Birding or bird watching is a passionate hobby for many people in the US. There are plenty of spots and bird species to see in North America, but, if you want to see some exotic birds, you will have to go to a different country or even continent.
If you are not sure where to go, here are some of the best locations for bird watching worldwide.
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a warm country known for beautiful beaches and tourism, but it’s also a favorite among bird watchers. The country has many nature reserves that are home to hundreds if not thousands of beautiful colorful birds.
You can observe everything from hummingbirds to quetzals and toucans. Most species are very colorful and it’s a joy to watch them. The most popular destination are the Wilson Botanical Gardens that house over 300 different bird species.
2. South Georgia
South Georgia is located just north of the South pole and it’s home for thousands of King penguins. You can come very close to the penguins for a better look, they won’t mind you at all. The penguins are the main attraction on this island, but you can also see gulls and other seabirds.
3. Colca Canyon Peru
Peru is a beautiful mountain country and its home for one of the biggest bird species in the world – the Andean condor. This bird has a wingspan of about three meters and it looks amazing while gliding through the cold mountain air. You can also find this bird in other countries on the continent, but Colca Canyon is where they come to nest.
Iceland is a remote island country in North Atlantic. It is the only land in the ocean for thousands of miles around, which is why migrating Atlantic puffins come here during spring and summer. The birds make nests on steep cliffs, so you have to watch them from the shore.
5. Norfolk, United Kingdom
Britain is home for many bird watchers and Norfolk is where they go to do it. This area is home to many different bird species because it has different habitats to offer. Norfolk has everything from marshes to dunes that attract all kinds of birds including the marsh harrier.
Norfolk has a couple of very popular and beautiful wildlife reserves, Titchwell Marsh being the most popular one because you can watch birds arrive from the Arctic. The Clay Marshes are another popular bird watching spot because of the many seabirds that call it home.
6. Rift Valley, Kenya
The photos with thousands of flamingos that you see around the internet are probably all taken in Rift Valley, Kenya. Millions of flamingos gather here and this is their only place for breeding. It’s an awesome place to watch these amazing birds in their natural habitat. These birds live together in huge numbers so you can make some really incredible photos while watching them. Truly a site worth visiting.
Once you start bird watching, identifying birds correctly can be a problem. Many species are very active so you have a small window to indentify them. The outdoor conditions often make things even harder. If the lighds are dimmed, or if the sun gets into your eyes, figuring out which bird you saw can be tricky. Read our guide and learn how to figure out what you just saw.
1. Keep your eyes on the birds
When a bird flies into your field of view, grab the field guide and try to identify it right away. Try to keep your eye on the birds as you study the guide. Listen to the song, watch how it moves, what it eats, and of course the colors of the bird. If you can’t identify it right away, write some details of what you saw in your notebook. Try to keep the bird in sight for as long as possible.
2. Listen to their song
The bird’s song can help you identify it quickly. If you know how each species sing, you will be able to know what birds are around you, without even looking at them. You can then take a look at the guide and figure out which species it is in seconds.
3. Look at the size and shape of the bird
The size and shape of a bird can help you place the bird in the right family. Always look at the size and shape of the birds first. Is it small as a sparrow? Does it have the shape of a turkey? Is it a pigeon? Think of the bird’s silhouette and watch their general shape. Is the bird able to walk with ease or does it have trouble walking? Does it have long legs or not? Answer these questions and you’ll be on track.
4. Analyze their facial and bill features
When you figure out which family the bird belongs to, look closer for more details. Start with the head and look for colors and distinctive stripes and features like nape color, eye lines, crow strips, and so on. The shape and the color of the bill can also tell you more about the bird.
5. The shape of the tail and wing bars
After observing the head, look at the bird’s body. Look at the colors and markings while the birds are in the air. The length and position of the tail could tell you more about the species.
6. The length and color of the legs
The length of the legs will tell you a lot about a bird. Are the legs long or short? Look at their color too. If you can, take a look at the feet to determine if they are webbed or if they have talons. The shape of the toes can also help you identify the bird easier because some species have a distinctive toe shape.
7. Look how it moves and flies
Watch the birds while they walk, look at how they hold their tails, do they jump or walk? Also look at how they fly. Are the moves gentle and steady? It’s all in the details.
8. The feeding habits
Try to figure out what the bird eats and how does it do it. Does it eat insects off a tree bark or does it peck the ground looking for worms. Does it hunt for food in shallow waters? The feeding habits can help you determine the species for sure.
So, here are some of the basic rules you should stick by when bird watching. Make sure you record every species you come across and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Bird watching is a great hobby that brings people closer to nature. It may seem like it’s hard to learn because there are so many different birds to recognize, but it’s not. It only takes practice, and you can get it anytime you are outside. Patients and focus are the two things you will need to become a successful birdwatcher. If you give into bird watching, you will get to witness some of the most beautiful sites in the world. Here are some tips that could help you if you’re just starting to watch birds.
1. Get the right binoculars
You can become a good bird watcher without the right binoculars. You need big binoculars with plenty of zooming power. Buying a model that’s under 100 dollars could seem like a good idea, but if you want a model that’s waterproof and has a protective housing, you will have to spend about 300 dollars.
Look for an 7 or 8-power binoculars because they have enough magnification, but they also give you a wide view, so you’ll follow birds in the air easier.
2. Knowing where to look
Once you start watching birds, you will need a good field guide to know where to look. the Sibley Guide has great tips, but going with the National Geographic guide is also fine. Pick a spot depending on the species you want to observe.
3. Feed the birds
When you get the binoculars and figure out where to go bird watching, you will need to attract birds close enough to see them. A black-oil sunflower feeder is ideal for beginners. Use a suet feeder during the winter and a hummingbird feeder for those warm summer months. You can always use different seeds and fruit to attract different species.
4. Scope for spotting
The spotting scope is a nice add-on to any bird watcher’s gear. It allows you to spot birds that are too far away for your binoculars to see. They are a bit expensive, but worth it if you want to take things to a higher level.
5. Take the photo
You can’t prove that you observed a rare bird species without a photo. To get it, you will need a high-quality camera that can zoom in and take clear shots even when the birds are in mid-flight. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, try taking photos through the spotting scope. It should work fine.
6. Identify the birds with four easy steps
Once you start watching birds in the skies, there are four steps you should take to identify them correctly. First, figure out its size and shape, then take a closer look at its colors. The third step is to watch their behavior and the habitat. These four steps should help you figure out the species of every bird you come across.
7. Keep a record
All serious bird watchers keep a record of all species they’ve come across. Keeping a diary of the places you visited and the birds you’ve observed will help you become a real bird watcher in no time at all.
Montana is a beautiful country with plenty of untouched forests, lakes, and wildlife. It’s a popular destination for people who like to enjoy nature and hike through the many paths through the woods. Another hobby that’s great to practice here is birdwatching. Montana has a couple of interesting spots, first of which is the Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area located 30 miles off the Great Falls.
This is the most popular bird watching attraction because over 100 species of birds that can be seen here. Some of them are very rare and hard to spot. But, there are a couple more places ideal for watching birds in the state of Montana. Here are some of the spots you just have to visit when you come through Montana.
Onstad Park in Westby
This is the place for watching warblers in Montana as it has the highest concentration. They can be spotted every May, when they make their way from the south to Alaska and Alberta, where they nest. The park is only 1-acres and during the migration, every tree, bush, and hedge are decorated with birds. As many as 29 species of warblers can be spotted here.
The Westby park is a safe spot for warblers. They can be seen in August and September. Some of the rarest birds spotted here are the Philadelphia vireo, the Connecticut warbler, and the yellow-bellied flycatcher.
State Land in North Valley County
The second most popular place for bird watching in Montana is located on the State Land in North Valley County, just north of Glasgow Base Pond. The location is a part of the NASIBA called North Valley Grasslands.
What looks like an ordinary grass land at the first glance turns out to be a place with a huge variety of plant and bird life. The plant diversity attracts a variety of bird species such as Baird’s sparrow, McCown’s longspur, western meadowlark and others. You will be able to hear them sing beautiful songs in May and June. This is truly a unique place with dozens of species to watch.
Bridger Hawk Watch, Bridger Bowl
TO reach HawkWatch International, you will have to climb up a 2,100-foot trail located above Bridger Bowl. The scenery is amazing and the views are incredible. This is a place where you can see golden eagles, sometimes so close, you don’t even need binoculars.
The view is completely unobstructed. The observation deck is located on the top of the hill and you can watch birds coming in from any direction. The best time to visit this site is during the first weeks of October.
Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
At Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge you can spot long-billed curlews and chestnut-collared longspurs. When you get close to the water, you can see dozens of different species at all times. The most common birds here are the yellow-headed blackbirds, marsh wrens, Franklin’s gulls, eared grebes, and many more.
The NWR is located 10 miles north of Great Falls so you can even catch sharp-tailed grouse early in the morning during April and May. You will have to be ready before down to get in on the action.
There are over 10 thousand known bird species in the world, but many of them are slowly becoming extinct. We have to understand that our way of life makes a huge impact on the wildlife. Some species are barely hanging on right now. For example, the Island Scrub-Jay has much lower numbers than we thought. There are only twenty-five hundred but the estimations said 10 thousand. Some of the birds are disappearing, and these are the ten rarest species you will ever see in the US.
1. California Condor
The California Condor is the largest and perhaps the rarest bird in North America. Only 22 of them were alive in 1987, when they were all captured and put into a breeding program. Today, there are over 400, but only about 230 of them live in the wild.
2, Whooping Crane
The number of Whooping Cranes has reached an all-time low back in 1938, when there was only 15 of them left in the wild. The population of these birds was over 10 thousand in the 18th century. The birds are five feet tall and they have a distinctive loud call. They are simply beautiful and now, there are almost 400 of them in the wild. They can be spotted in Texas during the winter.
3. San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike
This species of bird has made it to this list even though the bird isn’t endangered. Their habitat of San Clemente Island in California is in danger. Only about 200 of these birds were found on the island in 2006. The situation is currently unknown.
4. Mississipi Sandhill Crane
The Mississippi Sandhill Crane is really a subspecies to the Sandhill Crane and it is one of the most endangered birds in the US. It is estimated that only 110 of these birds survive in the wild because of the impact of humans of their habitat.
5. Attwater’s Prairie Chicken
A subspecies of the Great Prairie Chicken, the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken can be found in Louisiana and Texas. The expanding cities have pushed these birds out of their habitat, which has made a huge change in their numbers. They fell from a million to a couple hundred. There are only a couple dozen left in the wild because of the breeding program in Texas.
6. Island Scrub Jay
Instead of 10,000 birds, what the estimation was, there are only 2.5 thousand of these birds left in the wild. There are more of these birds compared to others, but they will all be gone soon.
7. Light-footed Clapper Rail
The Light-footed Clapper Rail looks like a Kiwi bird, and it shares the same faith. People have pushed the bird out of it’s natural habitat and there are only a couple hundred left right now.
8. California Clapper Rail
The Situation of the California Clapper Rail is a bit better, with almost two thousand birds in the wild, but the number is dropping every year.
9. Kirtland’s Warbler
This bird was almost extinct in the 1960s, as its habitat started changing throughout Wisconsin and Michigan. There were only a couple hundred of them in the 80s, but a breeding program has repopulated this species. There were 2100 birds recorded in 2012.
10. Ivory-billed Woodpecker
The Ivory-bellied Woodpecker is a legendary species of bird. It is one of the least spotted birds in the last ten years. In fact, the last sightings happened in 2006 in Florida. It’s the rarest bird in US, if it still exists that is.
If you are a bird enthusiast or you just love watching birds, then you definitely know a thing or two about them. However, one thing you might not know and that is which birds are the smartest ones in the world. Of course, you know that some bird species are extremely smart and intelligent, but you most likely don’t know which is the smartest of them. luckily for you, we have done a research just to see which bird is the most intelligent species.
We want to remind people that most of these birds are best to leave alone. We don’t recommend you going out and buying one of these birds just because they are intelligent. If you are not prepared to take care of that bird, then you should never do it. That is because intelligent birds are usually the bigger ones, and they require a lot of attention and special care just to keep them alive and healthy.
African Grey Parrot
If you are looking to find the smartest talking bird in the world, the stop searching because we have found it. Of course, it is the African Grey Parrot that can be found in the rain forests of Central Africa. Just as any other bird, they only are able to mimic human speech, they don’t really understand what they are saying. However, there have been some recorded cases where these parrots are understanding simple commands or words.
As you might know, intelligent birds that are talking are quite nice, and they usually get attached to one person only. That’s why the relationship between the bird and the owner must be healthy because only then you will be able to shape and train your bird. They are able not only to say words that they are taught, but they are able to pick up different voices from their surroundings. In the wild, they learn these different sounds from their surroundings in order to fool predators.
This is a very common bird in the pet market but not many people that own them realize that they are extremely intelligent species. They are native to Australia, they are able to develop an outstanding vocabulary. Once this bird was a Guinness record holder for developing a vocabulary that consists of 1728 words. Not many bird species are lucky to have that amount of intelligence as this bird.
They like to imitate words they hear from their owner repeatedly. The one trick that not many people know about is that you should never put two or more budgerigars together in a cage because then you will not be able to teach them anything. That is because they tend to focus completely on that other bird. Male budgerigars are known to learn and talk a lot more than females, but females can also learn to speak. Therefore, if you want to have a pet bird that is very intelligent you need a Budgerigar. Keep in mind that you only want to have one because of the distraction issue.
When it comes to beautiful birds, we cannot go further without mentioning the Golden Pheasant because this is one of the most beautiful species of birds you can see. The birds are beautiful because of their unique colors that they are presenting. Of course, there are some other factors that are affecting the beauty of a bird, but the color variations are definitely the number one factor. The Golden Pheasant is well-known for the colors of its feathers. The colors are packed beautifully next to each other. It is not easy to have that many colors and to look good, but the Golden Pheasant has succeeded and it is truly a bird that you must see at some point.
As you might know, depending on the gender of the bird, these colors are different. With this particular species, the males have much brighter and stronger colors than the females and that is of course, only because they need to show off their dominance. That is almost the case with all types of birds, the more colorful it is the more attractive it will be for the females.
This is a bird that you have most likely already seen in the zoo. This is the largest species of bird in the macaw family. Of course, if you live in South America, then you have probably seen it even in the wild. They are famous because of their color variations that can be recognized from a mile away. They have mostly red feathers mixed with blue and green tones. A noticeable feature with this specific type of bird is their beak that is curved and has a black tip. Their beak is extremely strong, they can easily bite off your finger, after all, they can open up walnuts with it. the interesting thing that you maybe didn’t know about them is that when raised in captivity, they are able to live up to 75 years which is extremely long for a bird.
They are extremely intelligent and that makes them even more beautiful. However, the sad part with this species that people want to keep them as pets because of their beautiful colors and intelligence. The problem with that is that people don’t really know how to properly take care of these birds. They require a lot of dedication and they will give you a lot of responsibilities to take care of. People that don’t have what it takes to take care of them, they usually let them fly away and that is not good for a bird that was raised in captivity.
Flamingos are a bird species that you have definitely heard of before because they are a quite recognizable bird. Two things are making flamingos unique one is their beautiful colors and second is that they live in huge colonies that are consisting of thousands of other flamingos. Therefore, when you have the opportunity to see one, you will see a lot more. Also, their long legs are adding to their overall beauty.
A lot of people actually don’t even know about the bird watching hobby and for some people that are quite strange. We have been gathering experience for over a decade now, and throughout those many years, we have encountered a huge number of people that think bird watching is a very unusual hobby to have. However, to us, this was completely normal and we didn’t realize what was so strange about watching beautiful birds and discovering new or rare species. Then after we have met more of those people, we started asking questions such as what is so strange about bird watching, and luckily, we got good answers.
When we looked at those answers, we realized what was the main issue that pushed away a lot of people from this hobby. The issue was that people simply didn’t see what is so interesting about watching birds fly. Of course, if you are a passionate bird watcher as we are, then you don’t understand how that can’t be interesting and beautiful. The problem with a lot of people is that they don’t see the beauty of this hobby as we see it and that is for one simple reason. That reason is that they have never experienced that feeling when you spot a rare bird. They don’t see the beauty of bird watching as we do. Here are some tips on how to get your friends to start liking bird watching.
Bring them Along
As you might know, bird watching is a hobby that has no rules about how many people can go and do it. there is no limitation, and if you have done it before, then you might have noticed that it is much better when you have friends around you and you watch together. Therefore, if you don’t have a friend that like this hobby, then maybe you should try and introduce them to this unique hobby. The best way for someone to start liking this type of hobby is to experience it personally at least once. Then after that first trip, he can decide whether he likes it or not. However, if you give your friends a unique and unforgettable experience the first time, there are high chances that they will want to go again with you.
Show the Community
Definitely, the best way to introduce someone to a unique hobby as this is to bring them along with you. When they experience it, then they will be able the see the beauty of it that you are seeing also. Of course, there will be some people that will not like this hobby even after they have gone with you. that is completely normal, because if everyone would like this, then everyone would be doing it and as you know, this is a quite small community. However, this is a strong community that is expanding each day. You can also show your friends how strong our community is, especially here in the U.S. Some people will start liking this hobby just because they want to join and be a part of this community.
One of the most asked questions that we get is about spotting the rarest bird species because not many people actually know the trick to this. Therefore, not many people are able to experience watching a rare bird. If you are passionate about birds and you love to watch them, then you most likely enjoy watching all kinds of bird species, even the ones that are quite common. However, if you are that passionate about them, then you definitely want to see some rare species once a while. These rare species of birds will give you a unique experience that you never had before, we strongly recommend going out in an adventure specifically to find rare species of birds.
However, there can be some issues that can come across your journey, but not to worry, we are here for that exact reason. Teaching and educating people about the best methods and techniques to spot a rare bird is our passion. Of course, our main passion is to watch birds just like yours, but we have many years of watching experience and we want to help out other people that might be struggling with some methods.
The first thing that you must put a lot of effort into is definitely to find a good location where you will be able to spot a rare species of bird. To do this, you will have to know beforehand what you are after because that will give you the advantage because you can pick the best location where those types of birds are easily spotted. You never want to go with just luck because that will not be enough to spot rare birds. You must use other things to your advantage such as the exact location where you will be looking. Going out on random locations with the hope of spotting a rare bird is very risky because the chances of you spotting a rare species are quite low.
Remember, you have to be prepared and the first preparation step is to choose a great location. As mentioned before, the location can be picked depending on the species that you are after. Sometimes, this means that you will have to travel long distances, but if you are a true fanatic of bird watching, then you will go anywhere in the world just to see or take a picture of a bird.
The next thing that you want to focus on is to hide in that location, so the birds and other animals can’t see you. that is important because some bird species are quite afraid of humans, as you might know, therefore you have to camouflage yourself completely with the nature around you and just sit until you get the chance of spotting a rare bird. This will require a lot of dedication and hard work from you, but at the end, we guarantee that it will be worth it because that experience will be carved into your memory.
When it comes to bird species, there are few things that you can immediately spot. The color variations, the size of their legs and the shape of their beaks. We will now talk about some of the most amazing beaks that bird species have. Some birds are using their feathers to attract females, and some use their beaks. There are some quite unique bird species that have a very weirdly shaped beak. Also, beaks can be colored differently depending on the species. Here is a short list of birds that have a unique beak that we think is amazing and you must see in person.
When you see one of this bird, you will realize why they got that name. they have a horn bill that is curved upwards. This gives them a unique look that you most likely have never seen. The top part of their beak that is curved upwards is colored in red and orange. Unless you are living in Thailand or Singapore, you will not have the chance to see in wild one of these birds. Male hornbills tend to have larger beaks that females, that is because they need to attract females with their large beak.
This specific species of birds is one of the largest members of the hornbill family. They can be found in Southeast Asia, therefore if you are from the U.S. you need to travel a long distance just to see one in the wild. When you see one, you will definitely recognize it easily because of the bright colors that it has. This bird has a very large curved beak with colors of black and yellow. They have a casque located on top of their beak with a concave shape that has no purpose other than sexual selection. As mentioned before, birds are using their colors and beaks to stand out and be selected by females more easily.
When it comes to beautiful beaks that are truly amazing, we just cannot forget about the toucan family because they are a bird species that have an extremely colorful beak that is quite large. The Keel-Billed toucan can be found in South America and their beak is able to grow to a length up to 20 cm which is one-third of the actual size of their body. This Toucan species has a mostly green colored beak, but it has a red tip with some orange on the sides. A fun fact about this bird type is that their long beak is not affecting their balance. They are able to fly just as good as any other bird, they need that long beak because of the food that they are eating.
American White Pelican
If you are from America, and you want to see a bird with an amazing beak, then the American white pelican is the bird for you. This is the largest aquatic bird species that can be found in central and South America. Their beak can grow up to outstanding 15 inches, they use it to eat fish.
We already posted an article that takes a peek at the most wanted birds within the USA. But the short list in the post was far from complete as there wasn’t enough space to cover all birds that present ultimate goals of all avid bird watchers.
This article is the continuation of that post. We wanted to mention several other bird species, and this is a perfect way to do it. So, here are several other birds that every birder wants to see at least once in their lifetime.
Atlantic Puffin – A bird that captures attention
Atlantic Puffins are interesting birds whose bill has unique grooves that change according to the age of the bird. It’s sad to say that they went extinct in the USA, more precisely at the Eastern Egg Rock where they were previously present.
The Project Puffin was initiated to return this species to the Eastern Egg Rock, and it had mixed results. Birds started nesting there, but they had to deal with otters and the lack of their favorite prey. But the positive side of the project is that there are sightings of the Atlantic Puffin along the coast of the Maine which proves that they managed to survive and thrive (if only a little) in the USA.
The fiercest mini raptor in the USA
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl is, as its name suggests, a small bird that weighs around 2.5 ounces. The small build doesn’t prevent this bird from being a fierce predator. This species has a wide menu and scorpions, grasshoppers, reptile and other birds are quite common on it.
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl tends to hunt animals that are either same or smaller than it is but cases where the prey was larger than the hunter are also present. Gambel’s Quail, Blue Grosbeak, and hispid cotton rat are just some of the animals that have fallen prey to this small hunter even though they weight more.
Green Jay – a family-oriented tool-using bird
Green Jay is a small bird species that is both beautiful and skillful. The name is derived from the green color of its body. This bird is green with the addition of blue and black feathers on its head. The tail is multicolored, and it has several shades that range from blue to green.
This bird species raises its offspring for a year after which they are driven out. During the time, older set of offspring guards the nest while the parents feed newborn. This system repeats on a constant basis, and there are older guardians through the year.
Green Jay is also known for being one of the bird species that uses tools for hunting. They use twigs in the extraction of the insects that hide beneath the bark. It’s observed that only adult specimens use this method as juveniles aren’t experienced enough to do it.
Green Jay came close to being endangered in the 20s and 30s, but the continued effort of several organizations made it possible for this bird species to prevail and increase its numbers. This bird species is expanding both in number and in habitat in the last fifty years, and they are far from being endangered.
The USA is huge, and that is something excellent for people who are interested in the wildlife. The diversity of geological structure, as well as flora and fauna, makes it easy to take on birding and similar hobbies without the need to travel outside of the country as the USA has almost everything.
America has its share of rare bird species that tend to be high on the list of “birds I want to see” for every birder. Some of the species in question are rare, and their number is quite low while some of them aren’t native to the USA and thus it’s uncommon for them to be within the boundaries of the USA. In any case, here are some birds that are at the top of most wanted list for every serious bird watcher.
Spotted Owl – An uncommon bird that is common in the Grand Canyon
It might sound strange when one mentions the Spotted Owl, but that is the most common bird species in the Grand Canyon. It’s weird because this bird isn’t common at all. In the past, this owl has been a habitant of old forests, but it found complex and rocky terrain as a viable substitute.
Spotted Owl nests are usually located on steep-walled canyons and ledges on them. This is a perfect habitat for the animal as it provides a haven that is protected from natural hazards and the scorching sun. Even though they are quite common in the Grand Canyon, the number of these birds is just over 200, and this means that it isn’t easy to spot one of them.
Gyrfalcon – A bird at the edge of extinction
Gyrfalcon is a bird species that is quite old as some evidence shows that they used same nesting grounds for more than two thousand years. This bird prefers cold and dry climate which means that it is usually found in Greenland, Alaska and northern parts of the Canada. Some variations of the species are also found in Norway and Russia.
Gyrfalcons are skilled hunters and the strange thing about them is that they tend to use same breeding and hunting grounds for a long time (as we mentioned up to over 2500 years). It’s sad to say that their numbers are on the decline due to change of the climate. If this trend continues then, this bird might go instinct in the future.
Elf Owl – Unity through numbers
Elf owls are beautiful and small birds, which is something that makes it disadvantageous for this species as their overall number is quite low. They tend to eat moths and other insects while they are a target of some large raptor birds. Large Horned Owls tend to eat their younglings, which is why they group up and fight back. Just six Elf Owls can drive away a Horned Owl which is more than thirty times bigger than this bird. If you want to spot this owl, then you will have to travel to the western Arizona, lower Colorado or Southern Nevada in the early October. This isn’t a surefire way to spot these birds as they are rare and endangered.
Large multi-million cities tend to have little to no wildlife as animals don’t like people. But some birds are OK with people, and if they have some space to live, then they will survive there. Central Park in the New York is huge, and it’s not strange that it attracts various bird species. This is an excellent thing as it allows birders from the city to enjoy the hobby they like without having to travel to the countryside.
It’s possible to spot quite some bird species in the vicinity of the Central Park. The majority of birds spotted there are quite common, but some species represent kind of interesting spotting targets for birders.
Birds you can spot in and around the Central Park
Hooting in the Central Park is not something that surprises many people as people that frequent this place got used to it. The thing that they might not be aware is that the sound comes from the Great Horned Owl. This species is enormous and nocturnal, so it’s not easy to spot them. But every birder has a desire to spot this magnificent bird due to its size which makes it different than other owls.
White Pelican is a bird that is common to West and South of the USA. It’s presence in the East and especially in the New York is highly uncommon. It’s not easy to spot this bird in the New York as there have been only a few sightings during fall in the last couple of years. The last time this bird has been spotted in the New York, except for last few sightings, was back in 2012.
Snowy Owl is a majestic bird species that is a pleasure for eyes. Males tend to be white as the snow while females have smatterings of black and gray. They are relatively rare in the New York as they tend to breed in the Artic and spend a little time in the far north parts of the States. Several birders spotted Snowy Owls on the shoreline near Queens and Brooklyn, and those rare sightings are becoming more common due to the polar vortex that has been active in last few years.
Raptors that are spotted in the New York
About forty Red-Tailed Hawk nests have been confirmed within the city, and that number is quite high for a predator like this. Several headlines featured this bird due to instances where they were rescued from several locations. The easiest way to spot one of those birds is during the flight while they make big looping circles as they hunt.
Peregrine Falcons are quite common in the New York, and the number of these birds is the highest when it comes to urban areas. They prefer high places to make their nests and skyscrapers within the New York are perfect for that. Spotting them during the hunt is difficult as they can dive at their prey at speeds that excel 200 miles per hour. This is a great hunter that captures the attention of both birders and common folk.
Birding is a hobby that gives you the opportunity to travel around the country and spot some beautiful bird species. Bird watching can be accomplished on a smaller level as well. Almost every state has two or three locations that attract birds, and you can go there if your budget is tight.
Now, some states are at the better geological position, and their climate attracts quite a lot bird species throughout the year. Here are several locations in all parts of the country that might be in close vicinity to your home
Favorite birding locations on the East Coast
If you live in close vicinity of the New York and in that part of the USA, then you don’t have to travel too far to reach some excellent birding spots. Spots in this section are just the most visited ones, and there are dozens of other less known place where you can observe birds.
Mount Desert Island, Maine – Multi-biome bird watching location
Mount Desert Island is a dreamlike place that is a part of Acadia National Park and its unique location, within the park and the state of Maine, makes it a hotspot for various bird species. The secret lies in the geological features of this place as it has forest, mountain peaks, coastline as well as a bog. This makes it possible to spot various bird species throughout the year with an addition to seasonal migrations. The diversity of this place is something that can allow a birder to spot species that aren’t common on the East Coast.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland – Marsh-like resort that attracts migratory birds
This place contains a lot of marshes which means that it is a home to many eagles and marsh birds. That isn’t all that this refuge offers as it attracts geese and ducks that rest there during their migration. This place is created as a means of protecting waterfowl that rests here during its migrations, and other bird species took advantage of it.
The combination of the marsh, shallow water and forest creates a perfect habitat that attracts everything from marsh birds to raptors. Small birds such as vireos, flycatchers and Orioles can also be spotted here. Owls, wild turkeys, and woodpeckers are also known to spend some time in this place.
An oasis that keeps on giving
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located in New Mexico, is built around an oasis that birds use for resting during migration seasons. This place is best known as a place where Sandhill cranes rest and the festival is held to celebrate it. But that isn’t the only thing that attracts huge crowds of bird watchers. No, there have been sightings of more than 375 bird species at this oasis, and that makes this place a hot spot for avid birders.
The USA is full of excellent birding locations
Having small budget shouldn’t be an obstacle for enjoying in bird watching. Every state has its climate and wildlife refuges have been built around different microbiomes that attract birds and other animals. This allows avid birders to enjoy their hobby without leaving the state.
Many extremely excellent locations for bird watching exist, and all of them have their charms. Some attract hundreds of different bird species, while others hide some rare birds. But none of them comes close to Dry Tortugas; a group of islands located around 70 miles away from the Key West. This is an important resting spot for birds as they get tired after crossing the Gulf of Mexico.
The seven islands – Beauty is in the diversity
Dry Tortugas consists of seven small islands that are a haven for birds that come from South America. Very few bird species call this place home as it is just a first resting spot after a 600-mile flight over the open water.
When it comes to numbers, they aren’t extremely abnormal as around 300 different species have been spotted at these islands. The beauty of this birding spot is that it’s not strange to spot over 75 species in a single day of spring. The largest number of species that can be spotted at Dry Tortugas is during the spring. You can visit during other seasons as well, and you won’t be disappointed.
Species that you can spot at Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas is a life-long goal for every birder due to rare species that can be spotted at one of those small islands. Things can become strange as you can catch a glimpse of birds that you didn’t expect. We are talking about bird species like bananaquits and fork-tailed flycatchers. It’s possible to spot them due to strong storms that bring them to Dry Tortugas. That is why this place is a location that many birders visit every year.
It’s not all about those unexpected spotting; other rare and common birds attract people who are willing to pay for a boat or helicopter ride to come to Dry Tortugas. For example, it’s not strange to spot Bridled and Roseate terns, Red-necked Phalarope, Double-Crested Cormorants and other both common and rare birds at this location.
Some interesting species that can be spotted at Dry Tortugas
Sooty Terns come to the Dry Tortugas once a year to nest. It’s hard to spot this bird at any other place because it sticks to the sea and it avoids land. The best time to come to this location and spot these birds is at the beginning of the year.
Black Noddy is another species that can be spotted at this location between April and the end of the September. They can be found on docks and mangroves where they rest.
Masked Booby is spotted at Dry Tortugas throughout the year, and they can be located at smaller islands. Their number never exceeds forty which is why it is hard to spot them.
Magnificent Frigatebird is a rare bird, and it can only be located at this location (when we talk about American soil). They were more numerous in the past, but human disturbance drove them off. Around 100 nests are found of these animals, so their number is quite low.