Birder's Guide

MAR 2015

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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29 March 2015 | Birder's Guide to Travel North Andover, Massachusetts danafox@comcast.net Dana Duxbury-Fox hen you sign up for a birding tour, you become part of a team. With every- one preparing well and following some thoughtful feld practices, the trip will go more smoothly and be more successful. After a recent birding trip to South America, I realized that it might be helpful to develop a list of guidelines for preparing for a birding trip and of specifc behaviors to encourage during the trip in order to make it a better experience for each participant. Part One: Preparing for the Trip ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– MiniMal PreParation If all participants have at least minimal knowledge of the birds that might be seen on the tour, the whole group will function more effciently. Here are some ideas that are essential for all. • Begin your study period early. Try to start at least two months in advance. • Read the material provided by your tour company. Then read it again and again. This is valuable information about the birds you will see, the places you will visit, and the things you should bring to make the trip enjoyable. As one company puts it, "It is our experience that diffculties on tours arise from clients not having fully read the pre-trip materials". • Buy the recommended feld guide for where you are going. Get a second one if you want to keep a library-quality copy of the book. • Get the daily feld checklist from your tour company. This will provide you with your target list of birds to study. • Mark your book with the species that you might see. Your feld check- list and your feld guide may use different English and/or scientifc names for a par- ticular species because the W

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