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How to Start Watching Birds
79-minute DVD

Your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature

White-breasted nuthatchBirdwatching is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in America today. Our "How to Start Watching Birds" DVD gives you all the information you need so that you too can start enjoying birding.

Birding is many things to many people -- sport, relaxation, study, and a way to meet new people. But it always includes identifying birds.

Often the beginner is perplexed, though. What should you look for when you see a bird you don't recognize? Diane shows you how to look at a bird, note its field marks (or identifying characteristics) and then find it in your field guide.

A field guide is one of the two basic tools of the birder (along with binoculars), but even some who have been birding for some time don't realize all the kinds of information it contains. Many experienced birds have reported that they get more out of their field guide after watching this video.

Birding as appreciation:

Ruby-throated HummingbirdPeople love birds for their extraordinary beauty. Seeking them out and recognizing their identities is deeply satisfying.

Birds are everywhere, but each species has its own requirements, and that determines where that species can be found. Knowledge of the habits and needs of each bird enables birders to find them by going to the places that supply what the birds need.

Some birders like to visit new places to discover birds they've never seen before, while others prefer only to cultivate a deep knowledge of the birds in their own back yard. This video will give you new ideas about where and when to watch birds at home and in the field or on vacation.

About Diane Porter

In this video Diane shares all the most useful secrets from her popular birding classes. Diane always tells her students that taking up birdwatching is the best entertainment investment you can make, because birding is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.

Diane and FriendsDiane Porter is a master teacher, naturalist, writer, and bird photographer. She has spoken at many birding events, including three presentations to the Midwest Birding Symposium and many bird club conventions and meetings.

She is a contributing editor to Bird Watcher's Digest and has published over 100 magazine articles on birds and birding.

Diane is co-author of Bird Brain, a world birding database for Macintosh computers. She and her husband-and-collaborater Michael have been honing Bird Brain for over 20 years. If you use a Mac, check it out!

Diane is especially interested in finding birding opportunities close at hand and in getting to know birds as individuals.

To see Diane's photos, please check out the home page of this Birdwatching Dot Com website and click the grid in the "This Morning Outside with Diane" section.

Topics in How to Start Watching Birds

Getting Started

  • Benefits of birding
  • Basic tools of birding
  • How to look at a bird

Recognizing field marks

  • Bill
  • Wings
  • Tail
  • Feet and legs
  • Facial and other patterns

How to use a field guide

  • How to look up a bird
  • Songs and sonagrams
  • Range maps
  • Taxonomic order
  • Recognizing bird groups
  • Checklists
  • Personalizing your field guide

Choosing and using binoculars

  • How binoculars work
  • Porro vs. roof prisms
  • Power and brightness
  • Exit pupil
  • Lens coatings
  • Eye relief and glasses
  • Customizing your binocular
  • How to find the bird

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Birdwatching Dot Com

Please call us toll free 800-779-7256 for advice on choosing scopes or other birding products.
FAX 641-472-7256
Birdwatching Dot Com Store
2197 236th Blvd.
Fairfield, IA 52556

Copyright 2017 Michael and Diane Porter.