you have never considered bird watching, you might think about
taking it up. It is free and something new is always happening.
As the seasons change, you will be able to spot birds that live
in your area all the time and those that are just passing through
on their way to somewhere warmer or cooler.
Beginning bird watchers usually
start by learning to identify visual characteristics such as
a bird's feather color, body size, or beak shape. There are
many good field guides that can help you figure out what to
look for, including the Petersen's Field Guide to Eastern
As you learn more about birds
and their traits, you can begin to identify them by the calls
and songs they make. One way to do this is to first identify
a bird by sight and then listen for it to make a sound. This
way, when the trees are leafed out
in the summer, you'll still be able to figure out what species
are around even if you can't see them. Keep in mind that many
birds do their most vocal singing between sun-up and 8am. Other
sounds, such as warning screeches or a mother's call to her
young can be heard throughout the day.
Another way to find out about
birds you see is to follow their movements to see if they have
a nest nearby. June is the best month for this in the Upper
Great Lakes area because many birds are either building a nest
or incubating their eggs. If you do find a nest, though, observe
it from a distance, especially if their are babies. Disturbing
hatchlings can cause the mother to abandon her babies.
To find out more about Bird watching
in the Upper Great Lakes, check out these links: