What knowledge is necessary for a first bird watching outing, how to dress and what elements should not be missing to be part of a good experience, are three obligatory questions that anyone who wants to get started in the feather universe should ask themselves before embarking on the adventure. .
An outing to watch birds involves, in most cases and when it involves jungles, going deep into the vegetation and contemplating the landscape for hours waiting for some sound or movement. For this reason, patience and perseverance are essential to train eye and ear, two not very simple tasks.
Care must be taken to ensure that footwear and clothing are comfortable, because regardless of the difficulty of the walk or whether the plan is to remain at an observation post, the observer will have to remain standing and attentive to the surroundings for many hours. It is recommended that clothing be brown, green, beige or camouflaged, so that the observer blends in with the environment. In addition, it is recommended to bring a hat, water bottle, repellent and sunscreen.
To take advantage of the experience without losing details, it is essential to carry a bird guide or have an application to identify species – such as Merlin Bird, Ornito, Birdnet or Picture Bird -, a notebook and pens to record specimens in the area. It is also suggested to get binoculars, which, although ideal, are not essential.
There are two times of the day when the chances of seeing birds increase: immediately after sunrise or when the sun sets, because that is when they leave their resting areas to look for food or return to them.
According to Francisco Táboas, scientific communicator and member of the National Parks Administration (APN) by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, there are three characteristics that make birds unique: that they are everywhere, that many are unpredictable and their processes migratory, some extreme, such as the red knot, which travels 32,000 kilometers each year to link the Canadian Arctic with the south of Tierra del Fuego.
While it is always in season for bird watching, it is recommended to start during the winter, when the trees have few leaves and the food is closer to the ground, so it can be easier to distinguish them.
To get started in the activity, it is not necessary to travel long kilometers or require extensive stays; a half-hour walk in a park or a weekend getaway is enough to take the first step.
Some birds are easily recognized by their behavior, so it is a good exercise to start interacting with them as you would with a new friend, paying attention to their appearance, gestures and what they like to do. It is recommended to note whether the bird is alone, in a group or in a pair; if it flies, jumps, swims or walks on the ground or on a tree; if you are eating, what you are eating and if that food is linked to the trees around it, in addition to describing the landscape.
Sounds are key when spotting birds, since understanding where their songs come from can help chart a path to find and identify them.
Remember that you are a mere spectator of nature, do not interfere in any way with the environment, make stealthy movements and never approach the nests. You are in a privileged place, enjoy the benefits of nature.
The Aves Argentinas association coordinates a National Network of Bird Watchers Clubs (COA), which brings together 80 clubs that organize free group outings in 19 provinces. The dates are usually published on their social networks. For more details, access https://www.avesargentinas.org.ar.
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