SpecialIntroduction to Birding | Birding 101 with Sheridan Alford

Interested in birding? Learn all about birding from Black Birders Week’s founder Sheridan Alford.

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- Birding can be one of the most fascinating wildlife recreations to participate in.

Whether you go out with friends or by yourself, it's both educational, and rewarding, to watch birds live out their everyday lives.

If you're watching this, you've already taken the first step, which is interest, so welcome.

Now join me as we go over some tips and tricks to up your birding game, and take you from a fledgling to an aficionado.

I'm Sheridan Alford, and this is Birding 101.

(upbeat music) The first step to taking off on your birding hobby is learning a few birds.

If you ask around, you'll find everyone has different tips for learning birds.

Here, I've compiled a few strategies to help you study up.

So when you're ready to get out there, to observe and identify, you'll be ready.

Our first method of learning bird identification will focus on self-education.

Whether due to personal preference, or a social distancing, it may not always be feasible to get out and participate in a bird walk.

So being able to learn bird ID on your own is a useful skill.

Our first learning tool is The Field Guide.

Tried and true, field guides are a wealth of knowledge for newcomers.

With tips in the beginning, and great illustrations, it's like having a veteran birder right at your fingertips.

It may seem old school, but birding is an old sport, so give it a try.

When you get in the field, and service is questionable, a book is always usable.

For the more tech savvy, apps are the new wave.

With multiple region information, and easy access to bird calls, the app might be your tool of choice.

There are a plethora of apps from tracking your lists, to specific birds you're trying to ID, like raptors.

Search around and test out these apps to find the best one for you.

The third self-education recommendation is online courses.

There are many resources that can be found on your computer to help with song learning, shape identification, and species differentiation.

A lot of courses are at little to no cost for Citizen Scientists, and can be a great way to quiz yourself and make sure you know your stuff.

An alternative method to self-education is finding a mentor or group to go out with.

Finding a mentor is useful when you have questions, or need guidance.

A mentor can be found by asking around, and seeing if anyone in your area has the available communication and time to work with you.

The most popular form of group education is bird walks.

Having people give you what they use as a mnemonic, or what characteristics they look for, is a great way to learn, so take notes.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Interest is, and should always be encouraged.

And lastly, find a group that fits your style.

A comfortable group of people or location that suits you.

Until next time, I'm Sheridan Alford, and thank you for watching Birding 101.