Just getting started? Welcome to the world of birding!
Birds are everywhere to be found—no matter who you are, no matter where you live. But where do you find them? How do you learn their names? How do you discover information about their behavior and ecology? Those are some of the questions set forth in Let’s Go Birding! by Ted Floyd.
Perhaps you attended a birding festival or searched online to identify a yard bird. No matter how you found us, we’re glad you did and want to be there as you discover the fascinating world of birding! At the end of this page, we have a challenge for you, so read on!
The American Birding Association is made up of people who, like you, began to notice the birds around them and developed an interest in knowing more.
We have resources, programs, and trips to help birders at every skill level, and if this is your foray into birding, then let us be your guide as you take that first step along this path, what for many of us has turned into an epic journey–a rewarding obsession.
To orient yourself and begin to understand the how-tos of birding, read our 32-page primer Let’s Go Birding![4MB PDF download]
Other ABA resources you’ll want to check out are:
What’s This Bird? – Post your unidentified bird photos in our very active Facebook group, and we’ll identify the bird for you.
ABA Live – Every other Friday, the ABA hosts What’s This Bird? Live! This is a great way to learn basic identification techniques. The program is simulcasted on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
ABA Podcast – Hosted every Thursday by Nate Swick, we bring you news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.
Birding Clubs – Attend a meeting of your local bird club. This is a great place to make new birding friends and to learn about good birding spots in your area.
Birding Festivals Calendar – Keep an eye on our list of upcoming birding festivals. These festivals include guided field trips and workshops, many geared toward the new birder!
ABA Young Birder Programs – From our mentoring program to summer bird camps and more, the ABA’s support of young birders is our proudest tradition.
ABA New Birder Challenge!
OK, you’ve read Let’s Go Birding! You’ve checked out the ABA Podcast and ABA Live. You’re ready to see what birds are around you. All you need for this challenge is a way to identify the birds you see. The ABA has published a number of identification guides to various states that can be found at Buteo Books; but ANY guide will do, whether it is a book or an app on your phone, like the Sibley Birds app or the free Merlin Bird ID app. Chances are the longer you bird, the more guides you will collect! Binoculars, if you have them, may help you see the birds more closely, but they are not necessary for this challenge.
So, here’s the challenge… find and identify 20 different bird species.
Once you’ve done that, post a list of your 20 birds to the comments below. We want to celebrate with you! Let us know about your experience… did you find it difficult? What challenges did you face? Did you find any new places around you? Did you see your neighborhood in a new way? A really cool thing about birding is that the more you do it, the more your eyes open to what’s going on around you. What was once a simple walk through a park is transformed into a walk through a living mosaic of song, motion, and color.