Frequently Asked Questions About Birding
What is birding?
Birding, also known as bird watching, is the act of watching birds. According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, more than 46 million Americans participate in bird watching each year. Additionally, birding trips are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise, as it can involve hiking, biking, kayaking and much more to get to the plethora of birds you’re wanting to see.
What is a twitcher in birding?
In New Zealand, birders are known as “twitchers.” This term originated when bird watchers would twitch their heads to try and catch sight of a rare species, or one that they want to check off their list.
What is a lifer in birding?
A lifer is a first-time sighting for a bird watcher. If you’ve never taken a bird vacation in New Zealand, you will have lots of opportunities to see lifers as it is home to many endemic species.
Is birding a sport?
In short, no, it is not classified as a sport. Although there are some competitions, birding is most commonly considered a hobby and an activity rather than a sport. But it continues to grow tremendously popular.
What’s the best camera for bird watching?
If you’re just getting started in photography and are looking to capture key memories from your bird watching trips, any standard point-and-zoom camera will work great. If you are more advanced, some features to emphasize in your search for a DSLR or mirrorless camera are a fast autofocus speed and good quality in low light as well as daylight and strong outdoor photography performance. But, as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you, so make sure whatever camera you choose is comfortable to carry along on your birding vacations.
How to choose binoculars for birding?
We suggest an 8 x 42 (8x magnification with a 42-mm objective lens size). They are ideal for viewing birds at any distance and will enhance any birding trip.
What is the best birding app?
Apps like Merlin Bird ID will help identify birds from photos and recordings, and we highly recommend using it even if you have more experience with identifying them. Some people also use eBird or iBird Pro when they're out in nature. On the best birding vacations, you don't always have time to scroll through hundreds of species while looking at real-life specimens, so these apps make identification easier and faster.