Vacation Planning

Bird watching vacations can be inexpensive and easy .... but also challenging. Birding combines the thrill of the chase with the satisfaction of getting close to nature. The whole family can enjoy this vacation idea which is popular with millions of people. 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 bird watching vacation 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 vacation 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 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.

While you are watching the birds you can also be listening to them. Try one of these Bird Song Audio CDs.

If your usual vacation idea is a theme park but it leaves your more stressed than when you started .... consider a relaxing bird watching vacation. You will not regret it.

If you would like to learn more about birding check out this great Birding Guide. This site offers a list of birds by family, information on bird watching, links to birding forums, trip reports and a state by state list of birding clubs.

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