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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Page 36 of 67

35 March 2015 | Birder's Guide to Travel Question: "What is it doing?" AnsWer: "it's fying (or sitting or running or swimming)." Question: "Where is it?" AnsWer: "High, low, on the ground, in a tree." Question: "Where specifcally?" AnsWer: "to the right of the large red trunk, on the horizon fying right, in the pine tree, on the horizontal branch." Question: "How far away?"— AnsWer: "ten feet, 10 yards, a quarter mile." in the forest, laser pointers are the quickest method to point out a bird, if you are at a good angle to "see the light". some guides use the clock method (e.g., "the bird is at 3 o'clock" means in the righthand portion of the tree). others, after the group has been familiarized with often-seen objects, such as Cecropia trees, will cite some of those features. • Remember that others may not hear or see as well as you. As we get older, our hearing and/or vision may degenerate. Let the leader and the group know if you are experiencing any diffculty. At the same time, make sure your optical prescriptions are up-to-date before you go. And take lots of batteries if you use hearing aids. though you may not be able to hear it, the loud, high-pitched whine of a dying or malfunctioning hearing aid can cause the leader to miss hearing birds. • Assist those who need help. remem- bering that you are a team with the goal of having everyone see each species, offer to help those who need assistance in seeing the bird. the leader and the other partici- pants will appreciate your help. i hope that these ideas, gleaned from a wide variety of birders around the world, will help you get the most out of any birding tour. i am grateful to all who have contributed to and reviewed this article, and wish you suc- cess on your next trip! ––––––––––––––––––––––––– Do you have tips of your own for how to pick the right tour? We welcome you to join the discussion with other ABA members at

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