A Birding Camp: Essentials you need to put up on the list
Passionate birding involves the art of living in the wild, getting attached to and habituated with staying in the midst of nature. Unlike just having a casual look at birds while we are in a common jaunt or camping, birders need to have the ability to be at home in the wild! With the scopes or binoculars concentration and temperament is something that cannot be compromised. Birds are nature’s child fly off from here and there within a snappy moment; frustration comes hand in hand with dim light and sudden rivalry of the weather. Every second you are getting for an appropriate observation is precious. From all this it is apparent that Birding is an adventure with a different variety. And it also draws a conclusion that camping for a birders is not going to be a casual outing or armature adventure.
Camping location depends on bird habitat
Where should be your best place for a birder for camping? Rather than popular campsites, birders would go for the places important and friendly for bird habitat. Experienced ornithologists know about the habitat of each species of bird.
To see the birds, we have to learn to observe. Choosing the right time to go out, look for the bird in the landscape, this is learned in books but especially in the field, alone or in the company of more experienced ornithologists.
You can check out these books for further guidance:
1. National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest Flexibound – by Peter Alden (Author), Dennis Paulson (Author)
2. Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Them Paperback –by Sarah Swanson (Author), Max Smith (Author)
3.Pete Dunne on Bird Watching: The How-to, Where-to, and When-to of Birding- by Pete Dunne (Author)
Time to go out
You will quickly notice that depending on the season and the sites visited, you will not see the same birds. If you are attentive, you will quickly learn that birds are often more active in the morning and in the evening.
Birds are particularly active at sunrise and sunset. As a general rule, the best times to observe them are 6:30 – 9:30 and 16:30 – 18:30. The ornithological future therefore belongs to those who get up early. Often, the duration of an observation, especially in a forest environment, is very short. Some species such as hummingbirds or round birds are very mobile and difficult to spot in binoculars. In addition, some families such as Furnariidae (sittines and anabates), Dendrocolaptidae (grimpars), Thamnophilidae (bataras, alapis, anteaters ) or Tyrannidae (tyrants, flycatchers ) are of delicate identification. Therefore, if we want to identify with certainty the bird that we have just seen, we need to practice memorizing a maximum of precise identification criteria in a minimum of time.
What materials do you need to bring for birding-camp
That’s a big question, to which there are probably as many answers as there are campers! Unlike some ordinary camping for birding would requires a little more passion and patience. We need to hang on with the nature for a required period of time and that’s why the camping equipments involves some stuffs those are a little more than one time usable. But at the same time, they need to be handy. For we need to carry along with the birding equipments like Scopes, tripod etc. So there comes the question of ‘trade off’. Our optimal solution would depend on our travel mode.
There are people who travel and go camping with just a hammock, which they fixed to trees in the camping. But for the birders this would be the least they can choose. The security of the equipments under sudden rough weather should be a priority. A light and quite spacious model (a 3 person’s tent for 2 people to have enough space for backpacks) seems to be a good choice for Birders. If more budgets could be managed and we need to go for a group birding trip then, we can move towards even more stable options like cabin model tent. At the beginning, we can have an entry-level model, but that will probably be part of our next purchase to move to something more robust. You can check out more on choosing the right tent here following this link.
Here too, we see everything in the campsites! There are mattresses that inflate electrically. Some campers are just satisfied with a small carpet on the ground. But for birding we need to find out a small mattress self inflating and lightweight. There should be a balance between thickness and lightness so that we can easily roll on them and that is fixed without problem on the backpack. It takes a minimum of comfort anyway.
A sleeping bag
If you plan to go for birding mainly in the summer or in good weather then just taking a light and cheap model would do. If you leave the cold by cons, it needs to break a little more money. A model that allows having a good comfort at altitude or in negative temperatures would cost a little more. A small compressible pillow would be real comfort after getting back the toiling job of bird watching.
When traveling backpack
When you leave with all your belongings on your back, one of the most important points is to limit the weight that you carry for more flexibility. But what are the essential for a “light” campsite?
Going on a campsite means making a radical change in your daily lifestyle.There is nothing better than to draw up a checklist to not forget anything.
Your preparation of “camping baggage” depends, in large part, on the chosen camping formula. As we are discussing on birding camp, we need to travel light. Of course, we will not bring the cooler in the air!
Health and safety kits
An anti-mosquito lotion can also be helpful in some places. If these charming little creatures do little in the forest, but in the mangroves, they are legion and can quickly lose the pleasure of observation. Not easy to hold binoculars with one hand and crush the mosquitoes on the other! To protect yourself from the sun, it is better to bring a headgear and a sunscreen for those with fragile skin (especially in canoe). A microfiber towel has the advantage of being light and drying quickly. Cleansing wipes for the body, dry shampoo, and mini mouthwash are to be listed.
Kits for daily necessary
For everyday life, especially kitchen items, do not forget those little things that make all the difference when you’re away from home: Matches, penknife, Ziploc bags, garbage bags, rope for clotheslines, pins, paper towels, toilet paper, scissors, lighters / matches, kitchen knife, plates and cutlery (in aluminum or plastic), can opener, bottle opener, coffee filter, kettle, stove and dish, stove, trash bags … dishwashers, dish towels, dishwashing liquid Headlamp is essential especially for cooking. A flashlight is good, but when you have both hands busy cutting vegetables the headlamp will save your life.
It would be better to have partly camouflaged attire and prefer tones that fit the landscape. Brightly colored clothes might scare the bird and eventually lead to distraction of concentration. There is no need to be a camouflage ace, unless you want to do some observation on the lookout.
Also we need to consider the weather conditions. The long hours of observation can cool you in the middle of winter if you do not plan appropriate clothing.
In your luggage, take with you the essential clothing’s: underwear, t-shirts, pairs of socks, light clothing adapted to hot weather, t-shirt, shorts but also a windbreaker, a raincoat, a headgear, a sweater for cool evenings or bad days, a blanket to snuggle near the fire, sandals for the beach, pants, dresses, walking shoes and rain boots; very practical in a field surrounded by nature.
Bird watching essentials
A sketch book might be helpful to visualize the observation marking after the birds fly away. We can jot down the observation making like food habit, size, colors, and the details like whether there is crest or hood on the head, whether their shape- flattened, curvy or conical. It would be easier for us to compare with your familiar birds.
To be attentive to the slightest cry are the basic principles of field ornithology. Making differentiation among the bird song and thereby making identification of a particular bird is the important criteria that we need to focus on. For a birder, it’s not just charmed by the song lying on your hammock at the campsite. To recognize bird songs, there are CDs and MP3s that will allow you to hear and compare the songs you hear. You might also need to keep an eye on the flight pattern. A video camera might help in keeping every detail.
You might carry a camera to take some snaps.
For the wild lover a field guide is quite a necessity. The most important ‘to do’ for birding is to sorting out the distinguishing factors and points among the birds.The places of particular natural objects can be identified according to the ‘field’ or local area. One of the leading field guides is Peterson Field Guides.
The other’s are:
1. National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
2.Kaufman Focus Guide
3.Stokes Field Guides.The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition Flexibound – by David Allen Sibley (Author)
Here’s how to choose your optical equipment according to your needs and how to use it optimally. Here are some tips to increase your chances of bird watching in the best conditions. A telescope can be useful on the coast. In the forest, its usefulness is less. If we just follow a track by car, we can have the opportunity to use it but during a hike in the undergrowth, it is too cumbersome and the chances of using it may be very limited.
A spotting scope is also very useful for the ornithologist who likes to observe in open environments. If birding is your passion that certainly binocular is not the only option that you should pick up. Rather a spotting scope which would help you to get detail observation on the different characteristics of birds from a distance without alarming them. In some cases, the binoculars are not sufficient to observe the birds properly without disturbing them.
Moreover a long view is a necessary tool to make the most of observation. A long view is composed of two parts: an eyepiece and a body including the focusing mechanism and the lens. The eyepiece is fixed on the body of the long sight. It is often a zoom (20 – 60 x or 25 – 50 x) but there are eyepieces with fixed magnification (30 x or 45 x). Ornithologists use more and more zooms, especially to view details (ring reading …) or identify a bird very far away. For more guide on Birding scope please check this link out.
The choice of tripod
It is a mandatory accessory for the ornithologist who uses a long view. The tripod makes it possible to stabilize the long view and to make correct observations without shaking. Above the tripod, we fix a head or a ball that will accommodate the long view and that allows to turn it horizontally and vertically. In ornithology, we mainly use heads with a joystick to facilitate the tracking of a moving bird.
There are tripods in aluminum and some in carbon. You will choose your tripod according to the height (according to its size), the stability (the heavier it is, the more stable it is) and its maneuverability.
The choice of binoculars
The most useful tool for the birdwatcher who wants to observe the birds in the field is the pair of binoculars. Binoculars (8 x 40 or 10 x 40) are essential. We must choose the brightest possible, especially in the forest where the brightness is often low. There are many types of binocular to choose. The compact binoculars are ideal for those who do not want to be burdened with a pair of binoculars that hangs permanently around the neck. The classics are mostly chosen by the ornithologists for their good magnification, lightness and brightness. For those who prefer a lighter format, there are also 8 or 10 x 32 models. The models come with zoom are useful for targeting a detail or if you do not have a long view. Stabilized binoculars allow having a clear image despite the slight tremors of the ornithologist. However, their weight is quite high and they usually work with batteries.
Finally, as the observations are often very fleeting, it is essential to master the use of his binoculars to quickly point the animal.
Listing the birding groups or the Audubon societies
A group trip for birding has no alternative to enrich our knowledge on birding and that too when we are going into wild for a camping trip. Being with the team the local bird lover and bird watcher would be the best you could ask for. We may contact any Audubon society near us or we can choose a group of other birders to join. We can search and call for the local Nature Center or Parks authority or the local Bird Club.
The optical equipment should be secured as they are a little more costly. They are fragile and must be protected from blows, inclement weather and sand in particular. It is also important to clean it regularly. There are questions of carrying and security. So we would suggest a birding group for having an anxious-free birding camp. There are many options for picking up a birding trip or tour. We would find some of local bird trips advertised in the newspapers. Or you can catch them up on a local Audubon society or bird club. You might also want to join a trained guide on a tour.