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Expert Shopper Camping & Outdoors

Bird-watching tips and tricks

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

What do I need for bird watching?

If you love bird-watching, you know the exhilaration of spotting rarely seen species as well as the relaxation of observing birds of any variety in their natural habitats. The possibilities of seeing some beautiful winged creatures in nature are numerous, whether you are ready to venture deep into the forest or simply look out your window. All it takes is a little bit of avian knowledge, a lot of patience, and some essential gear to make the most of your bird-watching experiences.

Shop this article: "Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America"Vivohome Antique Outdoor Garden Bird Bath and HummZinger by Aspects

Best bird-watching gear

"Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America"

You may feel like you know a lot about all kinds of birds, but there is always something new to learn. That's why it's a good idea to brush up on your ornithology knowledge with a bird field guide. This type of book will provide information about specific types of birds as well as the types of areas they are likely to inhabit. The "National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America" is a handy publication that will help you spot and identify everything from sparrows to eagles as you look to the skies and trees.

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Vivohome Antique Outdoor Garden Bird Bath

It doesn't matter if you are a novice or avid bird-watcher, you don't have to go far to spot some fantastic birds. If you have a yard, you can bring the birds to you with bird feeders. We are impressed with the Brome Squirrel Buster that keeps the squirrels out while providing perches and capacity for up to five pounds of seeds. And if you also provide fresh water in a birdbath like the Vivohome Antique Outdoor Garden Bird Bath model, the feather friends you attract won't even have to leave your yard for a quick splash or drink.

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HummZinger by Aspects

One of the most fascinating species to watch is also the smallest, and a favorite among bird enthusiasts—the beloved hummingbird. You can attract these tiny beauties with a feeder designed especially for them to drink nectar. The HummZinger by Aspects not only provides four ports and a spacious perch, but it has an elevated design so you can easily watch hummingbirds perch and feed.

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Panasonic Lumix 4K

The unobstructed view that this hummingbird feeder provides will also give you excellent photo opportunities. We suggest the Panasonic Lumix 4K for taking bird photos with beautiful colors and clear images. It can also shoot video which will come in handy when you want to capture birds in motion. On the other hand, a camera like the Kodak Pixpro also offers delivers excellent photo quality at a lower price. You can also go old-school and opt for film camera like the Polaroid PIC 300 and get instant satisfaction seeing your bird photos almost as soon as you take them. When you pack your camera for your bird-watching trip, don’t forget extra necessities, such as a camera strap, extra lenses, and a tripod to name a few.

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Everest Hiking Pack

Watching birds in your own yard is great, but most bird-watchers like to see what's out there beyond their home turf. Tuck your camera and other equipment in a handy case like the Chrome Unisex Niko Bag, and head out to your favorite park, river, or trail to check out the bird activity. If you plan on venturing deep into the woods or need extra room for items such as a tripod, your phone, keys, and snacks for your adventure, a hiking backpack like the North Coyote Cooler Bag will have space for all of your essentials.

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Celestron SkyMaster Binoculars

Regardless of the setting you choose for your bird-watching pleasure, there will be times you will be looking at birds from a distance. Amplifying your view will enhance your experience. Compact binoculars like Tasco Essentials are easy to stick in a bag or pocket. However, if you want binoculars that are known for their top-notch performance, Nikon’s Monarch 5 are ideal for bird-watching at a great distance. A monocular is another option that is affordable and capable of providing nice magnification and views. The Roxant High Definition monocular is one of our favorites for its features, compact design, and reasonable price.

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Finally, don’t forget to log information about the areas you visit and the types of birds you see. This will help you plan your next bird-watching excursion so you will know which spots offer the best opportunities to see some of your favorite feathered species.

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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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