Table of Contents
From the very beginning of time we can read about how birds were created and that mankind was to care over them. In the following booklet we hope to encourage your walk with the Lord through learning His wonderful nature.
Bird watching is one of the most enjoyable treats for learning more about God’s wonderful nature. There are many things we learn along the way but it requires us to learn how to be still, which is one of the best lessons we can ever learn. As it is written “be still and know that I am God.”
For those who live outside the city and in a country setting it will be a bit easier for you to bird watch as you can easily build a bird house or suet to attract local birds. However, there are many birds still within the city but their natural habits in nature will be just a bit different as they had to adjust to city living.
So how do we watch birds? Although not necessary, binoculars are one of the best investments you can have for bird watching as they allow you to view the fowl without coming to close to their habitation. In viewing nature there is much to learn and enjoy.
“The book of nature, which spread its living lessons before them, afforded an exhaustless source of instruction and delight. On every leaf of the forest and stone of the mountains, in every shining star, in earth and sea and sky, God’s name was written. With both the animate and the inanimate creation–with leaf and flower and tree, and with every living creature, from the leviathan of the waters to the mote in the sunbeam–the dwellers in Eden held converse, gathering from each the secrets of its life. God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, “the balancings of the clouds” (Job 37:16), the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night–all were objects of study by the pupils of earth’s first school.” Child Guidance, 45:4.
A field guide would be most helpful for the beginner but not necessary as we have never used one. But we do use the internet to help us locate the identity of the fowls we have documented.
Remember to listen and viewing is both helpful and educational. For instance when you listen to the birds in the morning, and then in the evening as you will find a difference in their songs. Also, you may want to consider dressing with earth tones while viewing birds in their habitat.
When you see a bird you can keep it firmly in your memory, draw it or take a picture of it, but you will always want to record what you have seen with your bird observation list.
Visiting different areas in nature will help you to see a greater variety of birds. Forests, mud flats, lakes, rivers, fields, meadows, the beach will each provide a host a different variety of birds.
How to Begin
How many times have you wanted to watch a bird only to have it see you and fly away? Perhaps more times than you can count? So we recommend using binoculars. But not all binoculars are valuable as some are made too cheaply and often times present what you see with distortion, like fish eye or double vision. It is important to search for quality and we hope the following guide lines will help you.
First, the cost of the binocular does not have to be expensive in order for you to enjoy quality. With a little bit of searching you should be able to find a quality binocular for a fair price.
- Distance: The minimum suggested binocular power is 7×35. The first number of the binocular power describes the magnification level. The second number represents the number of feet it is being multiplied by. So a 7×35 binocular has a magnification level of 7 times its distance which is 245 feet. 8×40 power is 320 feet and 9×45 power distance is 405 feet. If you choose a 10 or greater magnification power you may find yourself needing a tripod to keep the binoculars steady.
- Weight: It is important to check the weight of the binoculars so that they are not too heavy. Remember you will be holding the binoculars for long periods of time, carrying them with your hands and/or using the strap to carry them about your neck.
- Flex Test: When picking out a binocular make sure you can flex the binocular barrows easily and hold in place properly.
- Vision Tests:
- Single vision – Be sure to adjust the binoculars to verify that everything is in single vision as some binoculars will not focus at 20 feet or less.
- Distance vision – They must focus clearly at a distance of 2 blocks away.
- Poor vision – If your binoculars are presenting double vision, blurred vision, fish eye or any other distortion during yours vision test then you probably have not found the right binoculars yet.
- Wear eyeglasses? – If you wear eyeglasses you will want to make sure that you pick a pair of binoculars which have rubber eye cups as they will help prevent the binoculars from slipping on your glasses.
- Helpful things to consider:
- a. Check the lenses for scratches.
- b. Color coated lenses help reduce internal glare.
Before you use your binoculars it is important to focus them correctly.
- Focus – Using one eye at a time, beginning with your left eye focus on object 30 feet away. Repeat with the right eye. Then use both eyes. If you are out of focus move the right lens until focused.
- Practice hand and eye co-ordination – Because birds are very active and quick you will need to practice your hand and eye co-ordination to help spot the birds through the lenses. The key is not take your eyes off the bird even when going from eye to binoculars.
- First, spot the bird with your eyes
- Now try to see them through your binoculars
Remember to recheck your binoculars before a new bird watching adventure.
One of the key elements to successful bird watching is to memorize the classification of birds, the habitat, anatomy, types of flight, bill design, shapes and sizes, colors and markings, actions, feathers and even their eggs. I know it may seem like a lot to memorize but most of what you need to remember is common sense applications.
There are several ways in which you can record what you have seen. Some like to draw and make notes on their sketches such as the date, the place, the time, the weather, and any additional notes which remind them of the experience. There are others who like to simply record their notes in a special bird book they have created, and yet others who like to take pictures and/or video to record their experiences. In whatever way you choose it will be a journey to enjoy the fowls of the earth while learning more about them.
Sometimes all we need to do is step right outside of our homes to bird watch. And at other times we will have to venture out beyond so that we may find and learn about other types of birds.
- Home – If you need to encourage birds to visit your yard try setting up a bird feeder, a bird bath or special bushes in which birds like to visit.
- Parks, forests, beaches, lakes, cities, etc. – You will need to find a comfortable location to watch for birds. Perhaps even have a special chair for those long bird watching adventures.
And now you are ready to begin your adventure! Hope you enjoy the many blessings and be richly rewarded in discovery of God’s fowls of the earth.