant, the art of birdwatching is filled with rewards from Mother Nature.
Spending hours in a tranquil setting surrounded by the calls of hundreds of birds can be extremely soothing and a life changing experience. For beginners, make sure you have the right tools and an experienced guide who will help you understand the art and science behind this beautiful hobby.