Almost everyone lives within driving distance of a state or local park or a wildlife sanctuary. Or take a long drive on a road empty of traffic. There is much to discover if you take the time to look among the fields, hedges and creeks.
There are over 900 species of birds in North America and it is safe to say that no one has seen each and every one. But don't let your inexperience intimidate you.
You have just as much chance of sighting a rare bird as the experts. To get the most out of your experience you should prepare a little ahead of time.
Spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the various species you may encounter in your area. This will add to your enjoyment by making it easier for you to identify the birds.
When you spot a bird give it a long look. They often don't stay around long and if you stop to check your field guide you may miss out.
Observe its color and shape and any distinguishing markings. After the bird flies away you can look it up and identify it.
The one essential item on your bird watching getaway is a good set of binoculars. You will really enjoy taking in the details of the bird's coloring and observe their movements.
It's also a good idea to bring a notebook. Record your sightings. Later these notes will help you relive the wonder and joy of these beautiful life forms.
Whenever you interact with nature there are precautions that you must take. Always carry an adequate supply of water. Sun block and mosquito repellent can be very useful. And don't forget the snake bite kit.
Another item useful item that is becoming very popular for Bird Vacation Watching is a handheld GPS device. You never have to worry about getting lost with one of these. Many birds have very distinctive songs that are quite beautiful if you take the time to hear it. Associating a song with the bird will help you identify it much easier. You may want to consider a professionally led Neotropical Birding Tour.
Toucan Birding Tours has some great tours that feature Mexico's Aztec Thrush, Cuba's tiny Bee Hummingbird, Brazil's huge Jabiru, Peru's colourful Macaws or Ecuador's antpittas. They specialize in making your birding vacation the best possible in the rainforests, mountains and savannas of the Tropical Americas.
Marsman Drysdale travel offers bird watching opportunities in the Philippines. They will take you to Mt. Apo, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Kanlaon, Palawan Islands and Butuan Marsh. These are all beautiful lush tropical locations and are home to over 500 species of birds.
Lake Chicot State Park, in Arkansas, is a great bird watching spot year round but especially in the spring and fall which are the bird migration seasons. The park's 20-mile long lake is the largest natural oxbow in the state. The lake shoreline draws many varieties of birds including loons, pelicans and anhinga.
Lake Chicot State Park is located in the famous Mississippi Flyway in the far southeast corner Arkansas. While the park is excellent for birding, you can also enjoy some excellent fishing as well as boating, hiking and biking. You can camp in one of the 122 campsites and stay a cabin.
The Red River Valley in North Dakota has many areas that are great for bird watching. Some of them are Turtle River State Park, Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge, the Prairie Chicken Management Area and the Oakville Prairie. More than 300 bird species are known to habitat the Red River Valley and during migration it is not uncommon to see flocks with tens of thousands of birds.
North Dakota has worked to reseed the barren plains and refill the marshes which have contributed greatly to the area becoming a bird refuge. A few of the birds calling this area home are the short-eared owl, the greater prairie chicken, snowy owl, snow buntings and common redpoll.
Lake Conasauga Recreation Area, Georgia is a great spot for bird watching vacation ideas. There are over 100 species of birds that call the Lake Conasauga home. A few of these are woodpeckers, owls, chickadees, nuthatches, buntings, flycatchers and titmice. The lake is located 3,100 feet high, near the top of Grassy Mountain. While spotting your favorite bird you can use the excellent hiking trails in the area.
The Conasauga River Trail is a popular hiking route. You will also find campgrounds here and picnic facilities. The lake is popular for fishing and boating so this is an excellent outdoor vacation idea.
Arenal Hanging Bridges is a wonderful birding spot in Costa Rica. The Hanging Bridges is a private ecotourist project that is located on several hundred acres of rainforest. Huge hanging bridges and walkways have been constructed to allow visitors to explore the forest and view the abundant wildlife without disturbing the fragile ecosystem.
Bird watching tours are conducted with the on-site Naturalist-Ornithologist guide. This is always a productive tour with between 50 and 60 species of birds spotted on a typical outing. If your usual vacation idea is a theme park but it leaves your more stressed than when you started .... consider these relaxing bird watching vacation ideas. You will not regret it.