Birder's Guide

DEC 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 26 of 51

inventing the wheel. In this article, bird artist, author, and feld biologist Felton, California they can make your birding better. But sometimes, there really is no re- Sophie Webb Editor's note: So far, you've read a lot about new technologies and how Sophie Webb explains why—even in 2013—you should probably be taking a pencil and paper with you when you go birding. Field Sketching W hen planning a birding trip, whether it's just for the day or longer, I bring with me my binocu- lar, a telescope, and perhaps my SLR camera. However, these are not the only tools I carry into the feld. A feld notebook is a cheap, simple, and easy-to-use tool for anyone to take birding. I always have one at hand, small and pocket-sized for regular birding trips or something larger for sketching excursions. It is far easier (and more accurate) to record numbers and locations of birds as they happen than to recreate your travels and sightings at the end of a tiring day. Not only is a notebook useful for keeping track of numbers and species, but it is also handy for jotting down notes about the plumage and behavior of any interesting bird you may encounter—perhaps even a simple sketch for future reference. After all, that bird may just turn out to be a rarity! Photos are great, but not everyone birds with a camera, and I fnd that I am far more observant when writing notes or sketching than when I am looking through a camera lens (and instead concentrating on things like focus and exposure levels). Photo © courtesy of Celestron. December 2013 | Birder's Guide to Gear 25

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